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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

Are you feeling reading burnout? Or wondering how to start reading for fun? Below are some tips and tricks to find (or discover) your lost reading spark!

Start with something small…or nostalgic

Sometimes the easiest way to get back into reading is to start with something memorable and manageable. Personally, it was the Harry Potter series that first got me into reading for fun (which wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school…yikes, I know). If you have a childhood favorite, revisit it! Or check out a shorter novel that piqued your interest. In the first year or so of my newfound hobby, I read several elementary and middle school classics; The Selection, The Hunger Games, Red Queen and more. There’s absolutely no shame in revisiting something you’ve already read!

Join a club

Accountability can go a long way. If you feel like diving in just a bit deeper, look for a book club! This could be through your school, university, local community or even social media. Book clubs also provide a great deal of variety. Some book clubs are completely virtual and never officially meet, while others may meet monthly or biweekly and have a stricter reading schedule. Find what works for you, and make some friends!

Quality over quantity

Make sure you’re enjoying what you’re reading! Don’t force yourself to read the newest bestseller or that book your friend recommended to you that’s actually terrible. Find what you like, and stick with it! Also, don’t get caught up in reading on a strict schedule. Sometimes life gets too hectic, and reading before bed is the absolute last thing you want to do, and that’s okay. Only read what you want when you want, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You do you! 

Read a little every day

That being said, sometimes it takes repetition to build a habit. If you’re interested in making reading a part of your everyday life, set aside a time that works for you to read every day. This may be before you go to sleep (which is a great way to eliminate screen time before bed), after a meal or when you return from work or school. Also, you don’t have to sit down and read half the book. Even a single chapter or a handful of pages will do the trick! 

Try something new

Sometimes the key to finding your spark again is trying something new! Do you usually read romance? Try another genre like science fiction or fantasy! (Shameless plug for another one of my articles for fantasy/science fiction recommendations). Maybe try the next book in a series you used to enjoy or a book that’s longer than you’re usually comfortable with. You could also try a different method of reading. Maybe you’ve never tried audiobooks or graphic novels. (I am also quite the proponent of fanfiction. Whatever makes you want to read!) Long story short, try something new!

Visit local stores/libraries

Getting out and about can also foster a plentiful reading experience. When I got a library card for the local public library on campus, I found myself reading so much more than I was before. Is your library card sitting in your wallet, sad, lonely and expired? Go renew it! And even if you don’t check any books out, take a walk around, and see what your local library or bookstore has to offer. For anyone living in the West Chester area, my best recommendation has to be Baldwin’s Book Barn!

Have fun!

Reading should be fun. If it ever begins to feel like a chore, take a break and do something else. The worst way to get back into reading is to make it feel like homework or just another assignment. So find something you enjoy, and don’t let anyone else influence or judge your reading experience. And of course, here’s a shameless plug for my Goodreads account. Happy reading! 

Alison is a second-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, and she is currently serving as an editor and writer. Her favorite things to write about are video game/pop culture commentary, music recommendations, and mental health advice. Alison is majoring in Communication Science and Disorders, minoring in English Literature, and working towards a certificate in American Sign Language. In addition to Her Campus, she is a member of the Honors College and National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapter at Pitt. She is also a research assistant at the Brain Systems for Language Lab at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school for either Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology. In her free time, Alison loves to read, play video games, listen to music, and hang out with her cat, Peanut Butter.