How to Get Back Into Reading

When I was a kid, I dreamed of having a library filled with hundreds of books. The room would have a nice comfy chair where I could just rest for hours and finish any book in one sitting.

First off, somebody should have informed me back then on how expensive a house is, and let alone a house with an extra room just for your books. I blame movies for those unrealistic expectations. Secondly, they should have also told me that I was going to reach a point in my life where I just didn’t want to read any literature piece that had more than 20 pages or was an assigned reading. The latter happened so sneakily that when I caught myself in my ‘not reading slump’, months had gone by in which I did not read a single thing for my own enjoyment. 

You are not alone

woman sitting on floor of library surrounded by books Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi from Unsplash

As I told my bookworm friends about this, they actually confessed that they had gone through similar experiences. That’s when I decided to do some research on this issue on the web and, to my surprise, a lot of literature nerds have gone through the exact same experience. Turns out, that as one grows up and enters the real world, life doesn’t really have a lot of space in it for fiction. Luckily though, there are some great ways in which one can seamlessly get back into reading as part of a daily routine or as a mere hobby.

Why you stopped reading in the first place

Pride and Prejudice Photo by Rawkkim from Unsplash

But, before you start to revive your enthusiasm that will return you to amazing literary worlds, one must evaluate their current world. Realizing that you stopped reading for personal enjoyment is good, but you can’t just leave it there. Ask yourself, why did you stop reading? What made you leave something that brought you so much joy? The answers to these questions are a vital part of the ‘let’s get this reading started’ process because, once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you can start figuring out ways to deal with them. Maybe you’ve been too busy to read, haven’t felt inspired to do so, or you’re simply too tired to actually get any reading done.

These reasons are completely valid and solvable, but you have to put your heart into it and work through them. Author Ginni Chen, who also writes about how to get back into literature, believes that “a great book can lead you to water, but it cannot make you drink.” This means that even if you have the greatest books at your disposal, you may never want to read them. 

That being said, make some space in your schedule so that you may explore and reignite your love for literature again; think of ways you can slowly introduce reading into your schedule. Don’t force yourself into your old reading habits immediately. Try exploring diverse genres, and take breaks from whatever you're reading if you’re tired or find yourself losing interest.

Be patient 

woman with her head on her desk with books open around her Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Your main goal should always be getting back into reading, but not by reading as many things as possible at the same time. Don’t rush yourself into 500-page novels and expect to finish them within two days. You are rebuilding your relationship with the written word, so try your best to be patient. We’re now adults with extremely chaotic lives, so it’s okay if it takes you a while to read something; really, I mean it, it is. 

Avoid distractions

Laptop and books on floor carpet Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Additionally, try your best to avoid distractions. Set up some reading hours during the week, if you have time for it, and sit in a quiet corner of the world that you can call yours for at least 30 minutes. If you can’t find some place that is quiet enough, which will eventually happen, you could always read while listening to purely instrumental music. Now, if you just find your phone way too distracting, or just can’t sit in place for too long, use it to your advantage; search for or buy literature that you can read on your phone. Alongside that, you can also just listen to audiobooks. Since a phone is something you are almost guaranteed to have with you at all times, by default, you’ll always have a great written piece at the tip of your fingers.

Explore different genres

books on bookstore shelf Photo by Alfons Morales from Unsplash

Another great way to dive into the ocean of written words is to explore it. There are so many genres and so many ways in which literature manifests itself that it would be literally impossible to explore them all in a lifetime; with that said though, just dipping your fingers in the shallow shores won’t do either. 

Try reading genres you loved in your younger days, get into ones that have always been your interest, and tackle, or at least slightly nudge, themes and topics you’ve never thought about. Read and explore whatever you want to! Don’t limit yourself to reading books just because they are literary classics or recommendations from your friend who is a bit too into 17th century English Literature.

Appreciate literature

Woman reading a book on the couch Photo by Seven Shooter from Unsplash

Lastly, but just as important, remember all the good times you spent with literature. Always keep in mind the way a good story made you feel, how it taught you about life and how it helped you become the person you are today. Literature is something that will always be there for you no matter what, so try visiting it once every while; I can guarantee it will be worth it.