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I Started Reading For Fun: This Was My Experience

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

For years, I had lived with an odd predicament: I love creative writing, but I’ve never found the will to read for fun. Whenever I was assigned a book in high school, I would read it and, most times, enjoy it. But never, and I mean NEVER, did I motivate myself to search for something else to read. 

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However, my turning point must have been whenever I was around people who enjoyed reading in their free time. It was awkward and weird. They would start discussing books that I’d never heard of. And that’s not bad, but it made me feel bad. 

So, I set off on an adventure to learn more about myself. I focused on learning how to motivate myself, and, most importantly, identify key themes and genres I would enjoy reading. I started off easy. I love romcoms. I can confidently–and proudly–share that I have a full list of over 100+ romcoms I have watched throughout the years. Booktok taught me that many romcoms were originally books that were later brought to the big screen… Therefore, I thought it fitting to start there.

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Excellent! I sort of found what I liked. However, I needed to refocus my journey on how to actually get to the reading part. I had to find motivation. I should point out that this step took a long while to achieve. I didn’t feel as confident as I thought I would be with reading. I felt as if it was another book I was forced to read–but this time I was forcing myself. Maybe it was the book I chose? I am still not sure. The motivation just wasn’t there. (Brief side note: This first book–which I eventually stopped reading–was based on a series I had watched and loved on Prime Video, I loved the insider tips the book had contrary to the series. However, I got distracted quickly. Also, having uni work and other extracurriculars made it harder to sit down and finish it.)

I had almost given up on this process. Until my situation came up while chatting with my friends after a long 8-hour shift. I was angry at myself for quitting without actually giving the book–and myself–a chance to enjoy it. They reassured me that it was normal to feel this way. They told me not to worry because it meant I hadn’t found the right book for me. So they started asking me a set of questions and recommending books they thought I would like. I also pointed out some books I heard about from Booktok. What stuck with me the most was their dedication, confidence, and determination to help me. They told me to take into account all the recommendations they’d given me, and that once I’d read the book I had chosen, I could tell them all about it. Like an informal book club sort-of-thing. That was it. That was my motivation. Not keeping things to myself. Not feeling alone on this journey. They gave me back my confidence in reading.

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When I got home that day, I pondered my options. Let me tell you, it was the best decision I’ve made so far. I finally fell in love with reading. I found what I was looking for. And it only took me 20 years to get it! I’m kidding… perhaps…

And so I’ve read 4 books in the span of four months. Believe me, I could’ve read more but the uni workload has been a lot. One of these four books was finished in a binge-reading sesh I had a few weeks ago–took me 2 days to read because I had to force myself to get some sleep.

I found my new calling, how about you? 

Special shout-out to the friends who helped me along the way. One of them which I interrupted while she was reading Hooked to have a counseling session about my reading habits. The other, who sent me a 2-minute video clip–not counting several voice chats–showcasing her entire TBR and wishing me the best of luck on this new journey. And my sister for listening to my MANY existential crises every time I finished a new masterpiece. 

Pennélope Alers López is the team's secretary and a writer at the Her Campus at UPR chapter. Pennélope's favorite topics to write about range from entertainment to academics. She writes a bit of everything! Beyond Her Campus, Pennélope works as a Barista at Starbucks Escorial. She loves serving warm coffee and putting a smile on everyone’s faces. She is also a junior at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, completing a Bachelor's degree in Special Education. In her free time, Pennélope enjoys doing arts and crafts and spending time with her dog, Lilo. She is also a rom-com aficionado—she has a list of over 100 romance movies and series that she has watched throughout the years.