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

As a kid I used to read all the time, any chance I got. But eventually, as I grew older and the demands of school and life piled up, reading faded into the background—and until I started college, I rarely read for fun at all. Here’s how I got out of my years-long reading slump. 

Find a format

There’s no rule that says reading has to be the traditional, ink-on-paper model. E-readers, book apps, and audiobooks are also perfectly valid options. Book apps offer the ease of making your library transportable and synced between devices. I mainly listen to audiobooks, and there are several listening apps available (such as Libby and Audible.) If you’re more drawn to paper books, try spending a day exploring local bookstores and seeing what they have in stock. 

Read what you actually want

For the longest time, I was never into reading because I associated it with books assigned for high school essays, which I usually found tiring and dull. Reading out of pure enjoyment and not because I had to took some getting used to. Don’t force yourself to read books you’re not interested in because they’re popular or classics. Whether it be mystery, romance, nonfiction, etc. — there’s a genre for everyone. 

See what others are reading

There are several places that can help you find book recommendations. Goodreads features lists curated by users, and it also shows top-rated and new releases in various genres. There’s also plenty of reading-themed Instagram accounts that post recommendations. The book communities of TikTok or YouTube (appropriately named “BookTok” and “BookTube”) can be great places to see reviews and find your next great read. And of course, a simple Google search (“What should I read if I liked [insert title here]?”) can be helpful. 

Just get started

It’s easy to get stuck in the trap of endless browsing until you finally find the “right” story. Try reading the first few pages or chapters of a book that looks somewhat interesting, and if you hate it, there are a million more books out there — you’re sure to find something you like eventually. 

Make time in your schedule to read

Admittedly, this is easier said than done. Everyone has a busy schedule, but setting aside time for reading doesn’t have to be another chore on your to-do list. Like I mentioned earlier, I mostly use audiobooks, so I like to listen while I’m doing another task (laundry, cleaning, etc.) It doesn’t have to be a long period of time either; I’ve found that listening to 10 minutes of an audiobook before I go to bed is a great way to relax and wind down at the end of the day. 

Ultimately, there’s no one size fits all for learning to enjoy books. But with time and effort, you’ll find something that works for you. Happy reading!