During the summer, my workload slowed down and I found days with nothing to do. Even though I’ve always been someone who’s enjoyed reading, life has become busier as I’ve grown up and left me without the desire to use my limited free time to read. When I did pick up a book, I had little motivation to get through it, and it would take several weeks or months to complete. I’d almost always lose interest before reaching the halfway point. The frustration made me abandon reading and fully prevented me from finding joy in the activity.
That was, until this past summer. When school came to an end in April, my time freed up, and as I had always desired, I got back into the habit of reading.
I first started reading again after getting bored with TV and movies — which sounds wild because I’ve always been super into television. But after the past year, I was bored of it. Reading became my new outlet — my way of shutting down — and took the role TV once had in my life.
Now, even though my life is once again picking up speed with school starting again, I feel that the small habits I have put into place will help me maintain my reading lifestyle, as it has now turned into one of my favorite pastimes that I would not want to lose. Here are six ways I stayed on track and got back into the habit of reading.
- Create a Space in Which You love to Read
When I was home for the summer at my parent’s house I found that I loved reading in the living room and outside. When I moved out, I knew I would be losing my peaceful reading spaces. So when I moved into my current home, I made it a priority to get the perfect reading chair and make a reading corner. In this reading nook I have my wonderfully comfy chair, my lamp, as well as my reading essentials, like pencils and post-its, and of course, my books. It is a place I enjoy going to and is relaxing to me.
- Look Into Book Subscription Services
Before moving to Canada for school, I lived in New York, where I had a monthly book subscription service with “book of the month.” I was gutted when I had to cancel my subscription after finding out they weren’t available in Canada. But for the time I did have this subscription, it was quite the treat. I was exposed to authors I hadn’t known about, and tried different types of stories I wouldn’t have otherwise picked up. I highly recommend looking into a book subscription service. There are plenty to pick from and they are a wonderful treat to get in the mail.
- Go Book Hunting!
Yes, go shopping (or go borrow) books! You’re going to get bored of reading really quickly if you’re reading material you don’t like. So go spend an afternoon at the bookstore and see what sparks your interest! You don’t even need to purchase anything — simply browse and borrow them from a local library.
- Make Time
I realized a lot of the reason I’d avoid reading was because I would save it for before bed, because I felt that was what was “normal.” However, this is where my issue was because when I went to read in bed before sleeping, I found myself too tired to concentrate. Instead, I started to find time during the day to read, which worked much better for me. Experimenting and figuring out what time of the day best works for you is a great way to get into the flow of reading.
- Keep Track
Some readers will keep notebooks with the books they have read to keep track of their thoughts and ratings. I personally like using an app, which serves the same purpose. It helps me keep track of what I’ve read, what I liked, and what I thought of each book. The app I currently use is ‘Goodreads’ however ‘StoryGraph’ is another popular app. These apps also allow users to see which books are popular and what other people are reading — creating a community feeling.
- Join a Bookclub
My last tip is to join a book club! Now, this can take many shapes. It can be you and some friends reading the same book, a club at your local library, or even you and a friend recommending different books to each other and discussing them! Having people to talk to about what you are reading keeps you stimulated and builds connections.
Most importantly, reading, just like any other hobby, is supposed to be fun and an outlet. It’s okay to take a break for a few days or weeks if needed. It’s okay to put down a book the moment it no longer serves you. And it’s okay to take your time with reading, it’s not a competition! In the age of social media, especially apps like TikTok, hobbies we love must turn into obsessions or we are not doing them right. Which simply is not the case. Do what works for you and pick up books that you enjoy! Happy reading!