Getting back into reading

When I was younger, I would go to birthday parties and when picking me up, my mum would find me sitting in a corner reading away (yes, I was that kid). But as you get older, there is less and less time for it, and eventually, you can’t remember the last time you read because you wanted to.

If, like me, you would love to get back into reading (or have never been a reader and want to give it a go), here are some tips for choosing books, and actually finishing them:

Identify your favourite genres

The first step in picking a book would be to consider genres that you know you have enjoyed before. If you cannot remember your favourite book or do not have one (it can be hard to pick one), think about TV shows and films you enjoy. You can use your favourite genres to find books or even try reading the book they are based on if there is one but don’t forget there are often differences between books and adaptations.

Another option is to get recommendations from your family and friends. The bonus of this is that they may be happy to lend you the book, meaning if you don’t like it you don’t have to buy it first. Make sure you look after any borrowed books and actually return them. The likelihood is that, if they have felt confident in recommending it to you, it is one that they would like to have back. 

Online booklists

There are also loads of lists online for ‘books you should read before you die’, as well as recommendations for some shorter books that you may want to try, instead of diving straight into War and Peace.  There are a few links to lists like these here, here, and here. I know that the classics aren’t for everyone, so I have made sure those lists have some other recommendations as well but I would suggest trying a few classics, some of them are more interesting than you might think.

If the thought of reading a 450 page novel is what is putting you off reading, there are plenty of other options to ease yourself into it. There are short story or poetry collections to try, or you could look into graphic novels or manga. Sometimes the novelty of trying something different is what keeps you interested.

Small, achievable goals

When it comes to actually reading, some people prefer reading an entire book in one sitting. But, for those of us trying to get back into it, it is often far more beneficial to make small and achievable goals. This can be anything from reading a few pages without getting distracted, to trying to finish a chapter every day, or a book every couple of weeks. With that in mind, consistency is important. Whether that’s twenty minutes when you first wake up, an hour before bed, or a chapter during a break at work, make sure you’re trying to read a little bit every day.

Reading Challenges

There are tons of different reading challenge ideas online to try and keep you motivated as well. You can read your height in books, an A-Z of titles or authors, or simply set yourself a goal to read a certain number within a year. The online community of reading challenges can also be really helpful in keeping you going to achieve your goal.