By Lamees Shaban
If you’ve been experiencing a lack of literature in your life recently, the idea of picking up a book again or downloading an eBook onto your reading device may seem a daunting prospect. But reading dry spells happen to even the biggest bibliophiles we know. Whether it’s because you’re too caught up in your daily demands, or simply because other hobbies and interests have slowly sucked up your free time (you can blame the entire internet on this one), neglecting books is a common phenomenon amongst booklovers from time to time.
But don’t be so ready to give up the written word just yet! The premise of World Book Day after all is to encourage and inspire others to read – So this year, I’ve decided to provide those experiencing a literary drought with five simple tips on how you can start reading books again. Get ready to dust off your kindle and be consumed by the enchanting world of books once more.
Searching books that are recommended for amateur readers is often a great way to start. Don’t be put off by the term ‘beginner’ – there are so many book recommendations for first-time readers that could work just as well if you’re simply trying to get back into reading again. Additionally, you can take this one step further and download the audiobook version. That way, it opens up more opportunities for you to get some reading done if time is your issue.
2. Reread old favorites
There’s nothing wrong with going back to the beloved books that made you fall in love with reading in the first place. Revisiting a favorite novel not only guarantees that you’ll enjoy it, but will also ensure that you’ll stick to it until the very last page. It’s one of the most sure-fire ways to refresh your hunger for some good literature.
3. Read what you truly think you’ll enjoy
Although this might seem obvious, it’s very easy to be influenced by whatever is currently popular in the book world, or by a friend who simply can’t stop recommending Dostoevsky’s works, leading you to struggle through a book you aren’t keen on. Sometimes, reading out of your comfort zone isn’t a bad thing at all – but don’t force yourself to read a book simply because you believe it will make you appear smarter, or because it’s #1 on the book lists. If you enjoy romance fiction, don’t be ashamed to search for books centralized around relationships. If non-fiction is where your heart is, go ahead and pick up a biographical title.
4. Set realistic reading goals
Creating broad or rigorous goals such as “Starting tomorrow, I want to read a book a week” are, most of the time, simply unrealistic and will most likely get you nowhere. Leisure reading is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, so don’t feel pressured by book bloggers that start their blog posts with “So I only read 100 books this year…” Instead, try setting smaller, short-term goals such as “I want to start reading for 10 minutes a day”, followed by “I aim to read one book per 2 months”, and so on. Not only will it feel great when you do achieve these goals, but it will make your journey back into reading smoother, more enjoyable and much more achievable.
5. Get involved with the book community
Whether it’s Goodreads, book blogs, YouTube or Facebook groups, people who love reading are all around you – you just have to look for them. By engaging in the literary conversation, you can expose yourself to new books and get inspired by people who have a passion for all things books, which can in turn spark your own flame again. Knowing what your town bookstores and publishers are up to can also engage you in the local literary news, letting you know about events, sales or new releases that you have easy access to.
The benefits of reading books are too many to ignore, and the fulfillment that comes from it is simply unparalleled. We should all be encouraging each other to read a little more each day, or even inspire those that have never picked up a book before to give it a try. So start reading again today – you’ll thank yourself tomorrow.