If you’re a life-long lover of books, it can be very disheartening to wake up one day and realise that you just don’t seem to love it anymore. Whether it’s because finding time to read is a struggle between what you want to do and what you should do, or if it’s just because you haven’t been enjoying what you’ve read, there is hope. Here are some tips to help you reKINDLE your love affair with the written word, and enjoy reading again.
1) Designate Some Time to Reading
There is work to do, laundry to fold, or errands to run, and somehow reading gets associated with wasting time. The joy that we get from relaxing with a good book now comes along with negative feelings of guilt or laziness. A good way to combat this is to associate reading with self-care. Tell yourself, and your family and friends, that you need to devote 6 or 8 hours (or even a whole weekend) to reading. Doing something refreshing for yourself is not a waste of time; give yourself permission to forget about life’s problems and lose yourself in a book. MORE: 1 Simple Habit Guaranteed To Lower Your TBR Pile
2) Minimise Distractions
One of the quickest ways to lose our love for reading is to not be allowed to finish a page in between distractions. You may unconsciously start associating reading with frustration. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb, shut the bedroom door, and tell your family or roommates you’re resting. This lets you enjoy your reading without the anxiety of the next interruption.
3) Consider Beta-Reading
Beta-reading is the art of reading a draft of a book, and then telling an author how they can improve the book. A good author knows the value of a strong beta-reader, and if you’re a bibliophile, you may have a lot to offer. The best part? You can get paid to simply read a book, and then tell them what you thought. Now, don’t expect to make millions here, but $25 is not unreasonable. This is a great way to get some quality, distraction-free reading time. Just explain to your spouse or your kids that you are “working.” It’s a good way to get that “permission” to let yourself enjoy a book!
4) Share Your Thoughts
When is the last time you really spent some time dissecting what you thought of a book you read? Sometimes, we get so caught up in being able to say we read, that we aren’t paying attention to what we’re reading. Create a blog or website where you can review books on your own terms, and spark some discussion. It may remind you of what you love in a book, or what you hate, and gives you the opportunity to reacquaint yourself with why you are a reader. MORE: How Do YOU Handle Your TBR Pile?
5) Enjoy Something Light
Trying to keep up with best-selling literary works and reading the things you think you should be reading is a frustration you just don’t need. If a book doesn’t keep you engaged, you’re going to start hating picking it up just to finish it. It’s okay to enjoy a mystery novella or a romance novel just for the fun of it. Finishing a light, fun read can be more rewarding than slogging through a book you just don’t enjoy.
No one said you have to be holding a book in your hands in order to read it; audiobooks can be a wonderful way to bridge the gap between getting things done and getting your book-fix. While many people consider audiobooks to be “cheating,” ignore that. If they give you an opportunity to enjoy a book while getting in your workout, commuting to work, or cleaning the house, do it.
7) Take a Break!
It may sound counter-intuitive, but sometimes deciding to take a break from reading for a few days- or weeks- can help to reset your book habits. At some point, you will find that you’re craving the escape that you get when you lose yourself in a book, and you’ll be itching to read again. MORE: How To Keep Your TBR Pile Fresh
BIO: Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at BizDb.co.nz – an online resource of relevant business information.