The non-book-nerd's guide to loving reading again
Reading—for a lot of us, it's a love/hate relationship. Although books can transport us to entirely different worlds and keep us rooting for protagonists, reading can easily start to feel like a chore.
When I was little, it was hard to get me to put a book down. By the time I was a high-school freshman, though, I was only reading because it was assigned and I'd have to write an essay on the book. Not only did this make reading the most boring thing *ever,* it was hard for me to understand the plot and characters. I fell completely out of touch with the basic point of reading—enjoying the story.
This past summer, I set out to fall in love with reading again. Two months in, and I've already crossed two books off my TBR! So how can you rekindle your love of literature? Let me break it down:
Choose books that interest you
When you're reading for English class, you don't necessarily have control over what books you get to read. Because of this, you're already set up for failure. In order to read more and enjoy it, you have to choose a book you're excited about. If you enjoyed a book by a certain author, check out their other stuff! With the worldwide web at your fingertips, check out websites like Likewise, which give you book recs based on your past faves. Another great resource? TikTok. Affectionately known as BookTok, the reader side of the app is filled to the brim with ratings, summaries and other fun book-based content (fanfic, anyone?).
Start a TBR
Now that you've chosen one book to read, it won't be long before you have 10 novels you're interested in. Open up the Notes app on your phone or get out the brush pens and washi tape, because it's time to make a To-Be-Read list. Put your current read at the top, and anytime you hear about a good book or get a recommendation from a friend, add it to the list! A TBR list can help you track your progress and keep you motivated to get through books so you can cross them off your list or reach the one you're really looking forward to.
You know how people always say you should sit at a desk when you do your homework because it helps with focus and productivity? Don't do that when you're reading for fun. Get cozy instead! Get in the zone by lighting your fave candle, making some tea and surrounding yourself with *all* the comfy pillows and blankets. Turn on some ambient background music (We love Peaceful Piano or Study Jazz on Spotify) and you're all set. Once you open to your page and start reading, you won't want to do anything else because—let's face it— who would want to leave such a comfy spot?
Carve out time for reading
I know what you're thinking—if I force myself to read every day, isn't that making it a task? Isn't that going against the whole point of this article? The thing is, after not considering reading a hobby for so long, you have to do some training to get back into it. Don't think of reading time as something you're being forced to do, think of it as something you can do to relax and recharge. This positive reframe will help you look forward to reading. Before you know it, you'll be reading throughout your day, not just when you've designated time for it.
Sounds doable, right? Just think of all the benefits! You'll live through so many experiences (real and imagined), spice up your everyday vocabulary and most importantly, you'll rediscovered all the best things about reading.