Growing up, I was an avid reader. On average, I read about two books a week but as I got older, I had no time to read as much until I reached a point where I completely stopped reading for fun. The only reading I would do was read my university lecture notes.
Of course, I still missed reading for fun. Even though it is something I wasn’t doing as much anymore, reading is something I always mentioned when asked what I liked to do for fun. In 2020, I found a reading plan that I tried to follow and followed for about three books. I couldn’t keep up after that.
This year, however, one of my goals was to really fall in love with reading again. I missed falling in-love with fictional characters, crying at the end of an insanely good book and mentally living in and visiting different countries of the world. My reading goal this year was to read at least 12 books this year. One book per month. I am so glad to say that I am on track! I have 10 books so far and I’m onto my 11th book already. I am so proud of myself.
I usually share my thoughts on books I’ve read on Instagram. I was once asked about how I’m able to read as often as I do and that’s when I got the idea for this post. Instead of only telling you how I read as much as I currently do, I’ll tell you how I managed to get back into the reading habit after years of struggling to read books. This is, of course, in no particular order.
Ask For Recommendations
If you’re struggling to find a book to read, I highly recommend asking for recommendations or getting recommendations from somewhere. My favourite source of book inspiration has been bookstagram. I truly have a love hate relationship with that section of Instagram but it has only failed me once. Look up books that are similar to a book you enjoyed in the past and start from there. As I’m really trying to get into African Literature, two accounts I have been following and trusting for recommendations are @thebookshlf and @whatsrudoreading on Instagram. Check them out if that interests you.
I will say though, asking for recommendations is a very sensitive thing. Know who to ask. At least ask someone who understands your interests because I have received some terrible recommendations before.
Don’t Be Afraid To Stop Reading The Book
If you’re not enjoying it or you simply can’t get into it, put the book down. PUT. THE. BOOK. DOWN. This is something I struggled with because I felt guilty about giving up on books until I realised that sitting through an unenjoyable book is doing a disservice to myself. Put that book down and try something else.
You could always try it again later and discover you enjoy it then. I remember reading Emma by Jane Austen as a preteen and wondering what on earth I was reading. I tried it again as an adult and I loved it. There are also books I have struggled with this year that I just had to put away. For example, “The Color Purple”. I have failed to read that book. I will try it again another time. I tried it last week and I just couldn’t.
Judge Books By Their Cover
Unpopular opinion but I said what I said. When buying a new book I generally go for books that catch my eye first. I’ve found some really amazing books based on their covers. Of course, after finding a cover that catches your eye, be sure to read what the story is about and go for the story that catches your eye.
There’s no problem with judging books by their cover. Publishing houses put so much thought on book covers this year because know they need something catchy. A book I’m currently judging by the cover is “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”. I’ll tell you how that goes.
Set Aside Time To Read
Just like everything else in life, you have to be intentional about reading. I try to get at least an hour of reading done daily. This could be one continuous hour before bed, or spread out through out the day. I highly recommend setting time either in the morning or at night. Done continuously, it becomes a habit and can be done with ease.
I would love to read when I wake up but I get up at 5am to get ready for the day. An hour earlier means 4am and I don’t know who is waking up at that time. All I know is it isn’t me. What I do now currently works for me.
Go Easy On Yourself
Unless otherwise, you’re probably not getting a prize for reading 50 books. Take time to enjoy a book and get lost in it. You’ll have some really good reading days, some really bad ones and other times when you don’t want to read at all. Just allow yourself to go through all those moments gracefully. Going from not reading any book at all to reading one book is a huge accomplishment. Bask in that.
I really enjoyed writing this blogpost and I am really considering sharing a little bit more about the books I’ve read this year and my reading journey.
Let me know your thoughts on this! Do you read for fun? What other tips do you have for someone trying to get their reading groove back? Leave a comment below. Also, leave some book recommendations for me and anyone else in the comment section below.
For now, if you would like to keep up with my reading and know what I think about different books, follow my Instagram @wonxni.
Thanks for reading!