It comes as a massive shock to most people; friends, family and strangers, that I can read a book in a week and average about 25 a year, but to me not having a book on the go seems too strange to imagine because I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember.
But then again, it isn’t for everyone. For me sure, it’s easy because I can’t stand reality TV, soaps or adverts every 15 minutes, so watching on-demand or Netflix and Amazon Prime tend to limit how often I actually sit down in front of the tv. This is why I always have a book on my bedside table and an ever-growing ‘to read’ pile congregating around my bedroom.
Now I’m not saying everyone has to read a mile a minute and buy a book a week (keep me away from the book aisle in the supermarket because I’ll forget the food items I came looking for), because if you’re just looking to get started that will surely put you off immediately.
So, if you’re looking for some tips to slowly start sinking yourself into the literary world, look no further.
Don’t start by throwing yourself into the deep end and forcing yourself to read the longest and most complicated book you can find. Pick something that really grips you with the synopsis and set a target of one chapter a day before bed, or instead of sitting in front of the screens. And once you start breezing through your first target, add a chapter a week if that feels reasonable.
DON’T FORCE IT
If you’ve picked a book you thought sounded good, or literally bought it because the cover looked nice, but it turned out to be the biggest bore you’ve come across, don’t push yourself to read it all. It’ll deter you when it comes to picking new books in the future.
READ WHAT YOU ENJOY
This may seem pretty obvious, but don’t read something just because others have liked it, or it’s a new release and top of the charts because the chances are you might not want to pick it up as often as one you really wanted to read. This goes for both fiction and non-fiction and all different genres. Yes, you might like thrillers but just because you liked Stephen King’s movie adaptation of IT, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll like the book. That being said, once you find an author you like, try a handful of their pieces of work and then branch out from there to other similar authors, then soon enough you’ll find your groove with what your favourite genres are.
Recently, audiobooks and podcasts have become the newest craze giving you the perfect opportunity to get some sort of book in your system and let’s face it, they’re much easier to use in the gym or when driving to and from work – both of which are ideal times to lose yourself in a story without even realising. Similarly, downloading the Kindle app on your phone or tablet or actually using a Kindle can be much easier than lugging a 1000-page novel everywhere you go. You may enjoy the feel and smell of physical books but sometimes they aren’t as practical.
Picking commuting times or the 30 minutes before bed to read are always the best times. Reading when travelling makes the journey go quicker while reading before bed stops you looking at your phone and helps you sleep better from not looking at the bright screen lights (in the case of reading before bed, try not to use your phone or tablet).
CREATE A ‘TO READ’ PILE
I said earlier I have an ever-growing ‘to read’ pile, and this comes in handy when you’re on the last chapter of your current read as you know you have another one to pick straight up. This isn’t to say that as soon as you’ve seen the last full stop, exclamation mark or ellipsis that you need to begin the next one immediately, just that you know you have the choice.
The last piece of advice I have for those who want to get into reading is to share what you read. Not only can you pass on the books you enjoyed to somebody else, but it’s also a great way to discover new recommendations for future reads.
You don’t have to push yourself to finish a book in so many days, because you’ll only be let down if you don’t accomplish the goal. So, take your time to find your groove and find the ones you like the most. Then, next thing you know you’ll have a mini library of all your favourite books.