How to Become a Reader, Even if You Really HATE Reading

We all know reading is good for us, but that doesn't mean we all love doing it.

While some people are born natural readers and can devour five books at a time, some of us struggle to get through five sentences. It can be challenging to make yourself read when you genuinely don't enjoy it. However, there are many benefits to reading. It strengthens your brain, reduces stress, alleviates depression and increases our ability to empathize, according to Health Line. The good news is that you can train yourself to be a reader by introducing new habits. Follow these five steps and we promise you'll find it much more enjoyable.

Find a Genre You Love

The first step in becoming a reader is nearly narrowing in on genres and topics you find interesting. If you dislike reading, it might be because you're reading the wrong books. There are so many different genres like mystery, adventure, nonfiction, autobiographies, romance, comedy and science fiction. You can experiment and read books from different genres, which will help you understand what attracts your interest. If you have no clue where to start, make a list of topics interested in finding books about that topic. Another way to figure out what genre you might be interested in is by looking at what other media types you consume. If you love The Bachelor, you might like romance novels or check if your favorite comedian has an autobiography.

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Start with a Small Goal

It's okay if you're not a speed reader. The great thing about reading for enjoyment is that you don't have to finish it by a specific date, as you do in school. If you're starting to read again, make a small goal for yourself. You can choose to read five pages a day or read for 15 minutes. You can slowly increase the goal with time. You'll be surprised how you might end up reading more than expected because you're not putting pressure on yourself to finish the book in one night.

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Get Your Friends Involved

Your friends can help you become a reader. You can ask your friends if they want to start a book club. It doesn't have to be formal like a school project. Your book club can be you and one other friend. It's more fun to read a book when you can discuss it with someone else. You can also ask your friends for author and book recommendations. They might have great suggestions!

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Create a Good Reading Environment

One reason many people dislike reading is that they can't stay focused. You're trying to read a book, but, oh hey, you got a text, and a new episode of WandaVision was just released, and the couch is uncomfortable, and you're craving an iced coffee, and suddenly you don't want to read anymore! Creating an environment without distractions will help you stay focused and fully absorb what you are reading. Start by finding a comfortable and quiet space in your house, burn a candle, play some soft music and put your phone on silent for 10 minutes. Not only will this help you focus, but it also associates books with comfort and calmness, which turns reading into excellent stress management coping strategy.

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You Don't Have to Finish Books

This one may shock you because we are always encouraged to finish what we start. Many people feel like they must complete a book even if they're not enjoying it. How are you supposed to enjoy reading if you are forcing yourself to read something you dislike? The secret to becoming a reader is knowing that you don't have to finish a book. Whether you're a chapter into it or halfway through, if you're not enjoying it, you can put it back on the shelf and find something else! Life is too short to read books that don't speak to you and pique your interest. Find a book that intrigues, educates, entertains or inspires you. Pick up a new one and see where it takes you.

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One of the best ways to set the ambiance for book reading is by getting cozy under a blanket and lighting your favorite candles. Check out THESE tricks and trips that will help you get the most burn out of every candle you burn.