How to Make Yourself Read More (and Actually Enjoy It)
Reading can be a treasured experience that transports you to new worlds, invites you to explore new ideas and fills your heart with joy—or, it can be like pulling teeth.
We'd never shame people who aren't into reading—some people just aren't built for it, for whatever reason—but for those who wish they were avid readers but just aren't, we believe that where there's a will, there's a way. Trying to make yourself read more (and actually enjoy it)? Here are our top tips.
Start With What You Want to Read
While this may sound obvious to some people, if you're getting into reading for fun, you should always start with what interests you, as opposed to what you think you should read, or what other people want you to read. If you're in school, there will likely be reading assignments that don't interest you that much, but beyond reading those, you shouldn't impose any additional reading that bores you, because that'll only make you more discouraged. If you start reading something for pleasure and it just doesn't vibe with you, don't force it. There's no shame in putting it down. But when you find that one book that is right for you, getting engaged with it just might get your momentum going enough to amp you up to read anything.
Try Comic Books
We believe that reading is reading, and while it might seem like cheating, anything that gets you in the mood to consume the written word counts. There are some spectacular stories to be found in the pages of comic books, and just because there are fewer words and there are pictures guiding the story along doesn't make that narrative any less worthy. Plus, once you've made your way through some excellent comics, you might feel more driven to try novels—and if you happen to be reading something by an author who also writes novels, you'll have an amazing jumping-off point for when you plan to make that transition.
Bring a Book With You Everywhere
When it comes to reading, there's no bigger barrier than not having a book to peruse in the first place. The solution? Bring something to read—whether it's a physical book or an e-reader loaded with some stories. The next time you're tempted to scroll through social media to look at the same posts for the fifth time, try reading a few pages of the book, instead. You'll be surprised how much progress you can make if you chip away at your reading slowly, and chances are that time will seem to fly way faster than if you were bored on Insta.
Read With Friends
While book clubs are an excellent way to stick to a book and have people holding you accountable, we understand that they're not for everyone. If that sounds like too much of a commitment, see if you can recruit a couple of friends to read the same book as you. Chances are that they have at least some similar tastes and interests to you, so it won't be too tough to agree on a book, and by setting chapter goals and chatting about the story, you can all get excited about the content you're reading while being inspired to keep up.
Incorporate Them Into Your Nighttime Routine
Have trouble falling asleep at night? If you love winding down before bed on your phone, its white light might be to blame, signaling your brain to stay awake because it appears "light" out. We love adding reading to our nighttime routines because it makes us put our phones away—which is just good sleep hygiene—and because the bed is also a quiet, safe place that offers fewer distractions and makes it easier to get into the stories we love. And even if you get completely sucked into a book and stay up past your bedtime, at least that time won't be spent tossing and turning!
While some people decry listening to audiobooks as "not reading," we are definitely not in that crowd. Whether you have difficulty processing words visually on a page, have issues with attention, are too busy to sit down and read or simply want to relax and not have to worry about it, audiobooks can be an amazing way to soak up information in a more passive way. If you have a tough time staying focused on audiobooks when you're just sitting around, you just might find that doing another activity—such as driving, dishes or tidying the room—helps you hone in on the narrative. And if services like Audible are too expensive for you, we have some news for you about how to get access to audiobooks for free…
Befriend the Library
When it comes to becoming an avid reader, the library will become your best friend. Chances are that your library is packed with books that will interest you, and if you're looking for something specific and they don't have it, they may even be able to lend it out from another library in the system. Librarians are a huge help. Even better, most library systems also have extensive eBook systems that can be accessed with apps like Libby, so you can borrow books (and audiobooks!) digitally without having to worry about picking up and returning them. And best of all, libraries are free.
Want some seasonal reading recs? Click HERE for our favorite books to read poolside this summer.