Although I didn’t stop reading, somethings changed for me over the past few years. I’ve been reading more books, but have been reading less good books. I haven’t been really sucked into a book, became emotionally attached to the characters, or closed it after finishing it and want to just start over. It feels like I’m reading just to read, and somewhere along the line, I lost that special something that made reading so enjoyable. I was left wondering how to get back into reading.
This year, I have less time to read than in past years. I also finished my goal of reading 52 books/year and so I’m ready for a fresh start. I‘m taking this opportunity to get back into reading, and today I’m going to list out how I’m going to do it. Hopefully, this will help anyone who has lost their spark for reading want to rekindle their interest. Or maybe, for someone who never really got into reading, but wants to.
How to Get Back into Reading
Let’s kick that reading rut! Here are some of my tips (and what I am going to personally do) on how to get back into reading and get out of a reading rut.
1. Be Selective About What You Read
Maybe you’re already someone who reads, but you’re feeling yourself slip out of it. Or, maybe you’re someone who hasn’t read in years and wants to get into it. Whether you’re trying to rekindle your interest or exploring a new (or long lost) interest, be selective about what you read. Nothing puts me in a reading rut like reading book after book and just having the same indifferent opinion about them. You need to find that 5-star book that’s going to grip you at the edge of your seat, make you fall in love with the characters (or content), and engage you.
For me, this means that this year I’m choosing 12 books (at least one/month) carefully. When you read a lot of books, usually it doesn’t matter if you’re picking the best or most interesting book since you move on so fast. It doesn’t make for a very intentional reading list. I’d continue reading series that didn’t engage me just because I want to finish.
If you’ve given a book an adequate chance and you’re just not into it, then don’t finish it! Or, if you’re picking out a book and are iffy about whether or not you’re actually interested in it, pass for now. Be selective about what you read and chose the book you’re dying to crack open.
2. Read Physical Books
From my experience by reading a lot of books on my phone or listening to them by audiobook, it’s harder to become engaged. I honestly took this for granted all through the pandemic as I was checking out virtual books from my library. I read my first physical book in months and it is a game-changer!
So, if you’re not opposed to trading out your kindle or phone for a book or two, try a physical book. Better yet, buy a book that interests you!
3. Make it a Treat for Yourself
It’s a different kind of feeling buying a book for yourself rather than checking one out from the library. I love the library, it’s great and there’s no way I would be able to buy every single book that I read. That would be insanely expensive and I would have no room to keep them anywhere. But buying a book every once in a while for yourself, and making it a ‘treat’ changes the way you approach reading the book.
Maybe for you, this means going to your local used book store once a month to pick out a new book. Another option is Book of the Month, a monthly book subscription box.
Getting my Book of the Month box was what inspired this post. It broke me out of my reading rut. I was actually excited for the first time in a while to read a book. Flipping through the website, I found books I’ve been dying to read that have over 40 holds at my library that I wouldn’t be able to read for at least a couple of months. Plus, getting a subscription box in the mail just feels like you’re getting a present (one that you knew was coming but maybe forgot about).
You don’t have to buy every book you read for yourself, but maybe once a month you can treat yourself to the book that you’ve been most anticipating reading.
4. Create Little Reading Rituals
Creating an ambiance and little reading rituals like lighting your favorite candle or sitting in that super comfortable chair with a fuzzy blanket (you get my drift), can create a more enjoyable experience. To me, there’s something slightly reminiscent of reading textbooks when I’m in certain parts of my house (which is not enjoyable). Disassociate that part of your mind by adding a little ambiance.
5. Make Time
Maybe you’re wondering how to get back into reading because you don’t feel like you have enough time. I totally feel that! It’s why I am going to be cutting back so much! The average person can read 30-40 pages/hour. Your reading speed generally increases the more you read, but let’s go off the average. If a book is around 300 pages, it might take around 9 hours to read that book.
Here are some of my tips on how to make time to read:
- Make time by reading a little every day. Reading rather than watching TV before bed can also improve your sleep if you’re not reading it on your phone because blue light can disrupt sleep.
- Try audiobooks on your commute, while making dinner, or getting ready in the morning. If the narrator is reading too slow, you are also usually able to speed audiobooks up to 2x the normal speed.
- Eliminate any distractions so that you’re not having to read the same paragraph 3 times (from experience).
- Watch less TV. Swap out one show and dedicate that time to be able to read.
This post on CamilleStyles.com on how to make more time to read books and why you should is also really great!
Books I Recommend
I hope those tips were helpful to get you out of your reading rut. If you’re looking for that next great read, here are some books I love and recommend. I know that everyone likes different genres, so I tried to include a variety.
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Genre: YA, LGBTQ, Contemporary, Romance) – [click here for Goodreads reviews and synopsis]
- The Women in Cabin 10 (Genre: Mystery/Thriller) – [click here for Goodreads reviews and synopsis]
- Red Queen (Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopian) – [click here for Goodreads reviews and synopsis]
- And Then There Were None (Genre: Murder Mystery/ Thriller) – [click here for Goodreads reviews and synopsis]
- The Lovely Bones (Genre: Fiction, Mystery) – [click here for Goodreads reviews and synopsis]
- Alienated (Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Romance) – [click here for the Goodreads reviews and synopsis]
- The Time Traveler’s Wife (Genre: Fiction, Romance) – [click here for Goodreads reviews and synopsis]
If you have any book suggestions that have helped you overcome a reading rut, be sure to leave that in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out Book of the Month if that interests you and use my referral code to grab your first book for $5!
For more on reading/books, check out one of the posts below:
- The Books I’m Reading this Spring
- The Best Books I’ve Read in Quarantine
- 10 Books You Should Absolutely Read this Fall