They say that falling in love is a wonderful experience. And, that is, especially true if you are falling in love with reading. Have you lost interest in reading lately? Were you an avid reader in the past, but just don’t seem to have the time to read now? Or, perhaps you never really cared much for reading in the first place. No matter what your reading background is, there are ways to get back on the reading track and fall in love with reading again.
How to Fall in Love with Reading
The crush stage
When you fall in love with someone, you typically go through the crush stage first. It’s that “love at first sight can’t get enough of you” phase. This can happen with books too! My first book-crush was on “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. After reading this series, I was on the hook for anything and everything that C.S. Lewis wrote.
When you are trying to get back into reading again, it’s important to find something that you love and that truly interests you. Something that gives you that “I can’t get enough of this” feeling. If you’re not sure where to start, ask family and friends for recommendations of authors or books that they have enjoyed.
The awkward stage
Just as relationships can be awkward when you are trying to figure out another person’s likes and dislikes, finding something that you enjoy reading can be tricky. If you have been in a reading slump, it might take a little time to figure out your likes and dislikes. Try reading something completely different than your typical genre. Have you ever considered reading graphic novels? They are becoming increasingly popular with many different genres and styles to choose from. Or, how about reading the classics? You won’t know if you like something until you give it a try.
The let’s just be friends stage
Let’s face it, not all relationships are meant to be. Sometimes it’s good to “just be friends.” It’s the same thing with reading books. I’ve heard people say that they start a book and feel like they “have to finish it” even when they aren’t enjoying it. I say, let it go. Reading should not feel like a chore. Of course, there may be times that you will need to read something that is required for work or school that doesn’t exactly float your boat, and that’s okay. However, if you are reading for enjoyment and it isn’t working, maybe it’s time to break up.
The insecurity stage
Insecurity is common in relationships, and it can set in at any time. This is especially true in reading if you have struggled with it in the past. If you struggle with reading, you are not alone. One suggestion would be the use of audio books. Learning Ally is the largest audio book lender in the country. They provide access to audio books for struggling readers.
Remember not to get discouraged on your reading journey. Read regularly, read various materials, underline as you read and practice active reading by asking yourself questions about the text you are reading. By doing these types of things you will increase your reading comprehension. Don’t be intimidated by reading or let insecurity upend your relationship with reading.
The run around stage
Getting the run around from someone isn’t the greatest experience, however, when you are getting back into reading a little running around can be beneficial. Visit your local library. They are great resources for old and new readers alike. Not only are there thousands of books to choose from but there is always someone on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you might have. New and used bookstores are also great places to find the next reading-love of your life.
The building stage
Once you know what you like to read, you will want to spend more and more time reading. This is the time to build upon what you have learned about your reading preferences. If you enjoy reading autobiographies, you might branch out to read autobiographical fiction. Or if you like a particular author, you may find recommendations for writers with a similar style.
Another way to build on your reading is to start a book club with your friends or join an online reading group. Lively book discussions are a great way to spice up your reading life.
The acceptance stage
This is where everything seems to click and you begin to feel secure in your relationship. In reading, you become secure in knowing what you enjoy. You can’t wait to finish what you are currently reading so you can read the next book in the series or the next book that you have waiting in reserves. You focus on your reading goals which could be for enjoyment, learning, or generally becoming a better reader. You become connected and invested in your reading journey.
The stability stage
Laying a good, solid foundation for reading will make you feel good about your reading habits. Dedicate time to reading each day or each week. It doesn’t matter if it’s at lunchtime or near bedtime, make time to read because you realize how important it is in your life. This is the time to feel content and committed to your reading relationship. Take your time to enjoy and savor each book you read.
Falling in love with reading is not always a “love at first sight” kind of thing. It might take establishing some good routines and habits to get you into the swing of reading again. However, persistence pays off in relationships and in reading, so don’t give up. Remember that there is something out there for everyone. In the long run, you will be happy that you stayed committed to your reading relationship.
Photo courtesy Pixabay/JakobAir