Yesterday marked 2 years since I finished my first book after starting reading again. There are a probably a few very complicated reasons I stopped reading, but there was one reason I started up again; I missed it! I was a big reader as a kid and my imagination suffered when I wasn’t reading. Instead of being able to see entire worlds in my head, everything was limited like a scene from TV. I’ve read 138 books since then so I thought I’d tell you what helped me start again.
Pick the right book!
When I first started reading again, I picked up Heat Wave by Richard Castle and it took me a couple weeks to finish it. But then I started The Hunger Games and read all three books in a week. Sometimes it’s just about finding the right book, some young adult or middle grade to ease you in, or a book you’ve seen the movie for already to help your imagination.
Get out the sticky notes!
When I first started reading again I used three different colours of the sticky tabs, one for writing I love (I still use this), one for words I knew in context but wanted to look up the meaning of later (anything I didn’t know I would ask Siri) and one for plot points I didn’t quite understand yet. For example, a character says something referring to their past but doesn’t explain what they mean- this will probably be explained later on so I stuck down a sticky note and went back to it at the end. I don’t do this anymore because I’m better at retaining information but it was definitely useful early on.
Make a reading routine!
There’s nothing like lighting a candle and curling up with a good book on a rainy afternoon with a cup of tea, as Phyllis would say. The weather may not always be controllable but a good reading routine is like a good sleep hygiene routine, it gets you in a state of mind to read. Condition yourself to be ready to read when you sit in a certain chair, drink a certain drink, smell a certain scent. Soon you’ll be able to read anywhere.
Read book blogs, watch booktube, scroll bookstagram, go to the library or book store, bring home something new, talk to people about books. Do anything that gets you pumped for reading and makes it something you really want to do, rather than something you feel you should do.
Everyone has set backs, everyone will hit a reading slump, everyone will pick up a book and not get into it. Stressing over it will do you no good. Put the book down, pick something else, or do something else. Your books will wait for you.