Did you tear through books when you were in elementary school? Do you remember finishing the latest installment in your favorite series in a matter of days? Are you now struggling to finish a book after weeks of trying?
Can you even remember the last time you read a book for fun?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone.
Although 18-to-29-year-olds are the age group most likely to read for pleasure, it's not uncommon that young adults don't read as often as they did when they were younger. The fast-paced life of a student doesn't leave much time for reading that isn't for a class.
If you miss the days when the stack of books on your shelf didn't gather dust, here are some tips to help you get back into reading:
Read what's interesting to you.
This might seem obvious, but it's a reason why a lot of people start books and can't finish them. Reading a book because it's popular isn't always the right choice. Instead of choosing a book based on what critics like, think about what you like.
A good place to start with selecting a book is actually with movies and TV shows. Was there a show you started or movie you saw this year and loved? See if there's a book it's based on. This is a good reintroduction to reading for fun because it's a story you're already familiar with, so it's easy and enjoyable.
Obsessed with Oscar-nominated movies like Victoria & Abdul or Mudbound? Give the books a shot. Can't stop watching crime procedurals like NCIS and Criminal Minds? Pick up a mystery. Your favorite celebrity probably has a book out, too.
The internet is your friend.
Even if you don't read regularly, there's a good chance you know about e-books. While reading purists sometimes shy away from them, their convenience is unmatched. You never have to worry about forgetting your book at home if it's right on your phone.
Another option is audiobooks. While at first you might think of listening to a book as not really reading it, the end result is the same. You still get to know the story, and sometimes the narrator has a cool voice, which is a perk. It's a great way to ease your transition back into the habit of reading.
If you're looking for book recommendations, the internet is great for that too. Goodreads gives you ideas of what to read next based on books you've already read and liked. You can review books, browse by genre, and see what your friends are reading.
Set aside time to read.
This one is the hardest. You have to look at your schedule for the week or day, find time when you're not doing anything else, and designate that time for reading. It can be difficult because when you have free time, the natural thing to do is hit play on a Netflix episode. It's a struggle to make yourself read instead.
That's why specifically scheduling time to read is important, at least until you get back into the habit again. Setting a timer can be helpful. If you're still having issues with time, try deciding a certain amount to read instead. Start with one chapter, then expand to two, or start with twenty pages and then, later on, fifty.
If you intentionally set aside time to read every day or even a couple of times a week, it will eventually become natural.
What do you think?
Do you read often? Have any other tips to get back into reading that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below!