Reading is an excellent habit to develop. You can read about anything that interests you and acquire an infinite amount of knowledge. You might not ever be able to travel to Antarctica in real life, but you can “be there” in a flash with a book. You can not go back in time in person, but with a good book, you can travel back in your imagination.
Young children love to read and to have books read to them. Unfortunately, many of us lose interest or simply cannot find the time to read once we become adults and are overwhelmed by life.
If you want to bring the joy of reading back into your life, try some of these ideas to rediscover the joy of reading:
Read Books You Really Want to Read
Avoid reading something just because you think you should. Not everyone needs to read War and Peace or Paradise Lost. Try reading old Superman comic books if that is what you really want to read. You are an adult and are no longer in school. You have a choice to read many types of books, or different genres and variety. And you are not looking for a grade on how much you read or what you read.
In fact, last year I read a book called “Prairie Fires” with my book club group. It was a huge book about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose. I thought it was interesting and it inspired me to read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books that I had read when I was a little girl. I started reading them at the beginning of the year and thoroughly enjoyed them. Reading that series of books again brought back so many memories.
Create the Time to Read
Create the time to read even if it is only for 20 minutes before bed or during your lunch hour. You do not have to think you do not have the time because of your busy life, you watch too much TV, or spend too much time surfing the Internet. Let go of some of those things and read instead. You do not even have to read every day but decide you want to try and read every other day or once or twice a week. Just decide that you want to read more and create the time to do it. Reading can become a habit if you do it more regularly. And the benefits outweigh letting go of some of those other things that take up your time.
When Reading, Only Read
When you are reading, it is time to only read. It is not a time for one eye to be on your book and the other eye on the television or stuck in a social media app. To get the most out of reading you need to focus on the book in front of you. Commit to just reading and get the most out of the storyline or the information contained in the book. If you concentrate wholly on the book and the story you are reading, you may quickly find that you enjoy it much more than the television. When reading you use your own imagination and creativity.
You Do Not Have to Finish Every Book You Start
Like many of us, you must suffer through some things in your life that are less than exciting, but the books you choose to read do not have to be one of those things. If a book you chose lacks excitement or does not hold your interest, put it down and choose another one. Life is too short to be bored by a book you are not absolutely enjoying. There are way too many books out there for you to have to suffer through a book that is not worth the time to read.
Take Your Time and Enjoy What You Read
Do not worry about how quickly you read. It does not matter how long it takes you to finish a book. When you choose a book to read the important thing is to have a blast reading it. If you begin reading regularly you will find your reading speed will increase over time. Take the time to enjoy what you choose to read.
Look at Book Reviews
If you are like a lot of people you may not know what you want to read or maybe you are looking for something different than you normally read. It is a good idea to check out book reviews before you choose something to read. Websites like Amazon.com have thousands and thousands of reviews and sometimes you can download a sample of the book before you purchase it. Downloading a sample of a book that looks interesting is a quick and easy way to figure out if you might like it before you purchase it. There are many best-selling book lists out there and many of them offer reviews of the book. If you are not quite sure what you would like to read, spend a little time looking through book reviews and find something you think you may enjoy. (I have a few reviews on this site, and working on more).
Get a Library Card
One of the things I remember about being a child was getting a library card. I loved to read and going to the library and choosing a few books I wanted to read was so much fun. For many adults, going to the library has lost its luster. Sometimes we associate it with being in school or college and having to study and research to write a paper, but if you love to read and do not want to break the bank on purchasing books go to your local library and get a library card. Free is good. Your local library can be a wonderful place. Take advantage of your tax dollars and check it out.
Check Out Used Bookstores
Most communities have at least one used bookstore and sometimes more than one. At a used bookstore not only can you find a lot of books that have reduced prices, sometimes at least 50% off, you can also sell the books you have already finished reading. Books are not trophies that need to be kept on your shelves. If you are not going to read it again, why save it? You may even decide to donate your books to a local charity when you are done and if you did not spend a lot on the book it will not hurt as much giving it away to someone else to enjoy.
Join a Book Club
Another good idea to help get back into reading is to consider joining a book club.
You can read a book on your own and then discuss it with others. You will learn a lot more about the book and gain a new social circle, too. Reading is a solitary activity, but there are aspects of reading that can be very social.
I have been part of a book club for over ten years and we have read a lot of books that I may never have chosen to read but was glad I did. Although I may not have liked every book we have read, I gained a lot of insight into different aspects of life, community, social issues, and other subjects. Becoming part of a book club opened my eyes to so many genres as well. And our group evolved into more than just reading and became so much fun.
Reading opens your mind up to so many new possibilities. There is so much you can learn. Choosing a few different things such as reading books you want to read, creating time to read, browsing reviews to find a good book, joining a book club to broaden your horizons, and getting a library card where reading can even be free will help bring the joy of reading back into your life. Now, go find a great book that fascinates you and carve out some time in your life to read it. You’ll be glad you did!
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