When I was in elementary school, I remember the excitement and anticipation I felt when it was time to go to the library. There were endless possibilities that awaited me there, and I had the freedom to choose any story, any world to dive into. However, as the years passed, reading became more synonymous with school work, and I began to spend my free time doing other things. Reading didn’t seem so magical to me anymore.
Before social media, Netflix, and the other distractions that have taken root in today’s society, books were a beloved fixture of our leisure time. We were able to be carried away by the words of another; an escape from reality and the stresses of life around us. Books also served to provoke us into action, to extend our thoughts, and even to transform our lives.
If you, like many others, have fallen prey to other distractions of our current culture, and the only things you read are emails and Instagram captions, it’s not too late to get back to reading. If you are out of practice, or you haven’t picked up a book in ages, here are some practical tips to get you back into reading again.
Schedule a Time
Choose a time of day, with no distractions or responsibilities, when you have the opportunity to fully devote yourself to reading. It may be early in the morning, before the children get up for school, during your lunch break, or after the kids are in bed. Reading in bed with your partner is also a great way to share a hobby together. You can read different books, the same book, or even read out loud.
Read for Pleasure
Try choosing a book you really want to read, rather than opting for a classic work of literature because you think you “should.” The more you enjoy what you are reading, the more you will want to continue devoting time to this fun and educational pastime. Reading sets a great example for your children, encouraging them to begin to cultivate a love for books as well.
This is a great option for those of you who struggle to put down your phone or tablet. You can easily download something through a reading app, and you can take your reading material anywhere you go. Using a reading app will allow you save your progress across multiple devices, making reading easier than ever. You also don’t have to buy every single book that you want to read. You can use a subscription service like Kindle Unlimited or use Overdrive and check out books from your local library. Whenever you get a few minutes in your day, take a break from the internet or TV to read your book.
Set a Goal
If you need motivation, choose a tangible goal to strive for; perhaps to read two books month, or twenty books in a year. Besides just the number of books, you can also expand the types of books you read. You might want to learn more about the impact of books banned in our culture by reading those works that have sparked debate in our society. Or you may want to return to books you loved as a child, vowing to read those nostalgic classics. Whatever goal you set yourself, ensure it’s both practical and reasonable. You still want to enjoy reading, so go for something that will both entertain and challenge you.
Join a Book Club
There are many perks to joining a group of like-minded people, including enjoying the community of other readers, while having the incentive to start reading again. You will discover books you never would have heard about otherwise and make lifelong friendships as well. You could join a book club for moms as a way to make mom friends or find a group nearby to meet up with. Joining a site like Goodreads is a great way to track the books you’ve write, read and write reviews, and find other book-lovers. See what I’m reading and add me as a friend on Goodreads here!
We are living in a world where books aren’t given the respect they deserve because of more accessible forms of entertainment. Books are too precious to become a relic of the past. Choose to read for enjoyment, escapism, and fun or for education, discussion, and debate. Read to ensure books stay relevant in our lives for many more years to come.