Remember those days as a kid when reading was better than watching a movie? If you were a serious and ambitious sort, Peter Pan, The Hobbit, Little Women, and Treasure Island filled your days with whimsy and adventure, while giving you the sense that you were “reading hard books.” If you were a more fun-loving kid, Magic Treehouse, Harry Potter, and Goosebumps probably occupied your time, filling your head with sights and sounds as vivid as any film.
Then, remember how you started high school? Went to university? Reading became a chore.
Trust me, I got an English degree: I know how hard reading can seem. It starts to feel like you’re physically stuffing words in your brain—a task as hard as running a 5k in the rain. Reading “for fun” becomes absolutely laughable. You’ve been in this library staring at black type for six hours, you just want some human contact for crying out loud!
But then summer hits or you graduate. Your time is your own again. Movies are starting to seem flat. Boring, almost.—as unbelievable as that is…
What’s everyone else reading these days? Fifty Shades of—oh heck no.
The most important thing to do is simply: read what you want. Teachers have been telling you what to read for years now. It’s your turn! Don’t read “The Summer’s Hottest Must Reads.” Read what looks interesting to you. Go on Amazon and use the “look inside” feature to see if a book reads the way you like. Every author has their own voice, and some resonate better with certain readers than they do with me or anyone else.
For me, this meant going straight to the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction, All the Light We Cannot See. And it was love at first read.
I remembered everything I had loved about reading, like that transported quality of being in a different era, place, or persona than your own; the creativity of fleshing out the words you’re reading in your head; the challenge of learning new words, solving plot puzzles, and trying to understand each character. I teared up, I laughed, I felt alternately anxious and exhilarated, but most importantly, I read voraciously. It was a beautiful and fulfilling reunion with books—and with that, I launched back into the literary world with verve and delight, ready to read again.
How do you get yourself excited about reading again if you’ve been in a funk?
YouTube Channel: Hot Key Books
Featured image via Gabriella’s Kitchen