It’s easy to fall out of reading. Almost too easy.
Perhaps life got in the way. Perhaps you put your reading on pause to accommodate a major event. Perhaps your schedule shifted and you don’t know how to get back into reading.
I’ve been there. I’ve also been able to jump back in.
Like any commitment, you must choose to make time to read and follow through on your commitment. But there are ways to get back into reading without feeling like it’s a chore or a bore.
Here are five ways I got myself to read again:
Give It a Timeslot
When I wanted to get back into reading, I first examined how I was wasting time during the day. Turns out I was watching an extra hour of TV every night to unwind from a long day.
But television wasn’t enriching my life. So instead of watching a glowing screen before bed, I now read a book.
Now I fall asleep faster at night and wake up not dreading the alarm but ready for the day. And that says a lot when I often wake up at 4:30AM!
At first, it was hard making the adjustment. I grew comfortable sitting in my recliner chair for an extra hour at night “escaping” from the world. But seeing how it’s positively affected my sleeping habits after a few days made this reading habit stick.
Reading at night might not be convenient for you. I have a friend that wakes up an extra hour early to get in some reading time.
Choose a time during the day that works for you. Where do you waste time during your day? Can you shift some things around to make room for some reading time—even for twenty minutes?
Pursue That Page-Turner
Strayed from reading because picking up a book felt like an assignment? Sounds like you chose the wrong book!
To get back into reading, you can’t start by reading a book that everyone’s telling you to read or that you think you should read. Start by choosing a book that you want to read.
It may take a couple tries to find the right book. If you find your mind wandering while you read, table it for now and pick up another book until you find one that you can’t put down.
The trick is finding a book that excites you. If you enjoy the book you’re reading, chances are you’ll make time for it naturally.
Read On the Go
When public transit was the best way to and from work, I spent that time reading. Some days, I would take the scenic route bus to snag more minutes of reading.
And if I run errands, my book comes with me. I never know how long I have to wait in line or in the waiting room to check off that task from my to-do list.
Sure, I’m usually waiting ten minutes max. But that’s ten extra minutes I got to read my book.
If your schedule doesn’t have much down time, this can be your solution for you to get back into reading.
Bring your book with you wherever you go. Keep it in your car, pack it in your purse, slide it into your briefcase. If you have something to read on you, then you’ll read it when you have a spare minute or two.
Set the Mood
Reading should be an inviting experience both inside the story and where you choose to read. If it’s hard for you to get back into reading, it’s time to spice things up!
Choose a welcoming setting where you can read and relax without distraction. Complement the experience with some hot tea, a foamy latte or your favorite glass of wine. Let yourself nibble on some snacks to add some flavor to the experience.
When I lived in Chicago, I spent my lunch hour reading on a park bench in Grant Park. Nowadays, I enjoy reading in bed under a pile of warm blankets with a mug of herbal tea.
When you find that your reading ritual becomes a boring pattern, feel free to switch it up. What’s important is that you keep your reading space inviting and exciting for you.
Read-y, Set, Goal!
If there’s one trait everyone knows about me, it’s that I love setting goals. And that I’m rigid with my routine. But that’s just some people’s opinion…
If you are a competitive person like me, you can get back into reading simply by giving yourself a target goal and then going for it. Gamification, anyone?
Don’t aim too high at first. Start with an attainable goal, such as reading for at least 20 minutes a day each week.
Once that goal sets a reading pattern, create a goal on how many books you’ll read in a year or even in a month.
Goodreads is a great way to set reading goals. You can join the annual reading challenge and watch your progress as you finish book after book. I often adjust my goal during the year because I find I set it too low!