How to Get Back Into Reading.

How to Get Back Into Reading

I am a huge bookworm. That is probably no big secret. Reading is my most favorite hobby. It is my favorite way to relax, my favorite escape! I am not snobbish about my reading… while I try to read at least a couple books a month that will broaden my horizons or teach me something new, I am also a big believer in reading for pleasure! For some, that means a romance… for others, the classics… for me, it’s (usually!) a twisty thriller. I cannot remember when I first fell in love with reading, but I do know that it has probably been my longest lasting love. My reading life is definitely more interesting than my real life. There’s loads of adventure and travel, often served up with a side of murder.

My own reading ebbs and flows. There are months where I watch a lot of TV and movies (especially leading up to awards season). I might read less during those months and that’s okay. I usually read less during the holiday season as I’m just a lot busier with work and social commitments. If I travel a lot, I usually read more (on the plane, at the beach, etc.). During stressful times (like the beginning of the pandemic) I’ll find myself reading less as I have a harder time focusing.

I regularly hear from followers or blog readers that they are having a hard time getting back into reading and I have been there! Gadgets, social media, adult responsibilities, streaming platforms… there are so many things that can take us away from it. But! Just because you’ve fallen away from it doesn’t mean you can’t get back into it. Today I’m dedicating a blog post to talk about how to get back into reading again with some practical tips and advice. I hope it’s helpful (and if you have further advice, please… sound off in the comments).

PS – to motivate you a bit, here are some of the best reading accessories!

How to Get Back Into Reading

Start with something light and fun

I remember I was talking to a friend about how hard it was to find the time to read. I asked them what they were reading and they replied, Moby Dick. Ummmm, I see the problem here. If you are having a hard time getting back into reading, now is the time to reach for something fun and enjoyable! It is so important to find a book you really love. At least in the beginning, don’t read books that you don’t truly enjoy.

My recommendation to anyone who has not already read it is always The Idea of You. It is such a page turner (although you will probably have a book hangover after reading it). At least at first, it is important to read books that will make you fall in love with reading. Some other recommendations: my favorite young adult books (again: light, easy, fun!) and the best fiction books (at least, in my opinion — every book on this list received an A+.

create an environment that feels conducive to reading.

I always find it easier to read when my home is clean, when I’ve lit a nice candle, when I have a soft blanket at the ready. I know some people like background music, I prefer silence. My happiest Sunday afternoon is after I have done all of my chores, when I sit down and spend the rest of the day reading because my home is back to its serene self and I can spend the rest of the day with my books.

schedule the time.

If you truly feel like you don’t have time to read (and it is a priority!), start scheduling the time. You can start small (more on that below) but scheduling the time on your calendar is (for me), one of the easiest motivators! I personally find that once I start reading, I don’t want to stop. So schedule in the time!

start small!

While I personally do not set reading goals (only because I am weird and wind up stressing myself out!), I think this is a great idea for someone who has fallen out of the habit. Start with just ten minutes a day. When you finish up work, or during free time after dinner, set a timer for ten minutes. Sit down and start reading. I guarantee you will probably want to keep on reading. They say that it takes 66 days to form a habit. Why not set a goal of reading ten minutes a day for 66 days and seeing what happens!? I have a feeling you’ll definitely get back into the habit of reading books every day.

try an audio book.

All reading is good reading. If you don’t have the time to sit down and pick up a book, listening to audiobooks is a great alternative. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, especially when I am out walking (since I don’t drive, I walk a lot), or any time I am doing any sort of chores (especially folding laundry). I personally listen to most of my non-fiction books and anything more dense, for some reason it is easier for me to focus this way! If you are looking for a good audio book recommendation, my Library page has a fun little feature, you can filter to show only audio books.

Go on a “book date”

I love this idea from Tembe Denton-Hurst. It’s where she takes bibliophiles she knows or admire on a date to their favorite local bookstore. She buys them books in exchange for asking them questions about their reading tastes. I mean, what better way to a) catch up with a friend and b) get some really solid reading recommendations.

Join – or start – a book club.

There is nothing like peer pressure/the fear of disappointing your friends to act as a motivator! Plus, reading books with friends is fun. Socializing, snacks, wine… the best incentive!

Get really into sheet masks.

I am half kidding here, but I always do my sheet masks while I am reading. If I sit up, they slip and slide around my face. And so, I am telling you. Sheet masks and reading books go hand in hand.

Build a To Be Read List.

My to be read list (shortened to TBR list) is very very long. And it motivates me to read more! You can keep it on Pinterest, a google doc, a saved folder on Instagram… whatever you like!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

15 Comments

  1. Mia:

    My husband and I do book dates! In our version we each pick a new book that we want to read AND that we think the other person would enjoy as well. So we avoid genres that we know the other person really doesn’t like, and we usually try to pick something either literary/prestigious or buzzy. Otherwise anything goes. Sometimes it takes us months to each read both books, but it’s encouraged us to read things we wouldn’t have otherwise and have had some great conversations.

    2.20.24 Reply
  2. Teresa:

    Hi, I left a comment here earlier this morning but perhaps it didn’t go through. I was interested in the foot cream, but was confused because the amazon description says paraben free, but the ingredient list on amazon shows two parabens listed. Would you know what your tube ingredient list says? Thanks for any clarification.

    2.20.24 Reply
    • I replied to your comment, it was on yesterday’s post!
      I would go by Amazon’s list if you are worried about certain ingredients.

      2.20.24 Reply
  3. m:

    My advice is to block out some time for the initial 50 pages or so of a new book in a single sitting. It gives you a good base for getting to know the characters and establishes tone. After that you can read in shorter bursts as time allows. You have inspired me to read so much more than I did before!

    2.20.24 Reply
  4. Liz:

    I love the website/app “Storygraph”–it’s similar to Goodreads in functionality (ways to track what you’re currently reading, your TBR, friends ratings of books) but it’s independently owned (Goodreads is owned by Amazon) and gives you fun graphics of how many books you read in a month, year, etc., pie charts of genres you’ve read, other fun categories (almost like Spotify’s end of the year graphics.) It’s very fun and motivating!
    (You also really motivate me, Grace! I love how freely you share your opinion on what you’ve read–that can be a little intimidating on the internet. Thanks for sharing with us! <3)

    2.20.24 Reply
  5. Melissa:

    This post came at the perfect time for me! Thank you Grace!
    p.s. love that fabulous green dress you’re reading in, in the photo!!

    2.20.24 Reply
  6. Angela:

    Currently in a reading rut and will try some of these suggestions. I will say if all books were like the Idea of You I would read everyday! Loved it!!

    2.20.24 Reply
  7. E.G.:

    I recently got back into reading after several years, and I couldn’t be happier about it! I agree that you have to start with something you love and then follow that path! I loved Gone Girl back in the day, so I looked at lists of similar thrillers and reserved several from my library. If I started one that was too creepy for me or didn’t reel me in, I could just move on to the next one! I adored The Last Flight, The Only One Left, some other Riley Sager books, and The Maid. Those led me to Where the Crawdads Sing, which led me to both Before We Were Yours and Remarkably Bright Creatures (which are so different!).

    Also, just because something is popular doesn’t mean you have to like it (I’m looking at you Fourth Wing–haha)!

    2.22.24 Reply
  8. Judy Holmes:

    I “usually “am a voracious reader of fiction & nonfiction. I put quotes around “usually” because I have had two dry patches. After my mom died, I moved into her home to finish rearing my niece (story for another day). I was grieving my mom & moving from city life to small-town life was exceedingly hard for me. I could not read! It was devasting to be unable to lose myself in a book. I tried everything but I could not read. I would suddenly realize I was holding the book lost in my thoughts & not reading beyond a page or two. A librarian suggested that I try reading “cozy mysteries” because they were easy to read with gentle storylines. The librarian advised me to just keep turning the pages even if I wasn’t tracking the storyline. She said that given I was grieving, tracking the storyline was not important . . . what was important was to “practice reading” – in essence, to continue my habit of reading until my reading mojo kicked in. It worked! Currently, I am working through my second experience of not reading easily. I retired over a year ago & have lost my reading mojo. I am busy but still, I have all my time to do as I wish so it is odd that I am struggling to read.

    2.23.24 Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Judy. That must have been so hard to go through.

      2.24.24 Reply
  9. Sam:

    When I’m in a funk with reading or haven’t read anything in a while, I like to pick up and reread an old favorite. Something about knowing with certainty that I already love what I’m reading really helps me get over the initial hump and get back into it. I don’t necessarily have to finish rereading the entire book to get back into the swing of reading, but often I want to because it’s a book I love!

    2.23.24 Reply