After graduating from my undergrad in 2016 I realized I no longer enjoyed reading. Even when it came to reading for fun, I just could not muster the mental energy to complete any books. The task suddenly seemed too overwhelming and I became quite disinterested in the idea. I allowed myself a break since school was so taxing and life was a bit crazy, but after a few years of tracking my reading I realized that I was barely reading at all. I wanted to change that, so started with some small steps.
If you are in a place of wanting to read, but not sure how to start back up as a regular reader: I have some tips for you!
Reread Your Favorite Books
What did you enjoy reading in your off time? Do you like fiction or nonfiction? Fantasy or Period Pieces? What made you want to keep reading those books? These are all things to think about when creating your list for your first year of actively reading. Even if every book on your list is one you have already read before, that still counts! You want to love reading again, and that means reminding yourself about why you liked it in the first place. I like to reread 2 books every Summer because they have that nostalgia factor that makes me feel like a teen again enjoying my vacation. Start with something like that and let the nostalgia take you away. 🙂
Make a Realistic Goal
This may seem like a no-brainer, but often we quit working towards goals because we really are unable to meet our own standards. Setting a reading goal that is equal to the number of books you read as a teenager with less responsibilities is unrealistic. Start small with reading 1 book a quarter, every six months, or even just 1 book this year.
In line with realistic goal setting is remembering it is worth your time to start small. Getting back into reading recreationally is like working a muscle, it will take time and patience. Now that you have set a realistic goal, remember that it is okay for that one book you read this quarter to be below your reading level. It can be a Young Adult book, or a children’s chapter book you loved in your childhood. This helps build confidence in your reading skills and habit making so you can grab those harder books after.
Jump in with a Series
I know what you are thinking, but hear me out! I started back in with my goal to read one book a month by picking up the Harry Potter Series. Seriously. Why would I do this? Because once I finished that first book at a sixth grade reading level, I had to know what happened next! The push to finish the whole over arching story pressed me forward to keep reading through all the books. After I read those, I was already halfway to my annual goal!
Some series I recommend include: Harry Potter (of course!), Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Percy Jackson, and Heroes of Olympus (the second Percy Jackson series). These are all easy to read, low reading level, and have great story arcs for you to get sucked into.
No matter what you do this year or how much you read, be sure to talk about it with others! Reading is so much fun when you get to share it with others. On that note, what are you planning on reading this year? Any books you recommend?