“The MORE that you READ, the more THINGS you will know, the MORE you learn, the MORE places you’ll GO!”
Oh, Dr. Seuss, how right you are!
Yertle the Turtle was my favorite of his as a kid. I must have read it a hundred times, as well as any other book I could get my hands on! I adored reading and some of my happiest childhood memories are what we called Book Day.
Back then, my mom worked at Random House, and once a month, employees could take home remainders. (Clearly, this was before eBay and worries that the books would just be sold.) I always knew when it was book day from the way Mom blared the horn the entire length of our driveway … our long driveway, and for the rest of the day, I’d be excused from chores so I could read, read, read.
As an adult, though, it’s not as easy being excused from chores, and for the past year … I’ve been in a reading slump. A bad slump, which is horrible to confess, me being a writer and all, because…
Yeah. So. It’s time for me to rekindle my love of reading using the following ten tips. Maybe even create my own Book Days by loading up my Amazon kindle cart … and taking the rest of the day off.
Tip #1: Pull out your all-time favorite book and give it a re-read.
Take comfort in the book that gives you a tingle of warm coziness, that satisfies our soul like beef stew in a bread bowl. Mine is Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel because Ayla is the most amazing, kick-butt character ever. What’s yours? Go open it again.
Tip #2: Spend some time on Goodreads.
Oh my goodness, Goodreads is a FANTASTIC way to find out about new releases and debut authors, plus find inspiration by folks who read and review. And if you’re like me, someone who gets all Barney Stinson, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, you can also create a reading challenge for yourself. Mine for the year is 50 books. I’d rather not confess what number I’m up to.
Tip #3: Watch BookTuber videos.
Speaking of new releases, one of the things that makes it hard to get back into reading–especially for writers–is feeling out of the loop with the book market. Enter BookTubers on YouTube! They’ll get you caught up in no time. Find ones that talk about your favorite genre. Mine is BooksandQuills and Katytastic.
Tip #4: Take a trip to the library or a book store.
See other folks engrossed in story. Watch them pick up a book and read the dust jacket. Wander up and down the aisles, scanning titles until one grabs your heart. Check it out or buy it. Treat yourself to your favorite coffeehouse beverage and enjoy them both.
Tip #5: Revisit your favorite author.
Find out what your favorite author has been up to during your reading hiatus. You’ve already loved their storytelling skills before. Maybe you’ll love whatever else they’ve written and it will surely pull you out of your slump.
Tip #6: Go genre-hopping.
Maybe your slump isn’t from ignoring your favorite books or authors. Maybe it’s because you’re craving a change. Read only contemporary? Give fantasy a try. Think you love only mysteries? Kick up the romance by reading a good old fashioned love story.
Tip #7: Switch up how you read.
Love holding a real book? Try reading an e-book. Spending too much screen time? Pick up an old, vintage book and give the musty pages a good sniff. Delicious. Buy an audiobook or rent one from your library using the Libby app and listen to it while you drive, clean, or do other chores. Nothing like multi-tasking!
Tip #8: Always carry a book with you.
You never know when there’s time to grab a few reading minutes. While you’re in line at the grocery store. Waiting to pick a kid up from school. Under the dryer at the hair salon. While you’re in the bathroom. (What, like I’m the only one who reads then??)
Tip #9: Create a cozy place to read.
Cushy up a comfy chair with a warm blanket to snuggle up in, a lamp for good light, decorations that make you feel happy, and a coaster for your favorite coffee mug or tea cup. Or create a sanctuary in your bedroom. Or hey, if you’re a runner like me, load up an audio book on your smart phone for your next long run. Not that I wouldn’t prefer reading on my favorite chair. But if you gotta run for hours, might as well pull double duty!
Tip #10: Create a habit.
Any time you want to make long-lasting change in your life comes down to habit. If you want out of your reading slump, then you have to make it a habit. Get up earlier. Turn off the television at night and get a chapter in before falling asleep. Pick fiction instead of Facebook, tales instead of Twitter, yarns instead of YouTube.
Now go get back in the reading groove!