Reading is an activity that many can associate with their childhoods. From exciting stories in newspapers to memorable comics and even storybooks, no doubt reading marked moments of curiosity, learning, imagination, and freedom for numerous people today. However, this activity also falls into one of the many that can feel more like a chore than a leisure when adulthood comes along. That’s why some try to juggle this with daily lives while others put a pin on reading for pleasure.
Right now, reading is quite difficult. Factors like disoriented attention spans, distractions like political crises, and the temptation of social media even make it more difficult to focus and immerse oneself in a book in today’s world. So taking time off reading, no matter how long, is normal. Nonetheless, all hope isn’t lost if you wish to enjoy reading again.
We spoke with a few book influencers about how they made reading a priority and a long-lasting passion, and we hope that these tips will motivate you to pick up a book today and fall back in love with reading.
So What Are Common Reasons People Lose Interest in Reading?
People lose interest in reading for a myriad of reasons. It can result from a lifestyle change or a lack of reading time. In the case of Nnaemeka of @emmyizyc, his hunger for gut-wrenching books and the desire to discover them plunged him into a reading slump.
It was around May-June of this year. I read 12 books in April and 5 in March, so I was on a really good roll, but something changed,Nnaemeka
Sometimes we call it a reading slump, where you don’t have any zeal for reading, but I wasn’t exactly in a reading slump because I was still reading short stories and a few other things here and there.Nnaemeka
You might be trying to read books that don’t interest you, not grasp what you’re reading, or you might be experiencing a reading slump, as Nnaemeka explained. Don’t worry if any of them apply to you; there are tips to get through your reading difficulties. Let’s dive in.
- Read what you enjoy
Finding a book that interests you is one of the finest ways to enjoy reading again. You could even go back to reading the book genres that made you fall in love with reading in the first place. Be it YA fiction, mystery, or even a good crime thriller, rereading the novels that initially captured your interest in reading is not something to be ashamed of.
Enjoying books again can be quite easy; just read what you enjoy. Don’t be ashamed if you are into smut; they’re all books. Just ask around for a few recommendations and start somewhere.Nnaemeka
Nnaemeka says during our chat.
So make sure you pick a book that will keep your interest from start to finish. If you need help determining where to begin, seek advice from friends or family, read internet reviews, or peruse your neighbourhood library or bookstore. Once you’ve identified a few prospective choices, test them to determine which you like.
- Carve out time for book reading
Setting aside time each day or week for reading is another fantastic method to get into reading. Making time in your schedule to read will be easy, whether 20 minutes after waking up or an hour during your leisure time. For Uche of @favorite_igbo_boy, creating a routine works wonders when his reading pattern falls off the wagon.
When I find myself not reading as I used to, I take baby steps by reading little by little,Uche
It could be three pages or a chapter a day. This helps me create a routine until I fully return to my regular reading groove.Uche
- Join a reading community
Another fantastic method to maintain reading motivation and accountability is to join a book club or a reading community. In addition to having a built-in reading list to get you started, you’ll be able to discuss what you’re reading with other book enthusiasts.
In our interview, Nnaemeka mentioned how the presence of his bookstagram community helped him significantly during his reading slump.
I’m very active on Bookstagram, a beautiful community of book lovers.Nnaemeka
Being part of this community means constantly getting numerous book recommendations. So instead of venturing out to discover authors independently, I would read and enjoy books recommended by my bookstagram community.Nnaemeka
Finding a community like this isn’t rocket science. Google can always lend a helping hand. You can also search on social media platforms such as Instagram or X (Twitter) to find a book club or reading community close to you. Who says you can’t begin one? Initiate a book club with your loved ones, friends, or people who share this interest.
- Visit bookstores that sell used books
One of the best places to find exciting books is used bookstores. These places are fantastic for discovering hidden treasures and are typically considerably less expensive than purchasing new books from a typical bookshop. Who doesn’t like some awuff, especially with books?
So, the next time you’re shopping for a new book, check out a used books store close to you if you’re on a tight budget or want to try something new. A low-pressure way to start reading is to choose older or backlist titles instead of the more popular new releases.
- Explore different genres and book formats
Reading requires focus, and like many things in life, the secret to doing this is developing a reading habit. The key is figuring out what works for you, just as with any habit. Thankfully, simple methods are now available for reading printed books, ebooks, and audiobooks.
Ebooks allow you to explore reading during experiences such as long rides. You can tap open the app and read books on whatever device is available. Online bookstores such as OkadaBooks and Bambooks are now prominent in Nigeria and several places worldwide.
On the other hand, listening to audiobooks is ideal if you don’t have much spare time. This non-music alternative is a terrific way to keep your mind busy when you’re driving to work, doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, or lifting weights at the gym. More importantly, it will make it much easier to squeeze reading into your hectic schedule.
Falling back in love with reading isn’t as challenging as getting back with your ex. However, this act is similar to picking up singing again, playing an instrument, or going back to drawing those pictures you enjoyed as a child. There’s no doubt that it takes some time to start going. But once you do, the rewards are stunning and incredibly fulfilling.
Also, remember that reading should be fun, so take your time and appreciate each book you read. You don’t have to finish a book quickly to make a point or keep up with some readers. Instead, take your time to savour the experience, immerse yourself in the characters, and see the world through the extraordinary lens of the author. You’ll be back enjoying the art of reading in no time.