Every year, roughly half of American adults do not read a single book not required for work or school. So many people are missing out on the pleasures and relaxation of reading, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to start a reading habit or simply enjoy your reading more, here are 10 tips to help you fall in love with books.
How to Enjoy Reading
1. Create a Reading Spot
One thing that can stop people from reading, or be a distraction, is physical discomfort when reading. If possible, create a comfortable reading spot in your home. A good reading spot should have a comfortable place to sit, good lighting for reading, and space for your favorite reading beverage.
Try to make your reading spot visually appealing so that you anticipate settling down and reading every time you look at it. Add plants, throw blankets, attractive art, or other elements that make the space more inviting.
Pro tip: If possible, avoid bringing your phone or electronic devices into the reading spot.
2. Try Audiobooks
A common complaint is that people simply don’t have time to read. So if you have a busy schedule, try listening to audiobooks instead. You can listen to books while you commute, drive, clean, garden, or do other tasks. It’s a great way to enjoy the pleasures of reading even during a busy schedule.
Pro tip: If you choose an e-reader compatible with your favorite audiobook format, you can easily switch back and forth from reading to listening without losing your place.
3. Choose an e-Reader You Love
Physical books are wonderful, and it’s no wonder many avid readers enjoy collecting them. However, they can also be cumbersome and be challenging to read in low light. E-readers are convenient and affordable and make it easier to read whenever and wherever you like.
But it’s essential to choose an e-reader that feels good in your hands and works the way you prefer. If you want buttons or a touch screen, if you need warm light instead of cold light, if you’re going to take up your audiobook right where you stopped reading … there are so many great features that make e-readers better than ever before.
Choose one that is perfect for you, and you’ll read more often and more comfortably.
Pro tip: Many e-readers let you borrow books from your local library or test a few chapters before buying. If you find a book, you love and want to enjoy again, buy a physical copy for your home to remind you.
4. Find Your Niche
All too often, people think of reading as an educational or informational activity, so reading becomes a chore. Instead, think of reading as a source of pleasure and relaxation, and just read what you love.
Reading doesn’t have to be a productive activity, and you don’t have to impress anyone. If you prefer young adult, romance, or horror novels, indulge yourself. If you prefer to re-read your old favorites instead of trying something new, there’s nothing wrong with that. Read what you enjoy.
Pro tip: If you rate books on a site like goodreads.com, it will create personalized recommendations for you, which can help you find new things to read based on the books you already enjoy. It’s a great way to try something new that you are probably going to like.
5. Relax With Books
People who think they don’t have time to read may be overlooking many of the ways they already relax and spend their free time. Instead of turning to the TV or endlessly scrolling on your phone, you could be reading.
In fact, if you think of reading as a way of relaxing and enjoying some “me time,” you are more likely to find time for it and more likely to benefit from it. Reading can distract us from our daily lives, problems, and to-do lists and transport us somewhere else for a while. It can be deeply relaxing and good for our mental health and stress levels.
Pro tip: If your after-work or before-bed routine often consists of turning on the TV and chilling on the couch, or settling in with your phone, consider settling in with a book instead.
6. Join a Book Club or Find a Reading Community
Finding people who share your love of reading is a great way to support your reading habit and get more enjoyment out of it. It’s always wonderful to find people who are as passionate about your favorite books as you are.
If you can’t form an in-person book club, go online and look up forums and discussion groups related to your favorite books and authors.
Pro tip: Fan groups are easy to find on Facebook and Reddit, so that’s an excellent place to start connecting with a reading community.
7. Keep a Book With You
Keeping a book with you is a perfect way to find more time to read. You may find a few minutes on the train, during a lunch break, in a waiting room, or other times here and there throughout the day. A book is a great way to spend a few minutes in between activities, and having one with you increases the chances that you’ll find extra time to read.
Pro tip: If you read in public, there is a chance of striking up conversations with other people about the book, which can be fun. On the other hand, using an e-reader or blank book cover can help avoid unwanted conversations about the book you are reading.
8. Read Multiple Books at Once
No matter how great your book is, there will be times when you just aren’t in the mood for it. So don’t be afraid to start a new one or keep multiple books in progress so you can read what you feel like in the moment.
You may think you’ll forget the storyline or lose your place, but you may be surprised at how quickly you get right back into a book after setting it aside for a while.
And of course, you can dog-ear pages or use paper scraps as a bookmark, but getting nice bookmarks is a great way to hold your place, keep your books in good shape, and make your reading area more aesthetically pleasing.
Pro tip: Don’t force yourself to finish a book if you aren’t enjoying it. There are no extra points for being a completist.
9. Stay on Top of Recommendations and New Releases
It can sometimes be challenging to find new books to get excited about, but there are many ways to find out more about books, authors, and reading. Staying on top of recommendations and new releases, or finding out more about your favorite books and authors, can help boost your enthusiasm for reading.
There are newsletters, podcasts, and blogs that are full of information about new releases and recommendations. You can also check out best-of lists, like Nobel Prize winners, “Best Ever” lists, or online tools like Whichbook to discover new books.
Pro tip: Unless you are a committed fan of an author or series, lists of new releases can quickly get overwhelming. You may want to wait a few months for critical and reader consensus or catch up later with a “best of the year” list.
10. Get to Know Your Library
The library is an incredible resource for books and everything else. Most libraries have a rich collection of e-books that you can download to your e-reader and enjoy for free without ever having to leave home.
Libraries also often have book clubs, reading recommendations, and it can be a great environment to flip through a wide range of books to find something that catches your fancy. Many libraries also have a wide range of services and activities to cultivate a love of reading for your whole family.
Pro tip: Librarians are a fantastic resource, but they are most helpful when asked specific questions. Name an author or style of literature you like, and ask where you might find similar or related works. Or ask where you might find specific scientific or historical information. They will be happy to help you any way they can.
These ten tips won’t just help you make and keep a reading habit. They will also help you really love books and reading, making it part of your relaxation and downtime, something you look forward to doing every day. Reading is a fantastic way to manage stress and take care of yourself, and reading for pleasure is a great hobby.
While reading is a solitary activity, reading communities provide a great way to come together and share your impressions and experiences. It provides a balanced mixture of quiet alone time and social activities with others. So find a few minutes to read every day and enjoy the benefits for years.