I loved reading as a kid. My 11-year-old self could spend countless hours just flipping through pages of the latest fiction bestsellers in libraries and bookstores. Although I was a consistent top borrower at our school, I also had a sizable collection of my own favorites at home—Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, you name it. As an introverted student, books were basically my BFFs.
Over time, my love for reading started to get complicated. During my high school years, I realized that I no longer had the energy to actually read for leisure. Since I’d plow through lengthy research papers and write 1000-word reports from Monday to Friday, deciphering even more blocks of text was the last thing I'd spend my precious weekend doing.
Sounds familiar? Well, fellow frustrated bookworm, I’m here to offer you some reassurance: You *can* enjoy reading again! I myself managed to reignite my passion for novels after tolerating a five-year drought.
To help you get through this reading slump, I’ve listed down seven easy tips that will help you read more and rediscover your love for books:
1. Set low standards for yourself. As in, *really low* standards that it would literally be impossible to fail them. Instead of forcing yourself to finish one book per week, start slow by training yourself to read for only five minutes a day. If that’s still too difficult, commit yourself to reading just a single page per day, then work your way up over time.
2. Revisit your childhood favorites. There’s no harm in reaching for your battered Percy Jackson books when you’re stuck in a rut. Sticking to easy reads is a surefire way to get you into the habit of reading regularly, which is what matters most anyway!
3. Try audiobooks. Since thick books and endless sentences can seem intimidating at first, listening to audiobooks can help you digest narratives with minimal effort. Although tempting, don’t attempt to multitask so you can fully concentrate on the story.
4. Always have a book near you. Whenever you get the urge to check your phone, read a few sentences from your current chapter instead. You’d be surprised how many pages you can finish just by reading on your lunch break and your metro ride home.
5. Look for stories you’re actually interested in. You’re not obligated to interpret heavy classics and new bestsellers—nevermind what society dictates! Forget about what “sounds smart” and instead prioritize topics and genres you’re genuinely curious about. And yes, reading fanfiction still counts as reading!
6. Don’t pressure yourself to finish a book you don’t like. When you’re not vibing with a certain movie or television show, you don’t force yourself to complete it, right? Well, the same rule applies for reading. You may think that ditching a book halfway is a waste of money, but just think about how much time you’ll burn up on something you don’t even enjoy.
7. Start a reading tracker. Track how many pages you read every day and keep a running list of titles you’ve already finished and you have yet to complete. Check your progress every now and then so you can be proud of how far you've come! Even if you find yourself not doing well, you can use that as motivation to hit your goals before it’s too late.