I’ve always loved books. I remember reading them as soon as I learned how to, and they’ve been an important part of my life ever since. However, there were certain periods of time when I just couldn’t pick up a book – and they didn’t last a week or a month, but years. So while I might not be one of those people who never cared about books, I do know a thing or two about not even wanting to look at them, and about working on finding the magic of reading again (because, sometimes, it really does take some work).
This isn’t a post about why you should read – I think everybody knows the advantages by now, even though they might consider it boring -, but rather a guide to help you read those first pages that might change everything. Whether you’ve been a reader in the past or never cared about books, I hope these tips will help you create a new habit that will not only help you grow as a person, but also get those creative juices flowing.
Find the book.
Now, if you’ve been a reader in the past, you know that sometimes the first book is not the right one. But if you’re a new reader, you might pick up a first book that turns out to not be your thing, and feel discouraged (or even more convinced that reading isn’t for you).
There isn’t a foolproof formula to finding the perfect first book, but there a few things that might help you get closer to “the one”. The first thing you have to find is a genre or a person. If there is someone you really admire and look up to – maybe you’re a big fan of Michelle Obama, who published her biography in 2018 -, then maybe a book written by them is a good choice to get you reading. You already know the subject, you know you’re interested in it, and therefore it might be easier for you to start reading that book.
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If you can’t think of anyone, then look for a genre. What’s your favorite movie genre? Are you into thrillers, chick flicks, dramas, romances? The kind of movies you love is a clue to what kind of books you might enjoy (the rule doesn’t always apply, but it’s a good start). So pick a genre, search for a list of the best books from that genre (or just hit me up on instagram and I’ll be happy to give you some recommendations), and pick the one that sounds best to you.
If you have a friend who loves to read, you can also ask them for suggestions. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to oblige, and probably won’t shut up for at least two hours.
If you’re into pretty pictures or watch a lot of youtube videos, you can find a bookstagrammer or booktuber you like, even if you’re not into books yet. You might not relate to their book preferences at first, but if you start following their content because you like them/know them/enjoy other stuff they share, eventually those book suggestions will find their way to you. Let me know if you want me to share a list of my favorite bookfluencers soon!
Find the time.
I know you’re awfully busy. I’m aware. And most readers are really, really busy too. But if you want to read, there’s always a way to find time. In my case, I do most of my reading before bed, because besides my love for books, reading actually helps me fall asleep. I choose not to be around screens one or two hours before going to bed, so books and journaling are really my only options of entertainment. So even if you’re not a reader yet, maybe you have trouble falling asleep or just want to turn off all social media to relax a little, and that’s where your book comes into play.
Waiting for people or things is fun when you have a book with you. If you have to wait regularly during the day – for the bus, for meetings, for your kids, for anything -, bring that book with you and get a few pages in while you wait. You’d be surprised at how much you end up reading during these little breaks. The same goes for commutes – and if you’re the one who’s driving, you can always listen to an audiobook.
Find the medium.
Speaking of audiobooks – I don’t really use them, but they’re a great way to introduce new readers to books. I won’t lie and say I don’t think using them is a little like cheating, especially if you don’t read physycal books at all, but let’s be real: if they’re the only thing that works for you and the only way to get you to read, then they’re the way to go. If you already listen to podcasts, then it’s pretty much the same thing – a book you can read on your way to school, to work, while you’re taking a shower, tidying up the house or working out. If you’re a multitasker, then they might work really well for you.
The OG physical books are my favorites, and nowadays you can buy them second hand for a really cheap price or just go to a library where you’ll find them for free. There’s nothing like the experience of reading a physical book, in my opinion.
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Then you also have e-books, which are great if you’re someone who travels a lot or already carries a heavy bag all day. You can read them on a kindle, computer or your phone, which means you can carry hundreds of books without hunching your back. They’re also cheaper, and sometimes you can even find them for free.
Find the courage.
Now that you’ve found your book, you just have to read it. If you love to organize, set time on your planner for your first reading session. If you’re more spontaneous, just start carrying that book around with you, and next time you have to wait for something or find yourself having lunch alone, give that story a chance. Not all books are boring, and hard to understand, and heavy in more ways than one. Some books are fun and lighthearted and fascinating. You just have to find the right ones for you, because they are out there, no matter who you are. And who knows? Maybe in a few weeks time, we’ll have you joining bookstagram.🌺