Are you always in awe of those that race through books? That enjoy reading as much as you enjoy, say, music or movies? Have you ever wanted to become a so-called ‘reader,’ but just didn’t know where to start?
Well, today’s your lucky day: I’m about to round-up my top tips for becoming a ‘reader’ and to thoroughly enjoy reading, just like you always longed to!
Step 1: Preparation
OK, the most important part of becoming a reader is wanting to be that person. This step is all about making sure you have the time, patience and persistence to read more and to enjoy it. So set aside some time to dedicate to reading, and make sure you can afford to. This might mean sacrificing something else you enjoy, like watching a TV show every night. (But don’t sacrifice your actual responsibilities!) On the other hand, it might just mean cutting out that first-thing-in-the-morning or last-thing-at-night scroll through social media. Personally, I like to set aside a time in the day to dedicate to reading, usually when I wake up, or an hour before I go to sleep. Other people like to read during the day, in parks or libraries for example. The choice is yours!
Step 2: Research
This sounds a lot more daunting than it is. By this step, I just mean that you should look up some books to read relating to your interests. There’s no point reading about something you simply don’t care about, because you won’t enjoy it. Hence, I also want you to try to avoid reading a book someone has told you “you have to read,” because the chances are it won’t be to your taste, or it won’t be a good place to start out in a genre. Try Googling something along the lines of “best fiction books about ______” or look up genre master lists on Goodreads. You could even go to a library and browse the sections you think are most to your tastes – if you borrow a book, you won’t feel guilty for disliking it, because you won’t have paid a dime!
The best thing about reading is that there’s something for everyone. Just like J.K. Rowling said, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” It’s as simple as that. So look around and find one!
In short, by doing some quick research beforehand, you’ll find something you like and reading won’t seem so much like a chore. Also, you’ll have a good leg-up into finding the kind of books you personally enjoy. Don’t worry about award-winners or classics or the critically acclaimed – just read some synopses and pick the book that sounds like the best one for you.
Step 3: Explore
If you enjoyed one book, look for more like it, see what other people enjoyed, or perhaps read a book by the same author. Goodreads is a great platform for this, as it gives suggestions based on what you’ve read and rated in the past. Alternatively, try to challenge yourself. For example, if you enjoyed a modern dystopia novel, try 1984 or Brave New World – these are widely considered to be forefathers, of sorts, to the entire genre. Likewise, if you enjoyed a YA historical fiction novel, perhaps try one aimed at adults, or even one written in/about the period you are reading of. Most importantly, work off of your strengths and read books associated with ones you’ve already enjoyed. This way, you’re more likely to find another book you love, and then another, an another, and another, until your house is a library.
Step 4: Persist
If you didn’t enjoy a book, don’t let it discourage you from continuing with reading. As much as I hate to say it, some books just aren’t to everyone’s tastes. I recommend so many books on this blog, and I am certain that every time I love a book there will be someone who hated it just as equally. But that is the nature of reading – it’s all about taste! If anything, if you didn’t enjoy a book, I would equally use that to steer myself away from more books I won’t enjoy. For example, if you find historical fiction tedious because you already, to an extent, know what happens, perhaps historical fiction isn’t the best genre for you…
Step 5: Get Talking!
Find other readers and see what books they enjoy. More importantly, find out why they enjoyed these books – perhaps you’ll like them, too. Try to find people who have read a book that you’ve read, and talk to them about it; reading is so much more enjoyable when there’s a community behind you. If you don’t know any readers, delve into the internet – there are bookish communities everywhere! Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook – you name it, readers have created their own corner of it.
And there you have it, you’re a reader now! Use your new-found power wisely, my friend…