Reading is one of life’s great pleasures. Books provide entertainment, and it’s a great way to learn about the world. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for some people to find time or motivation to read books. Sometimes readers find it hard to decide what books they should read next, and others experience analysis paralysis. It doesn’t help that we live in an age where information is constantly at our fingertips, and it feels like we are continually being told what to do, buy, and even read. What’s more, it seems like reading has become more of a chore than an enjoyable activity for many people.
No matter what camp you fall into, we will help you return to lifelong reading success with these ten practical tips that anyone can use to revitalize and have a more fulfilling reading life!
Tip # One: Set a Reading Resolution or Intention
One of the best ways to get motivated to read is setting a resolution or an intention. Whether you intend only to read books written by women or resolve to read for 30 minutes every night before bed, having specific intentions and resolutions will help keep you accountable and on track.
Bonus tip: Check out our “How To Set and Achieve Your Reading Goals and Resolutions” article.
Tip # Two: Simplify Your TBR List
If you’re not up to date on current book lingo, TBR means “to be read.” Believe it or not but not all books belong on your TBR. You may want to read some books at some point in your life, say, during your next extended vacation or when you finally retire. Then some books belong on your TBR pile. These two categories are not the same thing. Your TBR pile is for those urgent, intensely curated books of utmost reading priority. So separate those urgent reads from any other books you anticipate wanting to read at some point.
Bonus tip: If your at-home TBR is higher than Mount Everest (no judgments here) check out our “10 Tips for Tackling Your At Home TBR” article.
Tip # Three: Build Your TBR Pile With Intentions In Mind
Instead of randomly picking out titles to add to your TBR without any specific goals in mind, take some time to think about why each book is going on your TBR stack. Do this for every single book so you have an idea of how specific titles will connect and contrast with one another, satisfy your reading moods, and help you achieve your resolutions or intentions.
Tip # Four: Evaluate your Relationship with Social Media
You can find bibliophiles on social media platforms discussing books they’ve read, books they’re planning to read, finding new recommendations, and keeping track of their reading progress. So you’ll have no trouble finding encouragement and inspiration to read if that’s what you’re looking for!
Keep in mind though; social media isn’t for everyone. So if it doesn’t feel right for you, don’t feel pressured to join just because everyone else seems to be doing it. There’s also nothing wrong with staying entirely off social media. If you are active online, consider setting time limits, and don’t be afraid to take a break when needed. You can always jump back in when you are ready.
Ultimately, the best way to get more out of reading is by simply choosing what works best for you and sticking to it!
Tip # Five: Read What You Want to Read, Not What Everyone Else Is Reading
We often feel pressure to read what everyone else is reading (hello social media). And some of us are guilty of getting books because it’s trending or popular with other bookworms! Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying you should avoid books that are super hyped up or books on bestseller lists. However, if you’re feeling pressure to read something or you’re on the fence about it, pause for a moment. Stop and ask yourself why this particular story interests you before deciding whether or not to buy, and start reading immediately. If it doesn’t interest you, don’t buy it or force yourself to read it.
Reading is an individual experience, so it’s important to choose books that are right for you, not follow along with everyone else.
Tip # Six: Experiment with different reading formats
There are so many different ways to read. You can consume books via e-books, audiobooks, or print. If you have a hard time focusing, sitting still, or don’t have the time to read, audiobooks can be a great way to get back into reading. You can listen while you’re driving, cleaning your house, going for walks, or even when you’re working out.
If you want to sit down and unwind, pause your audiobook and pick up a print book or your e-reader.
If you’re reading a tome, try switching to something shorter – a novella, a short story collection, a book of poetry, or even a magazine.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats because it may help you get your reading groove back!
Tip # Seven: Keep a Reading Journal
Keeping a reading journal is one of the best ways to connect with your reading choices, and it can be as simple, detailed, or creative as you want. There are many different ways to journals, from traditional bound books to digital diaries on apps that will help keep track of everything you read. It’s also a great way to track how you felt about each book and your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It’s also beneficial for looking back at what you’ve read, and it can also help you decide what to read next as you’ll see the kinds of books that are working for you.
Bonus tip: Check out our “7 Things We Are Tracking In Our Reading Journal” article.
Tip # Eight: Don’t Overthink It
Not overthinking is probably one of the hardest things to do, but it’s so important! If you find yourself overthinking a book before starting, or feeling overwhelmed with what to read next, take a step back.
If you’re struggling with the idea of what to read next, start off reading something easy like a short story or novella. Once you get into it and feel more comfortable, grab a book from your TBR pile. Not interested in the books on your TBR stack? Jump on over to your bookshelf filled with all those “someday” reads that are waiting for their time!
Some readers cannot sit down and focus on one book at a time. So don’t be afraid to start another book if you need some space between whatever you are currently reading. Reading shouldn’t always be about finishing specific tasks but instead being able to relax by curling up with a book and experiencing the joy of this wonderful pastime.
Remember: there are no rules when it comes to reading! So try not to overthink things and just let yourself read whatever and however you want.
Tip # Nine: Stop Being Hard On Yourself and Give Yourself Time to Adjust
Don’t be hard on yourself when you fall behind or miss a day or month because life happens. We all go through times where we’re just not interested in reading for one reason or another. It’s normal to feel this way from time to time, so don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, give yourself some time to adjust, and eventually, the desire to read will come back again. In the meantime, try focusing on other activities that you enjoy or take a break from reading altogether. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to how long you should wait before picking up a book again – do what feels best for you.
Tip # Ten: Reward Yourself
One of the best things about reading is that it can be rewarding in so many ways – from gaining knowledge to discovering new worlds and everything in between. So why not add another layer of reward by giving yourself books whenever you complete a goal? Whether your reward is related to reading or not, giving yourself a prize can be a fun way to revitalize your reading life. Plus, it’s a great way to help you stay on track, and it’ll make reading that much more enjoyable and satisfying!
So there you have it – ten practical tips to revitalize your reading life and keep yourself motivated. Like anything else in life, it takes time, effort, and patience to form a reading habit, but the results, if you stick with it, are definitely worth it. So get started today and see how these tips can work for you!
How do you revitalize your reading life?
Do you have other tips for revitalizing or having a more fulfilling reading life? Share them, and let’s talk about it all in the comments.