Back in the Reading Habit

Following last week’s blog about reading slowly, perhaps you feel you’ve gotten out of your regular reading habit and wish to fall back in love with books? Since the beginning of the Pandemic, many have struggled with getting back into pleasure reading.

In the video below, a school librarian discusses the reasons you may be in a slump and what to do about it.

 

“You’ll never become a reader by wishing you read more, listening exclusively to podcasts, or sitting next to a book while you scroll Instagram. (Even buying books doesn’t make you a reader, as I have, unfortunately, found out.)” –

To change the thought of reading from dreaded obligation to eager anticipation, read the tips below and enjoy reading regularly again!

Don’t fret over what to read

Some of us want to read but worry that the titles, genres or formats we choose are not “correct” or we will be judged for our preferences. Rest assured that research shows that it doesn’t matter as much what you read, but rather that you read. Of course, many of us in the literacy field know this and emphasize this to learners, but we are not as kind or compassionate to ourselves. Read what interests or excites you and you’ll be more likely to pick up a book and read again.

Not sure what to read? Visit your local library and talk to a librarian. Tell them what books you’ve enjoyed in the past, as well as what books you haven’t. Visit a local bookstore and look at the staff picks and best sellers. Your next book is sure to stand out to you.

Visual Cues and Sacred Reading Space

It takes time to build, or rebuild, a habit. Using visual cues may help. Keep a book next to your phone at home. When you are tempted to scroll social media, you’ll be reminded that you can choose to read instead. If you’re able, create a cozy space that you look forward to curling up in and reading. It could be as simple as your comfiest chair in an uncluttered corner. Try to find a spot with good natural light or dedicate a lamp for just your reading space. Add cushions, blankets and a spot to put your book down. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be enticing.

Develop a Reading Ritual

“I wanted to sit quietly and savor in the language for a while, something I haven’t felt I had the energy to do lately. Shorter works tend to be more deliberate with language, having to utilize a much smaller space to convey everything they want, and I knew these were the perfect books for my new ritual.” – Cassie Gutman

Many people read before bed as their ritual. This can even become a signal to your body that it’s time to wind down for sleep. But you can also start your day by reading. Create a ritual that you look forward to and building back the reading habit will be easier. Perhaps you prepare a hot beverage, put on some comfortable clothes and retreat to your book nook. In fact, reading has been shown to reduce stress and build empathy, so it can be incorporated into a self care routine.

To learn more ways to get back into the reading habit, check out the resources below.

Resources

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