Have you lost your love of reading? Were you once a passionate bookworm but now can't even finish a chapter? Learn how to recover your interest in reading books with these easy tips.
Once upon a time I was part of an awesome book club, I read all the time.
And then we uprooted our entire lives and moved cross-country.
In the year and a half after our life-changing move, I completely lost my love of reading for the first time in my life.
It took me a while to acknowledge that to myself. I have always identified as a hardcore bookworm. Reading and books were essential to my happiness.
Until they weren't.
I knew my love of books had to still be there buried somewhere but I was the victim of a very stressful life change that came with starting our lives over in a new town.
Does This Sound Like You?
Every time I would sit down to read, my brain would go into overdrive and I couldn't concentrate on the plot.
I found myself reading the same lines over and over again because I couldn't remember what I just finished reading.
I would start and stop book after book, nothing would stick.
One book was so frustrating I started to avoid reading altogether just so I wouldn't have to face picking it up again.
The longer this went on, the sadder I got. It is difficult to lose something you used to love so much.
Especially when you firmly believe in the importance of reading.
7 Ways to Love Reading Again
Recovering my lost love of reading was a process. It didn't happen overnight and it takes a little bit of intentional effort.
Life is challenging. In the last 10 years I've recovered and then lost my love of reading and then recovered once more a handful of times.
The cycle repeats on a very predictable basis now.
The solutions I use are always the same and I find it reassuring to realize that those periodic reading slumps are just temporary hiatuses from my favorite hobby of all time.
Embrace the DNF
The first step to becoming a reader again is to forgive yourself for abandoning a book without finishing it, otherwise known as a "DNF": Did Not Finish.
Here's the test I give myself before abandoning a book:
- Did I read at least one whole chapter?
- Did I try to read it on more than one day to see if it was just my mood?
- Am I avoiding reading anything because I am dreading this book?
If I can answer Yes to all 3 of those questions, I absolutely, guilt-free, abandon the book.
Life is short. You are not required to finish that book to write a book report or in-class essay. LET IT GO.
Start a Mini Habit
This is the very best advice I can give for reading more books.
Whether you're trying to reestablish a passion for reading or you just want to increase the number of books you read in a year, these mini habits for readers have been game changing for me.
Since incorporating these easy, bite-sized habits into my lifestyle, I have tripled the number of books I read in a year:
Join a Book Club
When I first lost my love of reading, I joined a new book club in the hopes that it would rekindle this flame.
After a few (very fun) meetings, I realized my season of life just wasn't conducive to making time for in-person meetings.
Life with my kids and a husband who travelled for work meant that I missed more meetings than I could attend.
It was then that I launched the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.
Our 8,000+ members have saved me from losing my love of reading time and time again during the busiest season of motherhood.
Want to join us?? You can get more details here:
Pick the Right Book
This is both the trickiest challenge and most essential element to recovering your love of reading--pick the right book!
It is also the #1 comment the Peanut Blossom Book Club members make:
"I struggled to find a good book, now I can't stop reading! Thank you for always recommending great reads."
Finding the just-right book to read can be complicated. I have several approaches to help me find the perfect fit when I'm struggling to read.
Try a New Format
Sometimes it isn't the story that is the problem, its the format of the book!
If you've been a die hard paper book reader but are struggling with your love of reading right now, it might be time to try a digital reader. I've had both the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Oasis. You can read my thoughts on both here.
Or if you've already tried a digital reader, maybe it's time to dig into your first audiobook.
These new technologies make reading accessible during times of your day you may not otherwise be able to pick up a book.
You can keep both the Kindle app and Audible app on your phone to access either format in a pinch.
Try a New Location
Places I enjoy reading:
- While walking laps in the swimming pool
- In my car driving home after school drop off
- In bed in the middle of the night when I can't sleep
- While cleaning, cooking, or doing other household chores
- On my back patio with an iced coffee
- At my dining room table with a quote journal and pen
Don't assume you need to read in a certain chair at a certain time of day. If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never do it.
Reading can be done practically anywhere in short bursts throughout your day.
Try a New Genre
If you've been reading the same kind of books over and over, they can get boring no matter how much you think you love that genre.
Maybe it's time to branch out and try something completely different?
If you love mystery, maybe try a beachy romance?
If you love young adult, maybe try a thriller?
Browse through my full directory of book recommendations here.
Take Time to Read
Once you've got your book, I give you full permission to take the time you need to read it!
Reading is important, the time invested matters. You are not being selfish, you are doing something incredible for yourself and your family.