How to Start Reading for Fun

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How to start reading for fun

Do you remember the last time you read for fun? With all the assigned reading you have for classes, it’s probably safe to guess it’s been a minute. Maybe you haven’t read anything purely for pleasure since that one series you were obsessed with in middle school. Well, no matter how long it’s been, there’s no time like the present to rekindle your love for books. 

It’s easy to feel like you don’t have the time to read. It takes concentration, and unlike watching TV that you can play in the background, you can’t multitask while reading. But just because it takes some work doesn’t mean reading isn’t a worthwhile way to spend your downtime. Reading improves your vocabulary, concentration, memory, and helps reduce stress, along with many other benefits.

So, here are 7 easy tips to start reading for fun.

1. Just read when you can

“You really ought to read more books – you know, those things that look like blocks but come apart on one side.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Staring down a 400+ page book it’s easy to be intimidated. You barely have time to get the work done you absolutely have to. Adding reading might feel less like a relaxing hobby and more like another thing on your never-ending to-do list.

That’s why you need to resist the urge to make reading just another assignment. Don’t set a time you need to finish the book by or have a number of pages you’re trying to read each day. Just read when you have the time and don’t stress over how fast or slow you make progress. This is supposed to be relaxing, remember?

2. Read what you want

“‘Classic’ – a book which people praise and don’t read.” – Mark Twain

This seems obvious, but we all have different tastes. A lot of people stop enjoying reading when they start getting specific books assigned in school. And while some of us might have loved “The Catcher in the Rye,” others were bored to tears and discovered SparkNotes rather than enduring another chapter. 

Rather than forcing yourself to read something that you think you should, read something that sounds good to you. Whether it’s a science fiction, mystery, biography, or fantasy doesn’t matter. Even a vampire romance is better than nothing. 

3. Bring a book with you

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” — Lemony Snicket

You might think you don’t have time for reading, but there’s sure to be at least a moment or two in a day when you’re just waiting. Whether you are in a doctor’s office, on a bus, waiting for a class to start, or waiting for your coffee order all that time could be filled getting a few pages further in your book. The trick is to remember to bring it with you. If you always have a book in your bag you can pull it out anytime you’re feeling bored instead of going to your phone. It’ll be ready and waiting the next time your Uber driver gets too chatty.

It might sound inconvenient to be constantly lugging a book from place to place, but that’s why paperbacks and e-readers are your friends. They might not be as beautiful as hardback books, but they’re a lot more convenient.

person reading

4. Find a reading buddy

“The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul–BOOKS.” —Emily Dickinson 

Everything’s more fun with a friend. That’s right. It’s time to embrace your inner middle-aged woman and start a book club. If you’re roommate or somebody else you know likes to read or wants to get back into reading, then why not make it a group activity?

You can take turns choosing the books, which might get you enjoying books you wouldn’t have otherwise picked up. When you get really into a book or series there’s nothing more satisfying than analyzing every detail with someone just as obsessed. Plus if you’re the competitive type, having someone else reading the same book is just added incentive to actually make time to read.

5. Find the book format that works for you

“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.” — Oscar Wilde

This might come as a shock, but you don’t have to read traditional books to be a “real reader.” E-readers make it a lot more convenient to read on the go and can be very inexpensive. And audiobooks are a really helpful way to get into a book, especially if you have a hard time concentrating while you read. It all depends on what works best for you. Anyone who says that doesn’t count is just annoying and can consider themselves uninvited from our book club. 

6. Create a reading space

“When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”— Jane Austen

If an excuse for interior design gets you excited, then why not create a cozy space where you can read? Get yourself a beanbag, the softest blanket you can find, some fairy lights and voila! You have the most comfortable reading nook right in your dorm room. 

You don’t need to limit yourself to your dorm room though. If you like being outside, get yourself a picnic blanket and take your book to the quad. If you have a favorite cafe cozy up with a big cup of tea and enjoy your book there. Reading is one of the most relaxing activities, so it will just make your happy place even happier. 

college student in library

7. Choose a time for reading

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis

Like we said you don’t have to stress over this, just committing 15 minutes to a half-hour here or there is enough to get you started. An easy way to add reading into your daily routine is simply getting a few pages in before bed every night. It’s a simple way to relax, and it helps you get a better night’s sleep (much better than looking at your phone). But you can read at any time, there’s no set rule it’s just helpful to know you have a time in your day where you can kick back with your favorite book.

Once you’ve started working in a few minutes every day you’ll probably find yourself spending more and more time reading after the story has grabbed you. You’ll be an avid reader in no time!


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