I know a lot of people who have absolutely no interest in reading. I know right? It’s crazy. A lot of my friends just never got into it, and when I try to suggest a book to them they may even go so far to say that ‘reading is boring’. Flabbergasted.
The other month I confessed the way I fell into reading wasn’t because I loved it at first, it was actually because I couldn’t read and I had difficulty learning how to read as a child. I was forced to read and at first I didn’t enjoy it. But as I started to grasp the words on paper, I started to enjoy the books I was reading, and eventually I would look forward to the trips to the library.
This made me wonder if anyone has ever tried to fall in love with reading before? Has a non-reader tried to figure out why readers love their books so much? I was thinking about ways someone might try this, or good ways that someone could try this.
I came up with the below! If you’re not a reader but you want to start reading, try these:
Figure out what interests you
I think a lot of non-readers could think reading is boring because they were forced to read books in school that they had no interest in reading. Perhaps the topic was boring, maybe they couldn’t relate to the story or the characters, maybe they simply hated being told what to do so didn’t want to do it.
When you’re reading, it’s a whole lot more fun if you’re actually enjoying what you’re reading. So you need to figure this out. Maybe you love to read stories that aren’t in anyway related to the real world, maybe you have an interest in ancient Egypt so you could find a story set in ancient Egypt. Maybe you love non-fiction and love to learn about things. What sorts of things interest you? Computers, celebrities lives, cooking, murder mysteries, crime thrillers?
You could use the type of TV shows you like to watch as a starting point to figure out a topic.
Start off small
Do not pick up a book with 500 pages to start off with. That is a really big book and if you’ve never really enjoyed reading before there is a very high chance you would not finish this book. Start off with a small book, 200 pages or maybe you could even start with short stories. The idea is that you will really enjoy the story and you will get a beginning, a middle and an ending. You will have read a complete story.
The more stories you finish, the more you figure out what you like to read and the more books you read that you actually enjoy – the more you fall in love with reading.
Read the book synopsis, if you like the sound of it, read it
Don’t pick up a book blindly and start reading. Read the synopsis on the back and see if it interests you. If it doesn’t then don’t start reading it, if it does then give it a go. It’s as simple as that.
Plan time to read
I think this one is a big one. You don’t want to start reading 5 minutes before you have to walk out the door to meet some friends. You need to put some time aside and plan that during that time, all you’re going to do is read. Maybe 30 minutes before you go to sleep, pick up your book and read a few chapters. Maybe in your lunch break at work, or one rainy Sunday afternoon.
Planning reading into your schedule at the beginning gives you time to actually read. If you learn to love reading then eventually you won’t need to plan time to read, you’ll naturally just pick up a book whenever you want to read something.
Read the first 3 chapters at one time
Once you have free time to read, then get stuck into your book. Read at least the first 3 chapters before putting the book down. I say this because if you read one chapter and it hasn’t grabbed you, that doesn’t mean the book won’t grab you at all. You just need to read more of the story to get invested in the characters and the world. Sometimes it takes me 25% of the book to actually really get invested in it, you just have to have a little patience.
If you actively make yourself read at least three chapters at one time then you’re on a good starting point to reading the whole book and enjoying it.
Don’t force yourself to read something you know you’re not enjoying
If you start reading a book and you’ve read at least 3+ chapters but you’re not enjoying the book; stop reading it.
You definitely do not have to force yourself to read the book. That’s not the best way to try and learn how to enjoy reading. There’s no one that’s going to judge you for not finishing the book, there’s no one to tell you you HAVE to read the book, and there’s no reason why you can’t put the book down and choose another one.
Don’t feel guilty
If you feel like you’ve given reading a good try and you just haven’t fallen in love with it, then don’t feel guilty.
There are many reasons why people don’t enjoy reading. There’s no life rule that tells you, you HAVE to enjoy reading. If reading simply isn’t for you, then it isn’t for you.
Do you have any tips on how a non-reader could fall in love with reader? Do you have any other tips to help people discover their love for books?
Did you always love reading from the beginning? Do you know someone that originally didn’t like reading but now they love it? How did they fall in love with reading?