Daily Archives: May 4, 2011

How to Stay on a Reading Kick

Recently, one of my most favorite blends in the universe, little miss Gracie, inquired that i may have some advice for “her friend.”

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Your wish, my dear, is my command.

My advice:

1. If you don’t like something, don’t feel like you have to finish it.  DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. Move on until you find something you DO like.  There were a few books on the 27 in 27 list that I disliked so much that after several chapters, I decided to flip through to the end and declared myself “done.”  It was more than just not being able to “get into” these books – I was down right annoyed by them.

The way I see it, your life is yours for the living.  Throughout your day, you are inevitably need to face tasks and events which aren’t the most fun.  When it comes to how you spend your free time, wouldn’t you rather find immense joy in how you entertain yourself than feel forced to finish something lack luster? 

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2. Don’t be afraid to give old “ehs” a try. Books I have tried to read and put down a dozen times before often become PERFECT reads for later, as my life has changed, and I find myself in a different season.  Perhaps now, rather than previous, I find the characters more relatable.

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3. If you don’t consider yourself a “reader” – start with essay/short story collaborative works.  Each chapter is like a mini victory!  [A few of my favorites: Out of the Girls Room and Into the Night by Thisbe Nissen, Hyper-chondriac from Brian Frazer and anything by Jen Lancaster.]

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4. Ask yourself, “What books HAVE I enjoyed the most in the past?”   Put them into Your Next Read, an awesome website that will recommend other books you will most likely enjoy.

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5. Every few minutes COUNTS.  You know how everyone says, “if you only have a few minutes to do some strength training, it’s better to do it than to say – “I only have seven minutes!” “  Or that old rumor that taking the stairs, and parking far away REALLY add up.   The same goes for reading.  Take a book with you at all times (or download a book reading app for your smart phone) – when you have a few minutes on the subway, read.  When you are waiting for your friend to arrive for your coffee date, read.  When you sit down in front of the TV at 7:51 for Glee to start at 8:00 – put the TV on mute, and read until it starts.

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6. Try something NEW!  With the 27 in 27 challenge, there were SEVERAL books that I had gotten in my hands on in one form of another that I thought I had no interest in reading.  These books ended up as some of my FAVORITE BOOKS I’ve read thus far.

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7. Find yourself getting into reading “kicks” and then losing steam?  When you realize this is happening a few things to note. 

First, it’s OKAY if you aren’t a reader. There is NOTHING wrong with not liking to read. Seriously.  People who tell you otherwise are judgy McJudgersons. 

Secondly, if YOU want to do more reading, ask yourself “What am I interested in that is taking up my time?”  Maybe you are obsessed with baking and have been spending your downtime searching for recipes to add to your favorites list – why not add some books that are set around bakers or in bakeries (may I suggest Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray) If you can’t stop searching for Presidential Fun Facts, maybe give I Love You, Ronnie (one of my all time favs!) a read.

My mom NEVER considered herself a reader, but she fell for a series of books that take place in Chicago-land, where she is from, and loved them! Find books that relate to your passions and what little things make you happy.

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8. Whatever you read, don’t apologize.  Last week I placed an order from Barnes and Noble.  When I opened the box upon arrival, I realized that I must really have an affection for all things celebrity.  At first I was embarrassed; “what a guilty pleasure!” I thought to myself.  But then the revelation that I had nothing to be ashamed of set in. 

I read what I enjoy.  I am a lover of stories! I enjoy hearing other people’s life tales and being effected by the emotions they share. [Hello, I’m a fan of life sharing blogs!] Why shouldn’t I read what interests me, no matter what rocket scientist may argue.