How to Stay on a Reading Kick

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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.

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11 thoughts on “How to Stay on a Reading Kick

  1. Kat

    Speaking of celebrity books, have you read Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi? She talks about her really long struggle with disordered eating and body image so it’s heavy but it’s really, really good. I couldn’t put it down!

  2. Aimee

    I find myself reading a book to it’s entirety because I do feel guilty about putting it down halfway. Then it stalls the whole process because I’m less likely to read, because I don’t want to read what I’m currently reading! I need to get over that.

    Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven…saw that on your picture…that was a good book!

  3. Sarah @ Long Legs Healthy Life

    So I was sitting at the hair salon today under the big loud dryer, and I decided to get out my phone and read. I pulled up My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster and immediately got sucked into the story. I looked around about 10 minutes later, and noticed that a few people were looking at me funny because I had been snickering out loud. She is the only author to actual make me LOL when reading. Also? Right now, I’m ordering about 1/2 of the books you’ve pictured in this post. My wallet is crying, but my brain is happy.
    Sarah @ Long Legs Healthy Life recently posted..Red Prince Apples

  4. Kayla

    I love all of these tips! Though just as a personal thing, I find that I DO force myself to read, to finish things that I don’t like. I hated Catcher in the Rye from the moment I picked it up until the last page. But because I had such a strong reaction to it, the book still had something to offer me. Though maybe it IS just a pride thing – I claim to be a lover of books: how can I start one and not finish it?

    Also, I’m glad to see Water for Elephants in your pile. 😀
    Kayla recently posted..Moonlighting

  5. Paige

    I love your comments on the “guilty pleasure” reading. I’ve found myself gravitating more and more towards lighter reads lately, but when my books arrive I always feel that urge to be like, “oh. ahem. this isn’t for me…” I think I just need to get over it and accept that it’s working for me now. It’s nice to be flying through books again instead of taking a month or to to finish one!
    Paige recently posted..Leaky Pipes- Trapped Magazines- and Other Moving Complications

  6. Gracie

    Hahaha, my friend is going to be sooo excited about these tips! 😉

    I think she’ll especially like #5. She’s gotten it stuck in her head that she needs *at least* 30 minutes to even consider reading, and at this point her life that is definitely a rarity…

    Thanks, boo 🙂 xoxo G
    Gracie recently posted..why I moved to manhattan- part 2

  7. Ellen

    Such great tips for reading! I love getting sucked into a good book series. I’ve also noticed that I go in streaks for the types of books I’m reading. For example, this year has been all about the memoirs and young adult distopian novels. I also love that you featured some Jane Austen love in this post (I’m a big fan of her’s).
    Ellen recently posted..Happy Birthday Mom!

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