We all have that certain type of person in our lives — someone who would do anything to avoid reading a book. But what if I told you there was a way to lure them into the dark side — the one occupied by booklovers?
When we, booklovers, examine the world we live in, we usually categorize people into two groups: readers and non-readers. I mean, one of the first questions we ask strangers when we’re forced to socialize in gatherings away from friends, is ‘what do you like more; reading or watching movies?’ (warning: while asking this question worked for me, I am merely an introvert disguised as an extrovert and do not know how social people start up conversations… extroverts, please let us in on some of your communication secrets).
The bottom line is that while some would happily spend hours reading books and talking about them, others would easily choose to pay a dreaded visit to the dentist instead of picking up any kind of book. But when our worlds collide, and they often do, we, booklovers, find it harder and harder to stop coaxing book haters to read, putting in more effort to persuade them in every interaction.
And if you’re reading this now, it means that we’ve gotten through to you managing to form a crack in your armor. Now don’t worry, I’m not here to bug you further, but instead to help you slowly find your way to reading. My last attempt to lure you to our dark side if you will. And if I fail, well, then you can simply go back to staring at your bedroom ceiling contemplating your life choices because the power’s out, ignoring all books for the rest of your life, and we’ll forget this moment of weakness ever happened.
So, let’s dive right into how you can become a reader.
Find What Suits You
Your first mission is to find a book you actually like. To do this, you might decide to narrow down your list of favorite movies and classify them into genres. From there it’ll be easier to understand what genres you enjoy, and consequently, reading those genres would be enjoyable. And of course, there is always another route for the more courageous explorers, and that is to, well, explore. While certain books might be a hit and miss, I’m positive that you’ll find some that you’ll love. And when a particular book or a genre surprises you in the best way possible, that feeling, my friend, will stay with you for a long time.
Another way to keep the flame alive and bright in this new relationship you form with reading is to create a reading list compiling all the books you have yet to read, or a To Be Read (TBR) list, as the cool kids call it these days (yes, cool kids read). A problem both novice readers and bookworms repeatedly face is burning through a great page-turner only to feel like they’re not sure what to do next. With so many fantastic books out there, it can be somewhat overwhelming choosing what to read next. This is where the list comes in. The list not only allows you to select your next read from books you’re already interested in, but it also pushes you to add more books to it, broadening your focus.
But whether you’re an explorer or decide to stick to what you already know before venturing out, you must put some effort in for this relationship to actually work. By that I mean to give every book a real chance. Dedicate some time and focus only on reading, finishing the first handful of chapters of any new novel in one sitting, with no distractions. Only then will you be able to judge if the specific book is for you or not. Another cool acronym known in the book community is DNF, meaning Did Not Finish, so don’t feel pressured to continue a book you didn’t like, even after giving it a chance.
Never Be Without a Book
Seems crazy, right? Carrying around the one thing you don’t necessarily really like! But this is actually one of the most effective methods that’ll get you attached to books and ultimately shape your habit of reading. While we want to believe that we live these hectic, busy lives, we all have time to spare. We just don’t realize it because it is usually spent scrolling on our phones or staring at screens, faces engulfed in blue light. But why not use these moments, whether it’s commuting by public transport, waiting for friends, or hiding from your kids in the bathroom, and allowing ourselves to actually experience boredom and take advantage of it by picking up our books instead of our phones. After all, it was acclaimed writer Lemony Snicket who said, “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
Explore Various Mediums
Now I know the idea of lugging around a large, heavy book can be very unappealing. But luckily, we live in the digital age where almost everything can be found online, and that includes books. If your phone is constantly glued to your hand then you might as well try downloading E-books. What’s great about them is that due to small screen sizes you’ll often have to turn the page, an action that is extremely satisfying.
Another medium you can try out is audiobooks. These are great as they allow you to multitask when you have a lot of tedious tasks to do but want to mix in pleasure. Moreover, they are ideal for a beginner reader that just wants to follow along with stories without putting in the effort to physically read. Audiobooks can also be incredibly soothing as you listen to actors and authors bring characters to life, hooking you without realizing it.
Reading can seem intimidating as bookworms always present this image of constantly reading, comparing lists of finished books with each other. However, something every pro-reader experiences but doesn’t necessarily share is the months they go without picking up one novel. So, just as this article is aimed at you, the non-reader, it is also aimed at them. Go find them and start this journey of igniting and rediscovering your love for reading together.
Photo: Mimma Key/Shutterstock
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