This might be slightly stupid thing to ask, but how do you get interested in reading again? I used to read so many books when I was younger but now after school/work, I'm so tired that I'd rather watch TV than read.
Hey lovely, this isn’t stupid at all, I think its happening to most readers today and I definitely find this problem! I have a lot of thoughts on why this is, but long story short it’s because of a) book elitism and b) instant gratification due to the development of television, internet etc and its harder to both make the commitment and maintain interest in books (I even find it hard to finish a two hour long movie most nights). But, as our attention spans are becoming shorter its even more important to keep reading, and last year I finally decided to get out of my reading rut and committed to reading 52 books throughout the year (which isn’t that much to some people, but was more than I had read over the previous few years). Some things that helped me:
I don’t understand how anyone who reads doesn’t use Good Reads already, but it is amazing for organising your reading. You search for books you want to read, have read or are currently reading and “shelve” them accordingly so you can find them better. I use this to look at reviews, see what my GR’s friends have been reading/recommending, and search different genres or categories to find things I may be interested in.
Set A Goal Though you can do this by yourself and keep a number in mind, I’d recommend using Good Reads’ Reading Challenge as it shows how many books behind/in front you are and the percentage you have finished for the year (displayed on a progress bar). At the end, it will also give you an overview of your year of reading, showing how many pages you read, the longest and shortest books, your average rating, your favourites and other cool things. Actually visualising your progress can really, really help and keep you motivated to stay on top of your goal (it got me to read around 15 books in december to finish my 52). For some people this may only make reading stressful which is NOT good (so if thats the case don’t do it), but if you like planning definitely set your goal now!
Blogging about literature that I loved or wanted to read on Tumblr also really helped motivate me, especially when people started asking me about books. If you want more readers to follow/talk to you, try making edits or posts for your fandoms and initiate conversations. Also make sure you follow people who blog about literature so it comes on your dash more frequently and keeps you interested! If instagram or youtube fits you better, try looking at people who discuss books on there too.
Environment and Different Mediums If you get distracted when reading, try to create a space or situation strictly for books. This could be a room in your house, lying on the end of your bed, sitting in a beanbag with a cup of tea — just something you recognise as a place for reading. Make sure you keep your laptop and phone away so you don’t get distracted! You can also try downloading books onto your phone or computer so when you’re away from home and need entertainment you might pick it up and get invested (this has helped me start reading several times after becoming bored at the hairdressers or on the bus, even though I prefer physical books).
Re-Read Your Favourite Books This is the absolute most important thing when getting back into reading. Never feel pressured to read classics, memoirs or best sellers if they simply don’t interest you! The best thing you can do is pick up one of your favourite books so you know you will finish it quickly, because it will make you want to keep turning pages. It’s even better if there is a series you love, as that gets you back in the habit of picking up another book straight away (reading Harry Potter always helps me). Similarly, don’t be afraid to put a book down if you don’t enjoy it - there is no shame in moving on if it’s just going to make you dislike reading again and lose interest. Never feel ashamed of reading something others don’t like or approve of, if you don’t enjoying reading then there is no point at all.
Bonus; do whatever else motivates you! It doesn’t matter if what you enjoy/get motivated by is what other people call superficial or whatever else. If a pretty book cover makes you want to pick it up then buy books with pretty covers! If taking pictures for #bookstagram helps to motivate you than do it!!! Just rediscover the excitement of reading again, the feeling of staying up all night to finish a good book, rushing to the local store because you can’t wait for a new instalment. Reading should always be enjoyable, so make sure you are reading for you and not just because you feel like you should.