With more free time on your hands, this is the ideal time to get lost in a book. It’s the perfect way to escape from the worrying news headlines and the anxiety-inducing sprawl of social media. Reading is a productive use of your time with a wealth of benefits, including strengthening your brain function, building your vocabulary, and improving your mental health. Not to mention the joy of being engrossed in a gripping story and following the exploits of your favourite characters.
But if you struggle to find the motivation to pick up a book, or are unable to concentrate when you do, don’t be disheartened. Training yourself to read more is like exercise; it requires persistence and practice. Whether you’re a bibliophile who wants to consume more books or a reading novice who wants to start, these handy tips will help you get more enjoyment from the written word.
Read what you love
If you want to read more, it helps to get excited by the book you are reading. Whether you prefer an exciting adventure tale, a weighty Booker-Prize winning tome, or a detailed history of World War Two, start by reading whatever appeals to you most. If you’re struggling to get through as many books as you’d like, don’t feel you have to consume all of the classics right away. War and Peace can wait. Find something that instantly grips you and build your reading habit from there.
Create the perfect conditions
We live in a world of distractions. Smartphone notifications, social media, the urge to binge-watch our favourite Netflix series. It’s harder than ever to find some peace to sit down with a book. Make sure conditions are perfect and minimize distractions. Switch off your phone, shut yourself away from other people, and find a comfy spot in which to sit down with your book. New readers might find they struggle to see the printed word or get headaches when they read for long periods. If so, consider getting your eyes checked. A fancy new pair of Oakley glasses will not only make you look stylish, but it could also make or break your ability to read well.
Keep your options open
If you find you’re not getting into a book, don’t be afraid to give it up. There’s no point persevering with a novel that isn’t giving you any joy. Move onto something more appealing. To motivate yourself to read, try having a range of different books on the go at once, so you have more options to choose from when you sit down to read. As an example, perhaps your reading pile could include a light-hearted story, a non-fiction book, and a more high-brow literary novel.
If you’re really finding it difficult to concentrate on a book, audio might be your answer. Many readers find listening to a book is a more immersive experience and makes it easier to focus on the story without distraction. It also makes it possible to read a greater number of books in a shorter time, as you can listen to an audiobook anywhere, for example, when you’re out for a run or doing housework.
The ability to read well without losing focus can take time to master, but keep at it, and you will be a literary connoisseur in no time.