Last updated on May 10th, 2017You haven’t picked up a book in some time. Your life is too hectic to consider delving into a memoir or a story that takes place in the woods of Norway. You convince yourself you simply don’t have time to read, and even if the book cover caught your eye as you wandered through the store aisle, when would you have time to read it? Set these questions aside and ask yourself, can I start with one book? Yes!
5 ways to build a reading-practice
First, reflect back on the books you read in school, or the ones you were fortunate to have as a child or found in the library after school. What did you like about those books? Find a genre or style or topic that appeals to you and makes you feel comfortable — once you are into the book, the story will transport you to another place, giving you a break from the stress of everyday.
Second, start perusing online book reviews written by book critics and / or other writers. Well-written and thoughtful book reviews can spark an interest or intrigue beyond the book cover jacket. Reader ratings and comments are also helpful and can be a supplemental source. A place to start? (Yes, this is a plug.) Take a look at the reviews contributed by published writers or take time reading the in-depth longform reviews.
Visit your bookstore
Third, visit your local bookstore. With their books on display or a staircase to an inviting second floor (if it is a larger space), local bookstores are often visually interesting and offer many opportunities to browse available books. While at the bookstore, check out local happenings for a book club to join or a reading presented by either a local or out-of-town author. Author readings can be entertaining ways to find a new book to read. If new books are not on your budget or not your “thing,” check out a used bookstore, if you are fortunate to have one in your area.
Visit your library
Fourth, visit your local library. Take your children. Explore the books together. You each can check out a book and then find the time to read together, aloud or silently, side by side. Local libraries are a great place to peruse new releases and classics, ask questions of the reference librarian, take part in local activities, or sit quietly, even if just for 5 minutes.
Write, write, and write some more
Fifth, start writing. Well, that seems a bit off topic but beginning to write — more specifically, journaling – is a great way to start reading. Journaling and putting words to paper opens its own world of investigation into your experiences, your interests, your thoughts. And as this investigation into your inner-world starts to bloom, you will probably find yourself reaching for a book that answers a new question or a new curiosity. It doesn’t take hours. Start with 5 or 10 minutes a day and go from there. As you write, you read. As you read, you write. Other writers’ words motivate you to find your own.
These are just 5 ways to start a “reading practice” and sustain it. There are surely many others . We’d love to hear what works for you.