I am so excited to feature my very first guest post on the blog today. Eleanor (NotSoModernGirl) has kindly agreed to share her thoughts about returning to reading after some time away from books. As usual, her ideas are relevant and useful. I’d like to thank Eleanor for putting together such a wonderful post. Here it is:
I’ve always read books ever since I was little, but after going to University- and having to read so much for my degree- I fell out of love with reading for pleasure. I would always have a book on the go, but I rarely finished it- and if I did it would take me months.
Ever since finishing University, I’ve tried to get back into reading. However, with lockdown and the uncertain world situation, I turned to Netflix to distract me- and it’s only since things started to get less intense in the world that I’ve started to pick up books again as a welcome hobby.
Now I love reading almost as much as I did before. Yes, my attention span isn’t what it used to be, and I still take a while to finish a book, but I’m so happy I managed to get back into reading, and I’m finally finishing all the books I start- and enjoying them!
In this post, I’m discussing 5 ways to get back into reading for pleasure. It might take a couple of weeks or a couple of months, but there are definitely a few ways to improve your reading habits and get back into a hobby you once used to love.
1. Read a bit at a time
You shouldn’t force yourself to read a lot in one sitting, because it’s not going to happen and you’ll feel disappointed in yourself.
Push yourself to read a little bit at a time, such as before bed or in the mornings. You might only read 5 pages, but that’s the best way to stay consistent, and actually enjoy reading as a hobby rather than as a chore or something you do for your degree.
2. Choose a book- not your phone
It’s so easy to pick up your phone when you have 5 minutes of downtime, but try to choose a book instead. Make sure to have your book close to hand, and any time you would be mindlessly scrolling on your phone- read instead.
It’s a hard habit to get into- and I’m still working on it- but it’s a great way to give your mind a rest from bright screens, and get some valuable reading time.
3. Mix it up
If you can’t decide what to read, try something a bit different. You don’t need to read the same genre as you always used to, and there are so many book blogs and recommendations out there to find the perfect read for you.
Choose books that are different from each other to keep yourself interested, and try out different types of books, such as non-fiction reads.
I loved reading ‘Circe’ by Madeline Miller during lockdown, as it was unlike anything I’d read before. I also found that choosing non-fiction reads got me interested in reading again, and this is a great way to try out different books and find out what you like now, after a brief period without reading.
4. Take your book everywhere
This is an idea I’ve started recently, and it’s really paid off!
If you take your book with you in your bag, you always have it whenever you have some down time. If you have a break at work or you’re waiting for the bus, pull out your book and read for 20 minutes.
This is a great way to pass the time, and when you have your book on you then you have no excuse not to read!
5. Choose books that interest you
There’s no point reading books that don’t interest you. Don’t read an old classic if it’s not something that makes you excited to get back to reading, and don’t read a popular book because you feel like you should. If you want to read a Romance novel, go for it. Or if you want to give Sci-Fi a go, then do that.
You should be reading whatever gets you interested, and you’re not going to get back into reading by choosing books that don’t inspire or interest you. You need a book that pulls you back to it, and finding that perfect, fast-paced book is the most important part of getting back into reading as a fun activity.
Thank you so much to Jamie for letting me post on his blog today!
I really hope my tips help you fall back in love with reading, or encourage you to pick up a book instead of your phone next time you’re taking a break from work.
It can be hard to get back into reading for pleasure after a short or long break, but it is such a rewarding and fun hobby- so it’s definitely worth pushing yourself.
This guest post was written by Eleanor. She is a freelance content writer from the UK, and she loves writing lifestyle posts for her blog and other websites.
Today I wanted to share one of my stories from my book, ‘Second Glance’. It is my Christmas story with a difference, about a journalist sent to Switzerland to meet a guy claiming to be a messenger from God. I intend to share the rest of the story over time.
I woke up to find my phone ringing repeatedly. Without my contact lenses, I couldn’t even manage to press the right button to silence the damn thing. Last night’s festivities were taking their toll. I could taste the foul onions which must have partnered the kebab we had before grabbing taxis home. I felt happy that I had finally got my own place, otherwise by now my mum would’ve been on my case, giving me grief about drinking too much, and chasing me around, making me clean up and shoving me into the shower.
My flat felt empty and still. When I went to feed the puppy, it wasn’t in its bed. Instead it was sat, diligently looking out of the window, no doubt eyeing up the pooch that walked by every day at about this time. This puppy had better love prospects than I ever did. He turned his head to me and stuck out his tongue. I patted him gently and filled his bowl with meat. I knew that as soon as the posh neighbour’s fancy dog had walked past, he would be lapping up the treats.
Returning to my phone, I could see there was a message waiting for me. It was from my boss, Lauren. She needed me to ring her back urgently. The TV had just come on, loudly blurting out Christmas music while trying to sell me a compilation of holiday tunes. I pressed mute and rang work. The conversation was weird. Lauren picked up and told me that I had an assignment. She was sending me to Switzerland straight away. It was a very quirky challenge. Literally every job I was given by Lauren was full of weirdness. After all, I was working for a small media firm which specialised in documentaries and investigative journalism. They tended to sell stories which were out of the ordinary and often went beyond the realms of believability.
I rang my brother and asked him to look after the pup. He agreed, thankfully, knowing he owed me a favour after I acted as his alibi when he had a random one night stand with his body pump coach. My bags were always partly packed and it didn’t take me long to add a few woolly hats, a scarf and an emergency supply of Pringles. Half a bottle of Jack Daniels was the finishing touch before I closed the case and parked it by the door. My brother picked up the dog and gave me a lift to the train station.
“So where you going this time?” he asked as he drove at high speed through the empty streets of my sleepy little city.
“Well. I didn’t get all the facts. But apparently a guy has declared himself the new Jesus and started a Christmas commune in the middle of the Swiss Alps,” I said, chuckling to myself.
“That is one hell of a story!” he jeered.
“Hey! It pays the bills,” I sniggered. “I reckon he’ll give a great interview.”
“You can say that again. I’ll have some of what he is having. I bet he is surrounded by hot women and everyone is high as kites.”
“Let’s hope so,” I laughed as I unpacked my case from the boot and patted the dog farewell.
AD – If you enjoyed this, keep looking out for the next instalment or check out my book below. This book of short stories is about first impressions being often misleading.
For another extract from one of my books, click here.