I never really thought I could fall out of love with reading. 14-year-old me would have had her heart broken had she known it was possible. I related to Harper Lee’s sentiment that “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing”.
With exam season in full swing, it can be difficult to create time to read and read books besides the course extracts. Reading for me (before university of course) was mostly for personal gratification but sometimes to help me fall asleep. Once starting my degree, I slipped into that cycle of always having things to do and being busy, which totally destroyed my desire to read and pretty much everything else.
Rather than browsing Waterstones to pick up books with pretty covers and interesting blurbs, my trips to find books consisted of endlessly browsing shelves in the library (often the wrong ones) and reading chapters of academic research. Great in its own way of course, just not the kind of books I’d want to read on holiday. Eventually, I realised that it’s important to make time to do things I love, the biggest thing being reading.
Being in that environment, amongst other readers and often just talking about books you have read before can really help you get into the reading mindset
My first recommendation would be to create a list of books that you want to read, somewhere you can access regularly to update and add books to. Knowing that I have a list of books to read motivates me to make time to make sure I get around to reading them all. That doesn’t mean to say you park your revision on the side and read 7 books before bed time.
When taking a break from revision, before bed or even on the bus to uni, fill the gap by doing what you love. This way reading becomes part of your routine and not a chore. For me, it feels like I’m being productive even when I’m not doing working towards my deadlines. Also, if you’re a list person, then you’ll know the satisfaction levels of when you finally tick a book you have read, off of the list.
Secondly, I’ve realised that browsing in bookshops motivates me to read. Being in that environment, amongst other readers and often just talking about books you have read before can really help you get into the reading mindset. Often, just popping into a bookshop and realising there is an endless number of books on my list really reminds me of how much I love reading. Honestly, who doesn’t love sitting in a small coffee shop with a cup of tea and a great book?
Your phone, something us millennials never leave the house without, is a great way to access books online and is very practical
Finally, the Kindle app, or any other kind of app that enables you to read on the go. I found that having the app on my phone means that reading is only a couple of clicks away when I am looking for something to do. It means I am able to read without having to carry a physical book, wherever and whenever I really want to do so.
Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer having the actual book so I can add it to my shelf, but often it can be impractical to carry a book with you wherever you go. Your phone, something us millennials never leave the house without, is a great way to access books online and is very practical. Instead of browsing Instagram before bed, dedicate the last hour of your day to a few pages of a book.
So, in the words of Roald Dahl, “please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place, you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall”.