How I Got into Reading


Like many others, I am a person who loves reading but constantly struggles finding the motivation to do it. While being fun, books are long and take up much more time and energy than a movie or television show. Reading can also be an expensive habit, with a standard paperback costing about twenty dollars.

Over the past few months, I have worked hard to carve out time in my life to read which has been mostly successful. In fact, I am quite proud of myself. So, for those of you who find it difficult to read for fun, here are some tips that helped me out:

Tip 1: Make a Booklist

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through TikTok and saving videos with book recommendations, only to never look at those videos again? Try making an official booklist for yourself. Just write down all of the books that you want to read so that, if you are ever at a bookstore or the library, you know exactly what to look for. That way, you have all the information you need in one place.

You could also make your booklist a sort of “goal list.” I personally made a list of books that I wanted to finish this year. It can be extremely gratifying to check off the books on your list one by one. Just be sure to make your goals achievable. There have been too many times when I put a massive amount of books on my goal list, only to be disappointed when I only finished half of them.

Tip 2: Read Books in a Way that Works for You

Something that I often see on social media is people reading books and having beautiful highlighting colors and perfect annotations in the margins. While I respect the hard work and dedication that these people put into their reading experience, it is important to know that not everyone has to read that way. I found that the pressure to write down my thoughts hindered my actual enjoyment of the book. When I realized that reading books and annotating along the way just wasn’t for me, I was able to read without it feeling like a chore.

This also opened up a lot of opportunities for the ways in which I read my books. You do not need to own a perfect hard copy of a novel to enjoy reading it. For those strapped for cash, getting books from the library works just as well. If you own a Kindle or rent books on your phone, that works too! Don’t feel limited because you think that the medium in which you read your book is “uncool.” Reading is reading; don’t be afraid to enjoy it as you please.

Tip 3: Set Out a Time in the Day to Read

Many students at UC San Diego have a schedule to which they adhere to every day. At this time they go to class, at this time they study, and at this time they hang out with their friends. Reading is something that you have to incorporate into that schedule. Otherwise, it will never get done.

Think about a block of time when you do not have much to do. It doesn’t have to be super long, just about 30 minutes. Commit that time to just reading your book. I personally prefer to read at night, my set time being just before I go to sleep. However, if that doesn’t work for you, try reading in the mornings or afternoons. It doesn’t have to be every day either, every other day or even once a week works as well. Whatever works best for you!

Tip 4: Start Small

For my last tip, I suggest that you do not get too ambitious when you first start out. If you are like me, you used to read a ton as a child but stopped as you grew older. Though it might feel a bit discouraging to be reading only a fifth of what you used to be able to, do not fret. You can work up to that amount in time. But if you start out too big, whether that means your books are too long or you committed to too much reading time, you might find yourself feeling disheartened when you aren’t able to measure up. So try not to make your first book a 500 page manifesto or a seven-book long series. Start out with novellas or short story collections and build your way up.

I hope that you will all find these tips useful in starting your own reading journey. Good luck and happy reading!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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