On a recent blog post, a reader left a comment that sparked the inspiration for this post. She said:
"I totally agree with you about priorities. Reading is pretty much my #1 love, so I know that if I don't get time to read in a day (or week) because I'm too busy, I need to sort my life out."
It really made me think about my own reading experiences.
As a teenager, I loved reading and I still do now. But back then, I read so many books. I'd spend an entire evening and go into the early hours of a morning finishing my favourite book.
When my studies at university got tougher and I started this blog alongside my MA course and a full-time job, reading slipped down my list of priorities.
So much so, that I can't remember the last time I read a full book from cover to cover.
And I mean an actual book. Sure I read online every day. I read magazines.
But you can't get lost in those the way you can get lost in a good book.
You know when you love reading so much that you get lost in it? You become your favourite character, you embody them and their story is constantly on your mind?
That was me. That's me as a reader.
I've still got all my old books, either stored up in the loft space, or hidden away in my bedroom somewhere. The pages still the same.
One evening this week, the prompt for my journal was, "what books did you used to read when you were younger?"
Some I could recite like I'd read them yesterday.
Others I couldn't remember.
So I hunted out all my books from when I was a child and teenager. They brought back waves of wonderful memories.
Memories of being so comfortable in my own company. Memories of getting through half a book in one evening. Memories of crying at the words. Memories of love when I read the final page.
It made me want to read them all over again.
So here's my pact for the rest of 2015...
I'm going to get back into reading again.
It'll be a struggle. I tried it once a few months ago and failed to keep it up. But this time, it's going to stick. And I'll be documenting my journey with you along the way.
Want to join me?
Some simple tips to help you get back into reading:
- Pick any book that you like and start there. Think back to what genres you used to love when you were younger. Romance? Sci-fi? Fantasy? Pick a book and start from there.
- Make a promise to yourself. Tell yourself that you're going to finish this book. Whether you commit yourself to a chapter a night or a chapter a week, it'll keep you motivated. Join in with a challenge - there are so many people taking part in these.
- Take time to read every day. Even if you start off with only 15 minutes per day. Gradually increase it each week and it'll soon become a permanent part of your routine. Remember - consistency is key.
- Read a book you've already read. Sure you know the story - but it's how it makes you feel that's more important. Once you get transported back to that place, you'll want it to keep happening.
A Final Note...
For the last few years, reading for my has consisted of blog posts and huge course text books. But no more. Now I can go back to what used to fulfil me the most as a hobby:
Reading for pleasure, and reading for fun.
Are you an avid reader? I'd love to know, if you went through a time when you didn't read, how did you get back into it?