Smart ways to make reading fun
Nothing is quite as enjoyable as reading a good book, where the story transports you to a completely NEW and exciting world!
But regrettably, reading won’t always make you feel this way. There are times when you just picked up the wrong book…
For instance, if you’re reading a book like, Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way, where it takes twenty-four pages to describe a scene, reading can easily turn into an endless chore.
And there are other books that can cause the same boredom with unexciting characters.
In my opinion, these can either tempt you to abandon the book or take a break from reading until you find a gripping read or push you to go a step further and make you doubtful whether “reading” is really for you!
I often felt both, which is why I have a few helpful tips that make your reading sessions less boring.
Hacks to help you find out whether the book is really dull or not. Smart tricks to make reading more rewarding.
1. Define the purpose of your reading
You are told numerous times that reading is the best hobby. Reading can enhance your memory and concentration. However, that’s not enough to make reading more fun.
Identify the reason, why you want to read? Is it because you love stories? Or you love reading more about the lives of people: world leaders, actors, politicians,…?
For me, reading is a hobby I enjoy the most. Books are the lens through which I see the world. Reading helps me explore the countries and cultures that are foreign to me.
The other day, I was reading “The Great Alone’‘ by Kristin Hannah– an incredible novel that tells the story of a family in Alaska. I could actually experience the dangers of living in a wild, remote corner of the state throughout the book!
“Homegoing” is another epic novel that’s so close to my heart. Yaa Gyasi’s novel depicts brutal acts of violence and enslavement.
But, I don’t always go for intense and dramatic novels. Occasionally, I pick up sweet and delightful reads like “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren.
So next time, find out your “WHY” before starting a new book.
2. Establish a simple daily reading routine
An easy reading routine will go a long way in your busy schedule.
Establishing daily reading may include a few realistic approaches but can impact your reading in so many ways.
The first step is to figure out the time you want to allocate for reading.
Are you an early bird and get everything done in the morning, then maybe how about reading a few minutes before work?
Or do you like getting some extra sleep in the morning and want to read more just before bed? Choose whatever best suits you and stick with it.
Make the most out of your reading time by creating a reading nook. Get a comfortable reading chair or couch and get some matching cushions to make the space cosy and comfortable.
Here is a few reading nook decor to create the dreamy book lover space.
3. Avoid distractions while reading
The one most common problem that every reader faces might be getting distracted. Once you start reading, millions of things come to your mind and eventually, you’ll lose focus.
Other times, it can be a new IG message that pops on your phone or a FB comment. Once you grab the phone to look into any of these, you get lost in the “eternal scrolling” of your IG feed.
So before you read, turn phone your phone off or put it in focus mode.
Listening to music is another good way to avoid distractions. But here is something you should know about listening to music while you read.
Recent research suggests listening to music with lyrics reduces reading efficiency. “Music with lyrics is very likely to have a problematic effect when you’re writing or reading,” said Clifford Nass, professor at Stanford University.
Grab this playlist if you love listening to music while reading.
4. Don’t speed read
You might want to read more books and become an avid reader. Although speed reading can help reading more books, you may not be able to enjoy the story. You might understand only a little of the story and eventually want to give up. Focusing more on speed can actually affect comprehension.
I am quite sure this is what had happened to me when I read a classic novel. I have to reduce my reading speed quite a lot compared to contemporary fiction.
Bottom line is that speed reading is not a bad habit but it somewhat limits the pleasure of reading a good book.
Just last week, I read ” Malibu rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid a lot faster than ” What Was Lost” by Catherine O’Flynn.
5. Break down the chapters/ pages
If you love reading long books with 500 or 800 pages, challenge yourself not to check the leftover pages. A smart way to avoid the stress of reading a long book is to divide them into small chunks. Create a timeline for each chapter and read them accordingly.
I actually divide them hourly. For example, 100 pages/ 3 chapters in an hour. These numbers can vary depending on the book, of course.
6. Join a book club
Even though I am not part of a book club officially, the idea takes me back to my literature classes. I remember when we were asked to read classics for the reading discussions.
Although I wasn’t a bookworm then, I really liked the idea of discussing a book with my classmates.
So book clubs are definitely a place to hang out if you want to enjoy reading.
If you’re just started to read and are not sure how to choose your next read, join a book club immediately.
Not only for making reading more entertaining but also to meet other book lovers.
Sometimes it’s so hard not to discuss a great read when you’re not surrounded by bookworms. You might want to share a beautiful love story you read or an extraordinary memoir, but then you don’t know what to discuss, that’s when book clubs are a blessing.
Book clubs are also a great place to explore new genres and get tons of book recommendations.
You can also join the book discussion boards at Goodreads.
Here are a few book club recommendations.
7. Read the blurb & more
Although I am not a huge fan of reading book reviews, I find the blurbs of the book quite encouraging. In my opinion, reading the review restricts me from coming up with my own interpretation and analysis of characters. So I’d rather check the star rating in the good reads before getting a new book to read.
Along with reading a blurb here are a few things you can try doing to make reading more exciting.
- Read about the author
- Find out more about the background of the story
- Try to find out the story behind that beautiful cover
I remember watching the interview of Anne Patchet when she talks about the story behind the gorgeous cover of her latest book The Dutch House.
8. Switch different formats
E-book, audiobook or paper book?
You might have already heard the numerous debates out there on this topic. Personally, I don’t think it matters.
However, it took me a while to change my perspective on this as I always enjoyed feeling the pages when I read. The earthy smell of a book makes reading more pleasurable.
But for the past two years, I have been listening to audiobooks quite a lot, and actually enjoy listening to the audio narration of books.
We all know how classic novels are often regarded as the finest works of literature but the descriptive writing makes the reading tedious. But thanks to audiobooks, I have listened to quite a lot of them without getting distracted.
Here is a list of 21 FREE Audiobooks to get you started.
9. Watch book to movie adaptations.
There have been a great many literary adaptations over the years. From the classic novels, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Rabbit to Harry Potter and Hunger Games, so many great books have become the most popular movies of all time.
So how does watching a movie influence your reading?
Well, when you read you have your own interpretations of characters, story and the setting. So there is something incredibly exciting about seeing your favourite characters on screen.
I remember watching the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” half-heartedly. Having loved the book so much, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to enjoy it. But it turns out that the movie is one of the best movies of all time.
Of Mice and Men is another book to movie adaptation, a gripping tale of migrant workers that was heartbreaking to watch.
Explore more fascinating book to movie adaptations
- The Dry
- Peter Rabbit
- The Nightingale (upcoming)
- Fault in Our Stars
- The White Tiger
- Little Women
- Crazy Rich Asians
Another exciting list of films that you might not know were based on books
- Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
- The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
- The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
- Green Mile by Stephen King
- The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
- Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
- The Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
10. Do extra Google search on references.
This is one of the best things I enjoy doing when I begin a new book. Essentially, this includes searching about anything you find interesting in the novel. For instance, you might find the country where the book is set fascinating. Perhaps the historical events mentioned in the book were intriguing. Or you are excited about the sumptuous recipes in a novel.
When I was reading “Anne of Green Gables”, I was fascinated by country life. I was constantly reading about Prince Edward Island and gazing at the picturesque villages on Google.
So take some time to find out something exciting in the book, apart from the story.
A few honourable mentions of the books made me spend hours on the internet reading about interesting facts than the actual story.
- “Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi“( Historical Elements)
- “Malibu Rising” ( Malibu, Obviously )
- “The Home for Unwanted Girls” by Joanna Goodman (Historical references)
11. Listen to podcasts about books
Podcasts are widely popular because they are FREE and you can listen anytime from anywhere.
Literary podcasts are the best if you love listening to discussions on books, authors, writing etc.
“Books and Authors” is the very first book podcast I listened to and have been hooked ever since. Each episode covers interviews of popular authors or writers discussing their favourite books.
Here are a few Podcasts for Book Lovers to get started.
Weekly news and talk show hosted by the editors of BookRiot.com
Host Traci interviews authors about their writing process and favourite read.
Great discussion about YA books. New releases and popular YA books and authors.
This weekly podcast explores the wizarding world. Each episode has something unique for potter heads.
Just like the name, this podcast helps you find YOU the next read.
Bimonthlypodcast discusses popular books of black authors.
Hosts Christopher and Drew talk about everything about reading, literature, publishing.
Another great podcast for book recommendations. It also takes you through the writers’ process and research and much more.
A beautiful podcast about stories. In each episode, guests share the inspiring stories that have touched them.
12. Use reading trackers
What’s a reading tracker? Just like the name suggests, it’s a way of tracking the books you’ve read. Or books you’re planning to read in a month or a year.
Tracking the books encourages you to read more and make it more pleasurable and gratifying.
Reading trackers are the best to keep track of the complicated or sometimes similar book titles you often forget. Ever since I started using a reading tracker, I can easily go back and forth to see whether I have read that particular book.
You can even use reading logs to track the books of a particular author.
Above all, isn’t it always fun to look back and see how many books you’ve read in a year?
So if you’re looking for the best way to track your book, Goodreads is the best website.
Or if you want to be a little more creative, I can help you with “The Creative Muggle reading tracker. These reading trackers are an absolutely creative space for you to track the book with a bit of colouring. Grab the reading trackers here.
13. Watch TV shows based on books
The Queen’s Gambit to Bridgerton, Netflix shows based on books have gained massive popularity in the past year.
So why not grab the books and watch the TY shows?
The fascinating thing about Netflix shows is that they are lengthy and elaborate, giving us more opportunity to explore the characters.
Given that Netflix has been picking up a number of novels to TV adaptations it’s time to make your reading more fun.
14. Take regular breaks
Numerous researches have shown how “taking a break” can benefit our productivity and wellbeing. When it comes to reading, the same rule applies. Taking short breaks resets our moods.
So next time if you feel bored or lose focus, remember to take a mini-break. Grab a drink or talk to someone.
If you are curious to know more about taking breaks in general here is an article that might help.
15. Appreciate your efforts
Finally, take some time to appreciate your efforts and accomplishments.
Treat yourself to anything you love. Another book (why not ), cookies, chocolate, anything that makes you feel like you’ve achieved something extraordinary.
Are you excited to make your reading more fun?
Let me know whether any of these hacks have worked for you,
Always curious to hear from you,