So, I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard probably the saddest thing I’ve heard in quite a long time. An author, whose name I won’t give, said that it was hard for him to read for pleasure anymore. He said that between writing and editing, as well as editing for his publishing company, he just didn’t want to read anymore.
Imagine that, losing the love of reading. Reading is why I became a writer. Reading brightened my childhood, and still gives me joy to this day.
That being said, when we work with words all day, they can get old. It feels like every story is the same, at times. It can feel like writers, eventually, can see everything coming.
And yet I read, almost every day. I still love reading, and I pray I always will. But I’m too realistic to think that what’s happened to the aforementioned author might not happen to me. Here are things that I do to keep my love of reading alive.
Reading outside of our genre
I write speculative fiction, and I love reading it. I also love reading historical fiction and biographies. I also read political books and historical nonfiction.
Every genre has a certain feel. It doesn’t matter the writer or the story. A horror story is a horror story. And no matter how much you like horror stories, you can get sick of them eventually. It’s just like food. I love coffee, but sometimes I’d like a cup of green tea.
Yes, you should read your genre. But you should also read as widely as possible. If not to fuel your own writing, but to be happy and read things that make you happy.
Reading books you’ve already read
While I’ve tried to avoid this year, I still reread a few books. I’d run into a snag, trying a few books that I really just didn’t like. This lead to me finding other things to do during times I would normally read. Like scrolling through Instagram. Instagram has a place in my day, and it needs to stay there.
There are some books, or rather series, that I come back to over and over. Series of Unfortunate Events, Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. They are a joy, they suck me in every time I read them. And I cannot help but love them every time.
If you’re having trouble finding time to read, go back to a book that you loved. Read it again. When you’re done, you will likely find yourself searching for something else to read.
Reading without worrying about age restrictions
Yes, I’m sure you’ve noticed that some of the books I mentioned were kids books. I don’t care. I read a book that I want to read, and I don’t care much if it’s not for adults. I’ll read Harry Potter in public, and I don’t care a bit.
Read what you want to read, even if it’s for kids. Books are written to be a joy.
Reading other forms of work
Read biographies. Read historical books. Read poetry, blog posts, essays. Read everything you want to read.
I think, when we count up how much we read, we only intend to include novels. But what about the mountain of reading we do every day? I read newsletters, blog posts, and tons of micro-fiction. Don’t discount that sort of writing.
Don’t be afraid to put a book down if you don’t like it.
Nothing will suck the fun out of reading like a boring book. I have no patience for a boring book, and I’ll put one down in a second. I pray that my books are never boring. They’re not perfect sure, but I hope they’re never boring.
So what do you think? What was the last book you read for pleasure? Let us know in the comments below.
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