When I was a kid, I used to tear through Encyclopedia Brown and Boxcar Children books like it was my job. I was a good little reader. This voracious trend continued more or less through high school. My parents always had a number of books and recommendations and I always had a comfy chair in which to sit.
In college my reading shifted. I was reading more magazines, newspapers and websites. Then I basically forsook fiction for the last few years of college. At the time I felt that real life was just far more interesting that novels or short stories. But after college I got back into reading seriously, and the last few years I've been reading books at a clip much faster than even my younger bookworm days. So for what it's worth, here are a few thoughts on how I've gotten back into reading a lot:
* Set A Reasonable Pace - I usually read 50-60 pages a day. This translates into a whole lot of books over the course of a year, but when you look at it on a daily basis, it's generally not more than 90-120 minutes, which most people can probably carve out of their schedule. Just stop watching those Seinfeld reruns for a few months, or bring your book on the metro or read something with your breakfast. It's not too tough.
* Mix Things Up - If I find myself reading something more massive and dense (like currently, this), I'll generally be reading one or two lighter things on the side - a collection of short stories, a graphic novel, a biography, etc. Otherwise I find that I'll get bogged down in the big book and that slog won't be very productive. Plus it's really satisfying to finish up two books within a day or two of each other.
* Libraries Are Great - I had not set foot in a non-college library for years by the time I was out of college, but I have gotten back into the habit. You would think libraries would be full of people at all times clamoring for awesome books, but alas they are not. America, please get your act together.
* It's A Book Not A Contract - You don't have to finish everything you start. If you hate a book, put it down for a while and start something else. Or just return it to the library and let it go. There's no harm in not reading something that you hate.
And so we witness the end.
3 years ago