Don’t be shy. You’re a closet book nerd. It’s ok! You’re not alone! Lots of people would rather be fondling hardcover jackets and sniffing book-binding glue under the covers instead of burning out their retinas and courting insomnia in the blue-glow of their tablets and e-book readers. But if you’ve gotten lazy and recently traded “Candy Crush” for your favorite authors, here are a few tips to reconnect with your secret inner reader who is starved for words:
1) Download the latest hot read(s). Sure, you can poke around in the $1.99 ebook bargains, but you’re worth a full-priced book. (Or two.) Ask friends what they’ve read lately, check the current bestseller lists, and scan a few hundred Amazon comments. Then let your fingers do the buying and fire up your Kindle.
2) Go against type. So you love fiction. Or history. Or thrillers. This time, though, instead of being a creature of habit, try something new. Dig into a biography about someone you’re interested in but don’t know much about. Get sucked into a novel by an author you’ve never read before. Explore. Be adventurous. Let curiosity take over.
3) Read together. Everyone knows you’re supposed to read to children, but how many of us keep it up once they’re old enough to read for themselves? Take turns reading chapters aloud with your kids (unless they’re teenagers) or significant other (unless they’re watching Netflix and don’t want you annoying them). Or pick a book and read it (silently) along with your kids or spouse, then arrange to discuss it at a mutually-convenient time.
4) If you loved it, read it again. Sure. It’s hard enough making time for reading something the first time, so it might sound insanely ridiculous to suggest re-reading a book, but returning to the books you already love is both a little nostalgic vacation for your brain and a guarantee that your precious limited reading time won’t be wasted.
5) Start or join a book club. This doesn’t mean you have to have an email list, read The New York Times Book Review, or consult Goodreads. Starting a reading group can be as goofy as you and a few friends and some electric-orange non-organic cheese curls in a bar or your living room after work. There’s nothing like a group of book nerds passionately discussing a book they loved (or hated).
6) Read with your ears. Three words: Books, On. Tape. The easiest way to read and the only way to read while driving.
7) Visit some actual books in their natural habitats. If you’re having trouble finding a book that hooks you by swiping your screen, go to an actual library or bookstore. Walk the stacks, flip through the pages, judge books by their covers. That’s what reading is really all about…