Monday, 6 February 2017

How To Grow Your Love For Reading

Hey, hows it going? Hope you all have a great first week back at school. I doubt it will be as horrible as you think it'll be.

I may have already mentioned this, but I'm a big fan of reading. There's nothing I love more than to sit in the sun with a good book and be swept into another world.
Books are so important in so many ways. They widen ones vocabulary, challenge your thoughts and opinions and can expand your imagination.
I know this because I'm studying english at university haha.

My love for reading began when I was a about 8 and a half. I really wanted my ears pierced so mum made me a deal. She told me that if I read twenty (or at least I think it was twenty) books then I could get my ears pierced. Now during this time we were actually travelling overseas for three months, so I had plenty of opportunities to read on all the train and plane rides. Unfortunately, because we were overseas it made finding books written in english a little more complicated. But I found the Rainbow Magic series and a few others and by the time we got to Paris I had well and truly completed the challenge mum had set for me and was ready to claim my prize.
From there I read Narnia, Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events and by the time I hit High School I was well and truly a reader.

Now, yes I do love books and reading, but sometimes I somehow forget this and get into a bit of a reading slump. This usually happens mid semester when I have to read several text book chapters, an Ancient Greek play or Roman poem and have to watch several hours of lectures per week. As well as speed read a couple of novels for school I haven't gotten around to finishing yet. Not to mention all those damn assignments that need to be written. All of this can make you a little word tired, so here are a few tips to grow your love for reading.

1. Read books that compliment your mood
If you're stressed out and have little time, don't pick up an epic fantasy 1000 pages long. Choose a book thats shorter, easy to read and with plots that makes you fly through the pages. I find this hard because I love really long epic fantasies, but sometimes I'm just not in the right headspace for them and reading them can feel like a chore. Also if you're in a bad mood, pick a book thats fun and happy. I dare you to read Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before and not feel all warm and fuzzy from it.

2. Switch up the genre
Whilst every story is unique, genre's often contain the same cliches and plot devices. I always find that if I read too many books from the same genre in a row I get bored. Even if the book is fantastic, my reading experience can be damaged by the other books I read before it. This definitely happened to me during the dystopia phase. I often use stand alone contemporaries as a sort of palette cleanser between series.  

3. Reread the books you love
Am I the only one who feels a certain type of guilt whenever you go to pick up a book that you've already read? I have so many books on my to be read list that the concept of rereading feels counter productive. But there is a certain comfort in rereading a book that always invigorates me and reignites my excitement for new books. Not to mention it is a lot easier to relax while reading an old book. You know where the story is going so it's easier to be swept along by it and enjoy the general experience of reading. 

4. Set Goals
Every year I set a challenge on Goodreads for the amount of books I want to read. This year I have set the goal of 50 books, and the website actually tracks the number of books you've read. You just mark the book as 'currently reading' or 'read' and the website tells you if you're on schedule, or how many books you are behind. I'm currently 2 books behind schedule and last year I was six books off reaching my goal, so it's okay if you aren't always on top of things. But I find having the goal is a major motivator because it's is something that I have decided to try and achieve. The more you read, the more your love for it grows. 

5. Talk about books
I love discussing the books that I've read and getting recommendations off my friends. With some of my friends one of the first questions we ask each other is 'have you read any good books lately?' Talking about books always makes me so much more excited about reading and I love it when a friend recommends something and being able to back to them saying I've read it. Also if you don't have many friends who read or who don't read the same books as you, try watching book reviews on youtube or finding a blog that does great reviews. Personally I love reading Emily May's reviews on Goodreads and watching PolandbanasBOOKS booktalks on youtube. 

If you want to see what books I've been reading and what I rated them, add me on Goodreads here. Also if you have any tips on how to grow your love for reading, let me know in the comments. 
Have a fantastic week! 
With Love,
From Rachael 

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