The beginning of this year was a roller coaster for me. Extreme highs contrasted with extreme lows.
One day I was on top of the world.
My business was keeping me busy. We had a packed social calendar. And after years of infertility, we were pregnant again!
Then we suffered a miscarriage and lost the twins.
I didn’t feel like reading
Grief sapped my energy. Depression steals your personality. I was trapped in my thoughts, unable to focus on the hobby I once loved.
I had to find a foothold and grapple my way up Depression Mountain, through the Vale of Tears, and get back to myself.
The journey has changed me in countless ways. But I’m so glad to have reading back. Here are 7 ways to shake the cobwebs and jump back into reading.
1. Read an old Favorite
The first book I read was The Atlantis Gene by AG Riddle. It’s an immersive, sci-fi book. But since I’ve read it a few times already, the heavy lifting was out of the way. I had already built the world in my mind.
We all have favorite worlds to revisit. Hogwarts, Narnia, Discworld, Middle Earth, Forks? Whatever it is, your old favorite feels like going home.
2. Listen to an audiobook
When you can’t focus on the pagem just listen. I like to play audiobooks on my phone. I stuff my phone in my pocket (or bra, getting real here) and wander around the house.
You can sort mail, fold laundry, or stare listlessly out the window. Real things.
3. Try easy reads
I’m an unapologetic lover of young adult fiction. The themes can be just as broad and important as adult fiction, but the books are usually shorter and not explicit.
This year, I also got into beach reads. I quickly read all of the available Sandhamn murder mysteries. These are originally written in Swedish, by bestselling author Viveca Sten. She perfectly captures the quaint little vacation island of Sandhamn. You easily see yourself there, instead of wherever your problems are.
4. Ask friends for recommendations
Enthusiasm is infectious. As they tell you why they love a book, your interest will peak. Their excitement about reading will rub off on you.
Plus, reading someone’s favorite book is eye-opening. You learn a lot about them from what they love.
5. Join a book club
The deadline will keep you accountable. You don’t want to be the only person at the meeting who hasn’t read the book. Awkward!
Also, the community aspect of book clubs cannot be beat. I firmly believe there is no better way to build friendships for adults. Friendships are built “side by side, absorbed in some common interest” according to CS Lewis.
6. Read an eBook
One of the main reasons people put off reading, is perfectionism. You’re holding out for some Instagram-worthy scene. Coffee, a leather-bound book, and a silent morning porch.
Done is better than perfect. You can hold out for perfect (which isn’t coming), or you can read a Kindle book on your phone right now.
7. Take a blind date
Ask a librarian to set you up. You can tell her your favorite authors and have her recommend something similar. Or to really shake off the cobwebs, ask for something outside your comfort zone.
There’s no shame in quitting a book if it doesn’t pan out. But the first step to getting unstuck is to simply take action.
If you want more actionable advice for fitting reading into your busy schedule, try my free 5 Day Read More Challenge. Each day you’ll get a short tip + a gorgeous worksheet in your inbox. What’s your go-to read when you feel all blah about reading?