Even for avid bookworms, there are times when reading becomes difficult – not because it isn’t enjoyable anymore – but because other things can be disruptive and distracting. I’ve heard many readers say that they just can’t get into a good book right now because they’re finding the current situation with Coronavirus too much of a distraction – they have difficulty concentrating, and can feel anxious and uncertain.
Of course, there are many other reasons reading can become less enjoyable or even feel like a chore – when work gets busy, life gets hectic, or you are studying for qualifications – your passion for, and enjoyment of, reading can take a back seat.
However, it’s at times like this that I find reading can actually help. It’s a great form of escapism, can help take your mind off things, and can help reduce stress levels. If you’re struggling to read, here are five tips that could help:
1. Set A Schedule.
Scheduling in time to read might not sound like fun, but it can help to focus your mind, make you feel like you are being productive, and help create a sense of achievement when – after a period of time – you manage to finish a book (probably for the first time in a while!). Reading for 30 minutes or an hour before going to bed has also been proven to help you get to sleep and minimises screen time (and the dreaded blue light levels).
2. Keep It Light.
When you are struggling to get into a book, heavy non-fiction, fantasy tomes, or emotionally charged murder-mysteries may not be the best pick. Instead, try rereading an old favourite, a comforting genre or favourite author that you really enjoy, or stick with a more light-hearted subject matter for a read that is easier to get through.
3. Get Cosy.
If you have a favourite reading spot but find you can’t get comfortable in it like you usually do, try shaking it up a little. Create a new cosy reading nook on a sofa or armchair with blankets, gather some snacks and your favourite drink, and aim for light levels that aren’t too bright or dull. During brighter and warmer evenings, why not try reading outside or in your garden too? The change of scenery might help.
4. The Right Equipment.
While I’m a paperback book lover through and through (I never quite hit it off with eBooks), I appreciate that for many people, eBooks helped spark a passion for reading that they never had before. They’re very accessible, allow for font type and size to be adjusted, and can provide cost-effective reading options. The most popular eReader, by a long-shot, seems seems to be the Kindle Paperwhite (though whether or not to support Amazon is a different question entirely!).
If you’re a glasses or contact lens wearer, you may be struggling with reading due to eye strain or fatigue if your prescription isn’t right or your glasses are old and scratched – making it difficult for you to clearly see the text. If you know your prescription, online eye-wear providers can be a great, low-cost option for replacements, such as Glasses Direct or Persol Glasses.
5. A Reading State Of Mind.
If you’re really struggling to read, it’s probably best not to force it – you’ll not enjoy the experience and you’ll likely not retain what you’re reading, or make it to the end of the book. Take a break, watch some movies or TV shows, spend some time on your other interests. As a bookworm, the time will come around again when you’re in a reading frame of mind.
Have you struggled with reading in the past? What did you do to overcome it? Have you found your reading habits have changed lately with what’s going on in the world? Let me know in the comments!