Summer Reading Musts

All of us have struggled at one point or another to get hooked onto a new book. This summer we all prepared summer reading lists and some of us were more successful in getting through them than others. Reading might come in waves, sometimes you want to read every book out there, and other times you don’t touch a book for weeks or months. But just like any hobby, it is understandable that reading comes in these waves — we tend to lead busy lives with other responsibilities, hobbies, and jobs. So if this sounds like you and you haven’t been able to cross off some books from your summer reading list. Here are 10 tips to get back into reading again and enjoy the wonders that different genres can provide us:

1. Switch it up

We all need a change at some point and if we are always reading the same kinds of books we might just get tired of reading all together. And genre isn’t the only way to switch it up. Try switching the format such as listening to audiobooks or the length of the book. If you realize you are always picking up 300+ page books, try opting for a shorter read and see if that smaller demand on your attention and quicker gratification can help you get back into reading.

2. Pick up an old favorite

I recently read the Harry Potter series again and it fueled my energy and love for reading again. As I read through the series I picked up different books in between and found that I was always excited to get back to Harry Potter because it was one of the first series I read as a kid and thoroughly enjoyed. Finding comfort in old favorites and turning to books we already loved can take us back to our youth which reminds us of simpler times.

3. Seek out books that reflect your struggles and use them as tool

Whether you are tired of working your 9 to 5 job, are struggling with a certain relationship, feeling down about a certain life event and feeling grief, or are just feeling all around non productive lately, try to find a book that you can relate to. Books have the potential to teach us so much if we take the time to let them help.

4. Make reading quality time and then lose track of it

Instead of trying to keep a count of how many books you’ve read and in what timespan, try to pay attention to how different time spent reading feels. We often think reading takes time, but reading can help us lose track of time all together. That being said, it might be a good idea to set quality time aside to read and honor it like any other commitment. But don’t focus on the amount of time you have left, just focus on enjoying your dedicated time to reading.

5. Create a space for your reading

With a lot of bookstores, libraries and coffee shops closed due to covid, many people got creative in finding solutions to make spaces to read and work. No matter how tiny, a reading space is often a good idea to get back into reading. Setting a dedicated space helps focus on the one task we like to do in that space. All you need is a certain spot, maybe a comfy pillow and time to forget about the world as you dive into your new read.

6. Seize the opportunity to read

As a contradiction to our last suggestion, reading can be done almost anywhere. If you are now just starting to head back to the office for work and finding lost time on the train, take the moment, even if it is 15 minutes to find comfort in a book. Find pleasure in just a few snatched moments of reading, they are just as worthwhile as the immersive experience of spending 5 hours reading in a designated spot.

7. Join a book club

A great way to get back into a post fully quarantine state is to join a book club either in person or online. This is an awesome way to form connections and find interesting discussion through different books you might not have read had you not had the commitment to a book club to read it.

8. Quality, not quantity

Prioritize the quality of the attention you are giving to the words rather than just zooming through. Reading is not as much about what you read rather than how you read it. Enjoy reading freely and engaging in it without worrying about accruing literary miles. If you ever feel like you are “not reading enough” it will make it seem like another chore rather than a fun pass time.

9. Pick up used or free books

Though we really love supporting our local bookstores, there are many online websites where you can purchase used books and support small businesses. Thrift books and book depository are two websites that are great options for used books while Libby is an app provided through public libraries to get more ebooks and audiobooks. Other cool online extensions such as Library Extension is good to see if the book you are looking at on Goodreads or KindleUnlimited is available at the libraries you have access to first. For free books, try swapping with friends and family to get your hands on a new collection.

10. Add scent

As with most activities, adding other senses can be an awesome way to enhance experiences. By adding scent to our reading sessions, we can become more alert and in tune with what we are reading and find familiarity with both senses. Just like there is something unbeatable about cozying up under a blanket next to the fire to read a book, there is something incredible about having your diffuser transform your space with the smell of citrus or flowers.

Here are 5 books we recommend and the scents we paired them with and would recommend for you to do so as well!

  1. Euphoria: Just Kids by Patti Smith. Read Review
  2. Hope: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Read Review
  3. Success: Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Read Review
  4. White Velvet: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman. Read Review
  5. Caribbean Breeze: Topics of Conversations by Miranda Popkey.  Read Review

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