Reclaiming My Enjoyment of Reading

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Nothing like a worldwide pandemic to make even reading feel impossible. I don't know about you, but somehow over the last couple of years, I lost my love of reading. Like a former relationship, I knew the love had been there once upon a time, but somehow I wasn't feeling that same passion anymore.

Luckily, I wasn't alone. I came across countless articles written by my fellow bookworms, bemoaning their loss of reading. (Here's one.)

Instead of fighting it, I accepted it. It wasn't like I didn't try to find the right book for me, but I didn't beat myself over it. 

Jump ahead to 2021. Oh look, the pandemic is still here. Then came a heatwave. Several days of humid 90s, and itching for something new, I perused Netgalley and my local library (their e-book app) for a book. Hungrily, I looked over the books, desperate for something to distract me.

And then something amazing happened. In the midst of my least favorite season, I reclaimed my love of books. 

I started out with reading a thriller called The Couple Upstairs. I was soon knee deep in the drama and read the book over the course of a few days. And since then, my enjoyment of books is back with me again.

If you are struggling with enjoying a book, I have a few pieces of advice. First, be picky. Very picky. If a book doesn't interest you, ditch it. Treat it like dating, don't read a book just because you feel sorry for it. It's not you, it's the book. Second, read genres you enjoy. Throw away the "step outside of your comfort zone" advice and nestle into that familiar nook you love. Lastly, consider things like graphic novels, audio books, and even young adult books (or younger). These formats can appeal to you in a way that surprise you. 

Enjoying books again is wonderful and if you lost your love due to the stress, give yourself time. It will come back again.


Margo Dill said...

I've gone through seasons of this. For me, becoming a parent, I had to change when I read. I used to read before bed, always. Well, I was trying to do that and when my head hit the pillow and opened the book, i was fast asleep! So now I try reading a lot in the mornings, with coffee, especially on the weekends. :)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Books have always been my escape. I read tons of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels and cozies. But I also read a lot of science fiction, thrillers and horror. Horror! During a pandemic!

But I totally agree with you. If a book doesn't click, I don't push it. So many audio books get returned to the library after I've listened for 15 minutes.

Renee Roberson said...


I've always been a huge bookworm, too. I got to a point in the past few years where I was so busy with work and my podcast that I told myself I didn't have the time to sit down and reading something just for enjoyment. (But I will make time to binge something mindlessly on TV, so where's the logic there?) This summer I told myself to quit talking nonsense and finally read a book I got for Christmas like three years ago, Sioux's book, a few suspense/thrillers, and my annual Elin Hilderbrand novel. I've always said you can't expect to be a good writer if you don't read! I'm glad you are taking the time to rediscover this love of reading! I also started putting aside books if they don't hold my attention in the first two or three chapters--life's too short!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Nicole, that book has been on my list for a while! I absolutely adore thrillers, but end up reading a lot of memoir and creative nonfiction since it's in my genre. I also read a lot of writers' unpublished work, and find it's a wonderful adventure. But you're so right, when you haven't felt like reading, go for your junk food/guilty pleasure books and you'll get right back into it. :)

I find myself too tired to read at night and often watch TV, so like Margo, I frequently read something in the morning, whether it's an essay or a chapter. I also listen to audiobooks while I'm on the exercise bike or hiking. Right now I'm reading Girlhood by Melissa Febos, and listening to the audiobook of Horizon by Barry Lopez. Both are so good!

Cathy C. Hall said...

Like Margo, the only time I've struggled to read a book was back in the day when I was a young mom. I read PLENTY of books to the kids but it was a while before I made time for myself again.

Reading is my stress reliever...I need something to take me away. It's sort of like Calgon, if you're not too young to remember the commercials of the woman in the bathtub :-)

BUT in my older-but-wiser years, I will put down a book and quit reading if 1. It's badly written or 2. It's too grim. I love a good mystery and I'll read suspense, but I've got enough grim IRL so if I find myself grimacing while reading, I'll step away from the book.

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