If I could go back and tell my high school self that I would stop reading for fun, she would be disappointed. While growing up, I would read all the time. I constantly had a book for fun. I had friends who were avid readers, it was so much fun. Then when undergrad came, I did not have the free time like I used to. It was not until recently that I would find the joy and time for reading. I feel reconnected to my younger self’s love of books.
Undergrad was busy, I won’t lie to myself. I will also admit I stretched myself thin for the first 2 years. I felt like I had to be involved with many clubs and in many classes. I was going for music therapy my first year. That involved taking 8+ classes each semester. They would make certain classes only 1 credit hour so one would not have to pay for going over. Also, ensembles were ‘free credits’. I could not continue on with that, but that is a post for another day. It was not until my junior year that I would drop many extra curriculars. But that is when I was placing my health at the forefront. So the time I spent in extra curriculars, I shifted to working out and taking time to self care. I did not add books into the equation. I was still balancing 6-7 classes until I graduated, so the workload was intense.
When the pandemic hit, I focused on surviving a pandemic and working non stop. I was also attending grad school in the middle of this. I made it through my first semester and had a month break. I decided to read a little about spiritual topics. I was intrigued with working on my spirituality, so I read on it. This was the first time in years that I would read for myself because I was interested in a topic. Then school started back up and the cycle went back to working and school. I did not make the time for reading.
As my previous posts have brought up, I have worked on my health, skincare, self love, and spirituality. With things slowly opening back up and vaccination numbers increasing, I felt more calm than I had since 2019. It was during this time, an old friend from high school posted on her instagram about her bookstagram page. I decided to give it a follow and support her. This was a tipping off point for my reading journey. This was one of my avid reader friends, we would trade books back and forth and talk about series. It sparked my interest in starting to read again.
After following her, I began scrolling and found on Pinterest books to read. I started saving them to a new board. After I saw a few books pop up, I decided to get them on the kindle app. I started 2 series at once, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas and “A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair. These books pulled me into new worlds and brought me joy. From there I started reading comic series and continuing those book series. I felt the same joy that I used to back in high school.
So if you were a reader when you were younger, or you were never a reader but want to start, I have a few suggestions. I suggest following bookstagram pages, booktubers, or booktok. Some really good instagram suggestions are BookishLifeofSam_, Alexandra_Roselyn, and LadyofBookShire. For booktubers, I recommend Alexandra Roselyn and How to Train your Gavin. I do not have tiktok at the moment, so I don’t know booktokers.
Also I suggest finding the genre you love. I was always a fan of fantasy, fey, and poems. That’s why I was sucked into those book series. Back in highschool I wanted to read the classics and I never got to read them all. So I went out to a local bookstore and picked up a few. If you were never really a reader before, go to a library and pick up different genres and see what pulls you in.
I suggest making a space for reading. I have a couple of spots for myself. While I had not read in years, when I moved into my boyfriend’s house I struggled with making it feel like our home. I found comfort in making a reading corner. It had a comfy chair, blanket, and cozy lighting. I did not use it while we lived there but I do now. Along with that, I have a spot on my couch, with my weighted blanket, and I just curl up and feel at ease. The final spot I have is my bed. This keeps me from mindlessly scrolling all evening. It helps me relax after a long day and prepare for bed. You don’t need 3 spots like I do, I just don’t like having one spot. I like to change things up and keep it fun. Start with one spot, have the things that make it comfortable. I like curling up with a blanket. Maybe you like relaxing candles while you read. Maybe you like dim lighting or candle light. Maybe you like tea, hot chocolate, coffee or no drink while you read. Make it your own place.
Make time to read. This is an important suggestion, if you do not make the time for things you like you won’t do it. I found for myself that I like reading in the evenings before bed. I take care of cleaning and taking care of my plants in the evening before I read. After I’m done doing what I need to, I put on my PJ’s and curl up with my comfiest blanket. And I just read, some nights for 15 minutes and other nights for an hour. It just varies with what else I need to get done in the evening before work the next day.
These are a few ways of how I got back into reading. It brings so much joy in my life to read again. To get lost in a world for some time before returning to the everyday hustle and bustle. I hope you find your spot and make the time to read. I hope you find the genre that speaks to you. I hope you find the self care aspect of reading.