One of my favorite parts of summer is when my family goes camping… and a lot of people think that’s because I like camping. (It’d be a logical conclusion, but that’s not why.) I like camping because I love sitting outside with a good book, and even though I could do that at home, it feels more permissible in the middle of nowhere.
Whether you and yours are dedicated bookworms already or you’re looking to amp up your reading habits, making reading happier is easier than you might think.
1) Do theme days. Looking to mix it up? Before you walk into the library the next time, announce that everyone will be picking a biography… or a comic… or a book of poetry… or something else you don’t usually select. How wacky can you go? We’ve had “find the coolest cover” contests and “get a stranger to recommend it” days and more. Picking books doesn’t always have to be serious, and you may discover something new.
2) Read together. Everyone knows you’re supposed to read to children, but how many of us keep it up once they’re old enough to read for themselves? Being read to is a luxury for anyone, and reading a great book together is a great bonding experience for all ages. Take turns reading chapters aloud with your kids, significant other, or friends. It’s a very different experience than reading alone.
3) If you loved it, read it again. In today’s go-go-go society, many of us have trouble making time for reading, and rereading a book may sound silly. It’s not, though—returning to the books you already love (especially ones read during your formative years) are a little nostalgic vacation for your brain.
4) Start or join a book club. This doesn’t mean you have to have officers and finger sandwiches and a meeting hall; it can be as informal as you and a few friends and some cheese curls (no judgment). The next best thing to reading together is having fellow readers to discuss a juicy book with after you’re done.
5) Follow what you love. If you’re having trouble finding a book that hooks you, start with one that did. Who wrote it? Have you read the author’s other books? If not, try some of those. If yes, have you gone to your local library or bookstore and asked for recommendations based upon that book/author? (Even online there’s lots of “if you love this book you may also like…” sorts of things, but real live book-dealing people would love to help you find a good book, I promise.) If you love one author, do some research to find out who they read, too.
I hope you’re finding lots of happy reading for yourself this summer, and always!