Books to Help You Love Reading Again

Was one of your New Year’s Resolutions to read more? After losing weight and getting fit, it’s one of the most common resolutions, but just like its counterparts, it can sometimes feel like an impossible task.
So how can you learn to love reading again, you ask? The answer is obvious: Start with a really good book (and use our HIF tips to help you pick..)

1. Pick a book you can’t put down.

The best way to get back into reading is to find one of those unicorn ‘un-put-down-able’ books. We might be biased as the home of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, but we love a good crime or thriller for this – there’s no better reward for finishing a book than finding out whodunnit!

Literature Festivals Co-ordinator Josie recommends Stav Sherez’s Intrusions, which won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2018: “This is the first book I read after a long lull of not getting through any of the novels on my bookshelf, and it won me over because every chapter was short, snappy and ended on a cliffhanger. I reached the end before I knew it!”

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2. Find a book about a subject you’re interested in.

It sounds obvious, sure, but if you like the things you’re reading about, it’ll be much easier to see it through to the end. Whether you like swashbuckling pirate stories, period dramas with Victorian love stories, or science fiction set on a distant planet, there’s no shame in picking something you enjoy.

Music & Events Co-ordinator Ben says, “I am interested in Greek mythology, so when I found out Stephen Fry was re-telling the stories in Mythos, I wanted to see how he’d done it. I ended up really enjoying it.”

3. Read a book your friends are reading.

There’s nothing like a bit of peer pressure and a deadline to get you to finish your new novel, but reading along with friends have loads more benefits like: hearing other people’s interpretations; exposing yourself to titles or subjects you might not have picked out yourself; and maybe even expanding your social circle if you join a book group.

You don’t have to join a book group, though – sometimes just taking a friend’s recommendation is enough to get that conversation flowing and can help you to enjoy a book even more!

4. Dip back into old favourites.

There is no shame in returning to the books you loved as a child. Authors and academics alike say that the books which leave you with lasting impressions are often the ones you enjoy as a child or teenager when you’re learning new things and opening your eyes to the world  – so why not recapture a bit of that magic?

Author Katherine Rundell also says that “..the best children’s fiction helps us re-find things we may not even know we have lost.” You heard it here, folks – crack out that battered copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on your next commute.

5. Start small.

Who says your first book of 2020 has to be Homer’s The Iliad? There is no shame in starting small, and finishing a book quickly will give you the confidence to pick up another, then another, then another..

HIF recommends grabbing a book of short storiesor a shorter novel like Nora Ephron’s Heartburn. Try scouring bookshelves at your local independent bookshop or your local library so you can check it’s not too daunting in person.