15 Simple Ways To Get Back Into Reading Books (+ Tips To Get Started ASAP)

How to start reading again scaled

Sometime in the last decade, I realized that I could no longer sit down and consume an entire book in a single day, and this was very surprising to me.

You see, for many of us who grew up reading books, it was very commonplace to finish multiple texts in a single day, so the realization that I was basically no longer reading was very eye-opening.

And it got even more shocking when I started to trace a period of emotional decline and linked it with the decline of my reading habits.

In essence, my enjoyment of books and my escape into fictional worlds brought me so much happiness that when I could no longer make time to read, I started feeling the effects, but I wasn’t even aware.

Some people feel very isolated when they talk about how much they loved reading before but now they can no longer sit in one place to read a book.

But the truth is that you are not alone. There are so many of us out there, and I am one of the lucky few who was able to rejuvenate my love of reading.

The strategies I have included in this post are things that have worked for me personally, so I will vouch for them anytime, and I daresay that if this is something you’ve been struggling with, you are going to get some very actionable tips.

As I always say, the very first thing you need to do is to get into the right mindset, and by that, I mean you have to decide that you want to start reading again.

This might sound very mundane and a little too obvious, but you would be surprised at the role your conviction will play eventually as you try to get back your love of reading.

1. Create a Reading Ritual

You know how for some people, before they sleep, they must do their skincare routine, drop their phone, and turn off the lights?

These pre-sleeping rituals get them into the right mode, and it’s something that you can easily do if you are trying to get back into reading books.

When you develop these pre-reading rituals, it signals to your brain that it’s time for you to read a book, and you will find that you are more relaxed and more concentrated when you actually start.

Some good examples of pre-reading rituals are brewing a cup of tea, lighting a candle, snuggling in your reading nook, or even just taking a few deep breaths to centre yourself.

2. Start Small

As with anything you are doing for the first time or when you are just trying to regain your love of reading, you need to start small.

Yes, I know that as a kid, you used to read books of 500 plus pages every single day, but you haven’t read in a while, and overwhelming yourself with lengthy novels right away will totally discourage you.

Instead, start off with short stories, poems, and articles, and then in time, you can build up to novellas that are short enough for you to finish in one sitting. Before you know it, you can read through mid-sized novels and then eventually heavier tomes.

What we are doing at this stage is building your confidence and your momentum, so you don’t need to cram it all in one day. It is a gradual process, and you need to be patient with yourself.

3. Set Goals

Usually, when people hear about setting reading goals, they always assume it’s something as hefty as reading 100 books in a month. But in truth, goals are a personal experience which should be based on your needs, your wants, and your resources, so you won’t see any advice like that on this page.

I personally feel that reading goals are very good because they give you something to look forward to and help you to motivate yourself while also giving you a lot of room to grow as a reader.

At this stage, it could be as simple as committing to reading a certain number of pages or chapters each day or even timing yourself while you read, but what matters is that you need to always be on the go.

4. Track Your Progress

One thing I always tell people who are trying to get back into reading is that it is a project like any other thing you are doing online, and as with any project, you need to track your progress.

In this context, it means keeping track of the books you’ve read, your reading pace, and what you’ve enjoyed. You can do this using a journal, spreadsheet, or any of the many fabulous apps that are designed for tracking reading habits.

For one, doing this can keep you motivated since you are seeing your progress visually, and it also helps you to continue making time for reading since you are already very encouraged.

5. Reward Yourself

The very first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is reward myself for waking up, and I do this by drinking a hot beverage. And what I’ll tell you is that if you feel you have made progress, then you need to reward yourself.

Perhaps you successfully stuck to your reading goals or you’ve been very consistent with your routine. You could indulge in a sweet treat or take yourself out for a nice meal, or even splurge on something you’ve been wanting like shoes or bags, as an incentive for you to work harder.

While in this house we are all about reading, we are also about celebrating our achievements as we move through life, and the best way you can do this to make yourself happy is by marking up the milestones and going wild with your celebrations.

6. Create a Reading Bucket List

I saw a quote online that read something along the lines of, “If a person wants to go fast, they can make it boring, but if they want to go far, they should make it as exciting as possible,” and I definitely feel it applies to reading.

If there are certain books that you have been wanting to read or there are some literary landmarks you dreamed of visiting, create a reading bucket list and add them up there, and then cross them off one by one.

There’s definitely something about immersion being the best way to make anything adventurous, and that also applies in this context, so this is something you want to do if you’d like to get an extra dose of inspiration and motivation.

Also See: How To Read Books For (Almost) Free: Tips To Save Money While Reading

7. Read Aloud

If you have been reading for some time and you realize that it’s difficult to focus while you are reading silently, try reading aloud instead.

It will help to improve your retention and understanding of the text, and it also makes the reading experience much more enjoyable, especially if you are the type of person who learns more when you listen.

But of course, remember that you do not want to be a nuisance to anyone, so make sure you are doing this in a place that won’t inconvenience any other person.

8. Explore Different Formats

Another thing you can do if you are trying to get back your love of reading is to experiment with different formats until you settle on one that appeals to you.

For many people, their first encounter with books was traditional printed books. But it’s 2024, and there is everything from audiobooks to ebooks, graphic novels, and so many other alternative formats.

Don’t limit yourself to only what you’ve been exposed to because perhaps you simply grew out of that format. It’s never a bad idea for you to check out other types of books that can make reading more accessible and accommodate your lifestyle.

9. Make Connections

Remember what I said earlier about immersing yourself in the world of the book you are reading when I talked about creating a literary bucket list earlier?

The best way for you to start reading again and really stick to your new reading habits is if you’re able to find opportunities to connect your lifestyle with your life as a reader.

For example, if you are interested in a particular hobby like crocheting or knitting or basketball, it follows that you might also be interested in books about basketball or knitting or crocheting, and it’s just going to be more interesting for you this way. 

10. Join a Book Club

And of course, joining a book club is something I always recommend to readers, both new and old, because there’s really nothing like the feeling of connecting with like-minded people.

You can join a book club online or in your neighborhood, and the more you participate in discussions and the more you get drawn into that world, you’ll find that your interest in books will increase, and so will your reading.

Also See: 82 Book Club Questions For Any Book That Will Keep The Convo Going

11. Practice Active Reading

Instead of simply reading and reading and reading, switch it up by actively taking notes, highlighting passages, and jotting down reflections while you read.

This is literally the only way I’m able to make it through the most boring academic text because it helps with your comprehension and your retention, and you can really reflect and analyze the text when you have engaged with it this way.

This style of reading is called active reading, and if you like bookmarks and the host of other methods of annotation, you definitely want to give this a try.

12. Prioritize Self-Care

When it comes to self-care, you want it to be as wholesome as possible so that at every point in time, you remember that while you want to rejuvenate your love of reading, you also want to make sure that you are in the best frame of mind.

So, you could include reading into your self-care rituals, and also, while reading, you want to make sure that you prioritize your self-care, your relaxation, and your mind so that you are the happiest you can be while also smashing all your goals.

13. Experiment with Different Times of Day

One thing you need to do if you are keen on reading again is to pay attention to your energy level and preferences throughout the day, and in time, you want to make sure you experiment with different times of the day to find the best period when you are most comfortable.

Personally, I am a night owl, but I don’t read at night because I’m more comfortable reading during the day, and this is something I have discovered through years and years of trial and error.

So, even though I recommended adding it as a routine, perhaps reading before bed every night, you need to do what works for you. Don’t simply copy and paste someone else’s strategy. 

14. Be Patient

I don’t think I have ever heard of a person who successfully rebuilt something in a single day, and even for reading, which is one of the hardest habit muscles to build, this is especially so.

Rebuilding a habit takes time, effort, and persistence, so don’t be too hard on yourself if progress feels slow or if you experience off days and setbacks along the way.

As I said earlier, one thing you should always do is celebrate the little goals and the little victories because the real joy of reading is getting sucked into another world, which is something you get no matter how many times you read.

15. Stay Flexible

At the end of the day, this is a personal project that will shift your life and realign many of your priorities, so always be open to adjusting your reading habits and your strategies as needed.

Life is the most unpredictable beast, and try as we might, there will be changes from time to time, so give yourself room to accommodate your reading routine to fit those changes.

You May Also Like: 15 Practical Tips To Help You Avoid Hoarding Books

These are some of the ways you can rebuild your reading habits, but just as I have said multiple times in this post, reading is a personal journey, so consider everything I have written here but make sure you personalize it to fit your goals and your lifestyle.

There are so many other posts on the blog about life as a reader and about reading tips, so make sure you check those out, and I genuinely believe you are going to find something you will totally appreciate.


Hi! I'm Preye ("pre" as in "prepare" and "ye" as in "Kanye"), and I am a lifelong book lover who enjoys talking about books and sharing bits and pieces of all the fascinating things I come across. I love books so much that I decided to become a developmental editor, and right now, I work with authors to help them tell their stories better. On this blog, I share everything from book recommendations to book reviews and writing tips, so feel free to stop by anytime you like!

View all posts by Preye →

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