I studied English Literature during my Bachelors and Masters so reading ponderous tomes was something I had to do. Eventually reading became more about finishing my course work and doing the exam. and it stopped being fun. It became a chore and I did not find any pleasure in reading anymore. By the time I had started my Masters I had all but given up reading for fun, that is until I picked up Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. I devoured that book in three days as fascinated by it as people of Macondo were by Renata Remedios, I could not put it down. This book reignited my love for reading. But I know that this book can get quite heavy, so I will not recommend it to everyone, I have however listed below the other ways in which I had jump started my reading habits during periods of lull.
Pick up a collection of short stories: If you don’t have the time to read an entire novel, reading bite sized pieces of fiction may help you develop a reading habit or get back into it. I recommend any short story collection by Ray Bradbury, one of my favourite authors, ‘Stories’ edited by Neil Gaiman, ‘The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother’ by Marquez, Paul Auster’s ‘The New York Trilogy’, or maybe even ‘Skin and Other Short Stories’ by Roald Dahl.
Read a novella: Again if you just want to dip your feet in the water, a novella might be the thing. These shorter novels are easy to take around with you and can be consumed in smaller amounts of time. I recommend ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Marquez’, ‘Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg or even ‘Fahrenheit 451’.
Read something you liked as a kid or a book you are already very fond of. Nothing bad comes of re-reading a book. I find that every time I revisit a chapter or a novel it is like revisiting an old friend and learning something new. It is much easier to go back to the familiar. That is why I have read ‘Great Expectations’ and the LOTRs so many times.
Try a graphic novel: If you’re really sick of looking at yellowing pages where the words begin to look muddled after a point, try out a graphic novel. I have read some really fun ones, alongside the poignant and deep. I recommend ‘Ghost World’, ‘Blankets’, and‘The Story of Jezebel’. I know graphic novels can be expensive and you can read many of them online like Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life (my personal favourite) or Muse, A Walk in the Park.
Read something fun: I find reading something light like the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series or Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ eases me into the really heavy literature.
These are my tips for how you could get back into reading. I hope they help.