Tomorrow is World Book Night, and what better time to share with you an article written by one of our students about how to become a better reader! This article was originally written to be shared in The Youth Media, our e-newsletter for young people in our services, who we encourage to create the content for it.
World Book Night seeks to encourage more people across the world to engage with reading and books. Literacy is key to economic wellbeing as well as supporting our general wellbeing and opening our minds to other ideas and perspectives. Reading is also an excellent way of helping our students progress in their functional skills English and ESOL programmes.
Please join with many other readers and pick up a book between 7 and 8pm Friday evening (23rd April). If you're not sure what to read, you can get some ideas from the World Book Night website.
5 tips to help you read more books, by Jadine
I've always been a reader. When I was a child I used to push books around in a pram, wheel it up to the armchair in the living room and spend the day just reading. As a seasoned reader who has experienced her fair share of reading slumps and book hangovers, I have learned a few tips over the years that not only help me to read more often but enjoy the content of the books I read more.
1. Quality over quantity. With social media more popular now than ever before you can be sure that there's an online community for just about anybody including readers of all ages. I know personally that seeing others my age read more books and achieving more than I could, it has affected my motivation to read and put me into some pretty bad reading slumps. The way I combat this is by reminding myself that reading is not a competitive sport and that I shouldn't feel bad about the rate at which I'm reading my books or how many I have read. Books are there for your enjoyment so enjoy them at your own pace.
2. Try out genre hopping Maybe the reason you're struggling to read is because you're simply not enjoying the book you're reading. It's easy to fall into reading slumps when you're not reading a genre you enjoy, especially if that genre is popular for others your own age. Do not fret however there is a genre out there for everyone. Look into books and authors that are outside of your comfort zone and you might find exactly what you're looking for. Don’t worry if it takes you some time to figure it out, if you keep looking you’ll find it.
3. Reading exercises Try out some reading exercises and challenges. Why not set yourself a goal to read a chapter each day? You could try reading 10 books in 1 month, a 24 hour read-a-thon or even try making a list of books by POC (People of colour) and minority authors. There are many online spaces you can use to track your progress like goodreads. Perhaps the idea of completing a challenge could help motivate you to read more.
4. Audiobooks If you don't have the time to sit down and read, why not try out an audio book? Audio books provide us with the ability to stay productive whilst leisuring. It could make mundane tasks like folding laundry, doing the dishes or cooking dinner more exciting and enjoyable.
5. Don't force yourself to finish a book you don't enjoy Reading is something that is personal to every reader. Each has their own experience with books and each takes away something different when they are done. Everyone who reads enjoys books for a different reason but it's important not to push yourself too far. You shouldn't feel bad about not finishing a book. If you aren't enjoying reading it don't finish it. Save yourself the burnout and choose a different book.
In conclusion books are a recreational and personal hobby, it's not a race as to who can read more. It's important to read at your own pace and read the kind you enjoy to fully appreciate the experience of reading.
Don't be afraid to explore different genres and formats. Remember that you're reading because you want to.