Reading time 10 minutes

If you are burned out on reading, it can be tough to regain that passion for the written word. Perhaps you’ve been reading too much for school or have just finished a long series. It is worth picking up the habit again, as reading can increase empathy, improve sleeping habits, and reduce stress. [1]


[Edit]Easing Yourself Back into Reading

  1. Take a break. Take a few days to pursue other activities, such as art projects, exercise, or even just catching up on your favorite TV show. If you can work in some light reading into the mix, it might help you ease back into the process, but you shouldn’t worry about taking some time off to pursue other hobbies.
  2. Start with something light. Read the newspaper with your morning coffee or follow a blog. Try a magazine or a graphic novel. These can be read in short bursts, but you are still exercising your reading muscle. Just reading a little bit every day will encourage a habit. [2]
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  3. Read short stories. After you’ve been reading light material for a few days, you can work your way up to short stories and essays. You can find an anthology at the bookstore, prowl through literary magazines, or find a website where authors post their stories for free. Short stories have the same type of narrative as books, but they can be read in one sitting.
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    • If you prefer non-fiction, find an anthology of essays or look for creative non-fiction. These are written like fiction but are often autobiographical stories about the author’s own life.
  4. Listen to books instead. Try listening to an audiobook or a podcast. While it may not replace reading itself, it can engage you with stories, narration, and plot. [3] You can listen as you go about your daily activities, such as cleaning, cooking, or exercising.
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    • Choose a book that you’re likely to enjoy listening to. You can even get the actual book so you can follow along with the audiobook when you like.[4]
  5. Find a comfortable reading space. A good reading space has a low noise level, ample lighting, and comfortable seating. Some people enjoy reading at home on their bed or couch. Others go out to cafes or parks. Try reading in a few different places to mix things up. The most important thing is that you enjoy the space.
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[Edit]Finding a Book You’ll Enjoy

  1. Browse your local library or bookstore. Don’t just grab the first book you see. Explore the shelves. You may want to schedule at least half an hour to find a good book. [5] As you browse, read the summary on the book jacket as well as the first few pages. This will give you a sense of whether or not you might enjoy this book.
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    • the first few pages of the book will be the most helpful since it will give you a better idea of the author’s writing style.
  2. Read reviews. Books will normally display a few positive reviews on the back, but you can also find a wide range of reviews online and in magazines. Websites will have star ratings with opinions from critics and casual readers alike. These websites can also recommend books that are similar to books you might have enjoyed in the past.
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    • Goodreads is a great resource to read online reviews.
    • Also look for book review blogs. If you find a blogger who has enjoyed the same books as you, they can help you identify new books you might enjoy.
  3. Pick a genre you enjoy. Start reading books again with a genre you enjoy, whether it is science fiction, political thrillers, or crime novels. It will help you move back into reading more easily.
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    • Consider what types of movies or TV shows you watch to pick a genre you will enjoy reading.
    • If you don’t have the patience for fiction at the moment, try reading non-fiction. There are hundreds of histories, popular science books, philosophical treatises, and memoirs that might pique your interest. Choose a subject that is interesting to you.
    • Try reading different genres to keep things fresh. [6]
  4. Find a book similar to one you enjoyed in the past. You can search the internet for recommendations. Try searching “books similar to _____.” You can also look to see if a favorite author has released new books. If it has been a while since you’ve read something good, try searching for bestseller lists. Type into the search engine “popular crime novels” or “best books of the year.”
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  5. Ask a friend or librarian. You might be overwhelmed with choices when looking for a new book. If you have friends who enjoy reading, you can ask them for suggestions. Otherwise, a librarian can suggest popular books in a variety of genres. They can even show you where the book is shelved.
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    • Talk to an English teacher at school to get suggestions. They tend to have recommendation lists suited for each individual.

[Edit]Improving your Reading Skills

  1. Learn to scan the text. You don’t have to read every word that is on the page. Scanning allows you to pick up the important material while not stumbling over every minute detail. Scanning can help you enjoy reading again by helping you bypass the tedious parts of the text. [7]
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  2. Write reviews of what you read. After you finish a book, graphic novel, or story, write a short summary in which you state what you liked and didn’t like about the novel. Summarize what the book was about and what the author was trying to convey. [8] This exercise will help you process what you just read, and it will help you realize what parts of reading you enjoy.
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    • If you’d like, you can post these reviews to a book review website or your own blog. Other readers can give you feedback, and you will find a network of people who also enjoy reading the same books. This may boost your enjoyment of the activity and of the text.
    • Participate in discussion boards online about the books you read. You may gain new insights on what you’ve read and get recommendations for similar books.
  3. Look up things that you don’t understand. Sometimes, there are difficult concepts and words in a book. Don’t be afraid to look them up. Understanding such things will speed up your reading and increase the satisfaction you receive from the text.
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  4. Annotate your books. Using a pencil, underline interesting sentences in the book. Mark points where you were shocked, excited, or saddened. Scribble down predictions of what might happen. This process of actively reading will increase your investment in the text. It will also increase reading comprehension and memory. You may want to erase the marks before the next person reads it.
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    • If you do not want to write inside a book, you can use adhesive notes to stick in the page. [9]


  • Do not force yourself to read. This will turn reading into a chore. If you are distracted, set down what you are reading and do something else until you are more focused.
  • Sign up for a library card. Reading can be an expensive habit, but a library card is usually free if you’re a local resident. Not only will a library card remove the financial risk of buying a bad book (which you might not finish) but you can even use the space to read a book before you decide if you want to take it home or not.


  • If you’re burned out from reading, it may seem like there is too much effort being put into reading again. Take a longer break and carefully consider what you want to read next.

[Edit]Related wikiHows


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