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7 Ways to Fall in Love with Reading This February

Let’s talk about reading.

Perhaps you yourself aren’t a big fan of reading, or you know someone who’d rather be doing something else—anything else—besides reading. That’s okay! I was that person, and I’m here to tell you it can change.

I wasn’t the kid who grew up at the library, or the one who carried a book with them wherever they went. I wasn’t the kid who read endlessly on long road trips, or the one who passed the summer reading by the pool. I wasn’t the kid who devoured books on the bus, took Accelerated Reader tests for fun, or asked for books for Christmas. But, I am that reader now.

In honor of February, National Library Lover’s Month, I’m going to share 7 tips that have helped me fall in love with reading, and may help you fall in love with reading too:

1. Find the right book. “Reading is magic if you find the right book.” This is something former Early Learning Specialist Cheri Stainforth used to say, and I couldn’t agree more. For those who aren’t avid readers from the start, finding a book that you connect with is a great segue into the realm of reading. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask a librarian for their expert opinion!

2. Eliminate distractions. I’ve been amazed at how much reading I can accomplish when I choose to reduce other forms of entertainment. Even if it’s just one or two nights a week, try cutting down on TV, skipping the endless scrolling, and picking up a book.

3. Befriend other book lovers. Join a book club. Visit your favorite bookstores. Talk about books with your friends. Spend some time with our fabulous librarians. Reading might be something you do by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you need to do it alone!

4. Develop reading habits. Set aside time to read every day. Maybe you read first thing in the morning or last thing before bed. Perhaps you read on your lunch break or while you’re in the pick-up line waiting for your kids. There are days I can’t wait until my kids are asleep so I can sit down with my book. Reading before bed has become one of my favorite rituals and one that provides a meaningful ending to my day.

5. Try audiobooks. This is one of the easiest ways to read more, but it’s also a great option for anyone who likes to keep busy to focus. If sitting down to read a physical book is a barrier for you, pop in your earbuds, download your next read from Libby, and press play! I like to listen to audiobooks while I’m doing the dishes, folding laundry, driving in the car, getting ready for the day, doing yard work, shoveling the driveway, vacuuming, etc. Basically, I’m listening all the time.

6. Track your reading stats. This year I’ve started tracking my books in an app called StoryGraph, an alternative to Amazon’s Goodreads. I’ve found it helpful to visualize my progress and see the breakdown of what I’ve been reading by genre, mood, and format. A reading app is a great way to keep you motivated and reach your personal reading goals.

7. Read, read, read. This one rings the truest for me. The more I read, the more I want to read. Once I get going, reading has a snowball effect on me. I can’t wait to read the next book, and the next one, and the next one…

As January comes to an end, StoryGraph informs me that I’ve read a total of 9 books this month. My favorites this month have been Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan and Book Lovers by Emily Henry.

Discovering the joy of reading is a journey that anyone can embark on, even if they aren’t naturally drawn to books. Perhaps you or someone you know will adopt a few of these 7 tips for falling in love with reading. And if you’re anything like me, reading could become a self-perpetuating and gratifying endeavor, transcending any initial reservations, and leading to a lifelong passion for books.

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