One of the major side-effects of doing a degree can be becoming disenchanted with reading in your spare time. People who couldn’t keep their noses out of books before university often become bogged down with their course material and can’t find the time to pick up a good book. Even if you do have a spare hour or two, substituting your university textbook for the novel that’s been gathering dust on your shelf can seem like more of the same headache. It’s no surprise that so many students end up resorting to passively consuming Netflix in their spare time. However, now that this academic year is over and the summer stretches ahead before us, it’s the perfect opportunity to start falling in love with books again. Check out the suggestions below, and dive back in!
Re-read an old favourite
Sometimes it’s easier to get back into reading by going back to a familiar favourite. Whether it’s a YA novel you haven’t read since you were 16, or the battered copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone you’ve been waiting for a chance to lose yourself in, reading books that you’ve read before is a great way of easing yourself back into the idea of reading. By choosing something that you already know the story of, it seems to require so much less effort and time to get through.
Try something new
If rereading an old book doesn’t get you interested, try something new. There might be something that’s been waiting on your To Be Read list for a while, or perhaps a new novel came out during exam season that you promised yourself you would buy when term ended. Perhaps your favourite author has written something new, or there’s an instalment of your favourite book series that you haven’t got round to yet. Trying out a new author or a different genre is also a good idea, as it might spark your interest to get out of your comfort zone.
Try a different format
If the thought of words on a page is still too much to bear after a year of studying, try out an audiobook instead. Streaming a book from places like audible is a more passive way of reading that might get you hooked back onto books. With more recent novels you can even listen to the author themselves reading their work, which is a brilliant way to bring to life what they created in their imagination. If audiobooks aren’t your thing, try a graphic novel or manga. Having less words and more illustrations is a great way to get back into page-turning. Some personal favourite graphic novels are Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, and Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell.
There are loads of great places online to find reading recommendations. If you’re into one particular genre, it’s a good idea to have a look on Facebook to see if there are any groups that are made of other fans. For example, there is a great Japanese Literature group on Facebook that is always full of suggestions from other readers about new translation releases or up and coming Japanese writers to try. If you’re looking for a one-off read, have a look on Good Reads or even the list of this year’s Booker or Pulizer prize nominations to get some inspiration.
Check out the local library
If you’re still stuck, don’t forget you can always head over to your local library. The people who work there will be brimming with suggestions, and it won’t cost you a penny. Sometimes it can really help you to pick a book just by being able to read the first few pages in a quiet space. Plus, you can always check out a few different titles to try so that you don’t have to worry about not getting into the first one you picked up. The local library can be a real haven to those who love books, and it’s so important that we keep using and benefitting from them.
Struggling to pick up a book? Tweet us at @warwicklibrary, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
by Rebecca Preedy