How I overcame my reader's block?
Updated: May 22, 2020
Reading is a fun activity and probably the cheapest flight to any corner of the world. But have you ever gone through a phase when you just can’t read, not even a page? Or maybe, do you think that you don’t read enough? If yes, you aren’t alone. Been there. I experienced the same in the past couple of years. That phase is called a reader's block.
I remember being frustrated looking at the pile of my ‘to be read’ books. Honestly, I read only 4 books in 2019, namely Dollar Bahu, Mrs Funnybones, Pyjamas are forgiving and Not Without My Daughter. 2018 was even worse because I read a series called Shiva Triology and that's it. For someone like me, who has always loved reading, it was a mental crisis. But I actually didn’t pay attention to it until I realized that my habit of reading is vanishing. It was never about the number of books I read.
It was the beginning of 2020 when I decided to get back to reading while writing my 2020 resolutions. I didn’t want to set any unrealistic task for me, so I challenged myself to read 20 books this year. Writing this down was easy for me, but it wasn't easy to get started with. I have read 9 books so far, in 2020. I am proud of the growth and I can happily say that I have cured my reader’s block. If you are someone who is stuck and want to fight your reader’s block, here’s a little help for you.
Disclaimer: These are not so professional or I can say full proven tips but these helped me. That’s why I decided to blog about it. I hope you will find them useful.
Decide the number of books you want to read
This is important because it helps you get started. I recommend you to start small but make sure not to keep your target less than 10 books. The best way is to write down your target along with some other targets you have set for yourself.
Start with short and easy books
If you have gone through a long reader’s block, I would suggest you to start with easy and short books. Read short stories and books with not more than 120 pages. Once you finish reading one or two such books, you will get that feeling of accomplishment. It’s like a little push that you always wanted to read more. In my case, I started with Sudha Murthy’s books.
Try reading poetry collections
A collection of poems is something I would recommend to read. So, out of 10 books, 1 book can be a poetry book. I believe poems have that power of refreshing your mind in very less words. You can finish such collections in a really short time.
Start with your favorite genre
As a reader, you must have come across the books from different genres. But after a long gap, it becomes difficult to choose a book to get started with. It is perfectly fine to start with the genre you like. Don’t get carried away with what others are reading. Go with your pace, which is really important in this process of overcoming your reader’s block.
Fix reading hours
Many of us complain that we don’t get enough time, which is true in many ways. Everyone has their own list of tasks. But if planned better, time can be managed. Therefore, fixing the reading hours can help you engage more with books. I prefer reading in the evening and before bedtime since I am not a morning person. You can choose any hour of the day as per your convenience.
Do not read on your phone
When you are resuming reading after a long gap, reading on the phone can be slightly distracting. After 5-6 books, you may switch to kindle or any other reading app, but prefer reading paperbacks for the first 5 books.
Write down your learnings and reflections
It’s my personal opinion that you may finish reading a book in one sitting, but it takes a week/weeks to digest a book completely. Writing down your learnings and reflections is the best practice you can follow. It is not necessary to write a review ( you can, if you want to) but your learnings are important. This helps you analyse why you liked about that book and how you are going to implement it in your day-to-day life.
If there’s a book that you liked in the past, you can begin with re-reading the same book. It will make you feel relevant.
No language barrier
Don’t feel ashamed to read in the language you are comfortable with. If you like to read in your mother tongue, it’s okay. Reading is for yourself and not for others.
Connect with other reader friends of yours
If you know someone who is an avid reader and can recommend some good books, connect with them. You can get some good recommendations. If there’s no one like this in your contact list, you can always use the internet.
This was all about reader’s block. If you have any other tips, let me know in the comments!
You may have a look at the books I read in 2020. Click here.