Read for Fun

During the week, I watched a video called Why I Don’t Like Reading. This got me thinking about my own reading habits.

It may surprise people to know that I don’t always like reading.

Don’t get me wrong, I love books. I love stories and full bookshelves. I love browsing bookshops and libraries and discovering new adventures. I love finding new authors and books, especially those that no one has ever heard about before. But I don’t always like reading.

When my kids were little, you would think that time reading to them at night would be the best time for a booklover. Most nights, I was too tired to read a bedtime story… I preferred daytime story time when I wasn’t too tired to enjoy the book.

When I was studying, most of the books that were set reading, I hated. Thankfully, I had enough books to read for fun, but I didn’t read much because study got in the way.

Even now, there are times when I don’t love reading. I would rather do anything else than read a book. Yes, it’s relaxing and I love the story, but the reality is there are days when I’m completely exhausted and my eyes simply can’t focus on the text.

Over the years, I have realised that reading needs to be fun. To make it fun for me, I look at the following:

  • Can I see the text? Lately I’ve been choosing books based on how big the text is. If I have to work too hard to read the book, then it’s not fun.
  • Does the story interest me? Story is the key. I will read almost anything so long as the story is engaging. If the story doesn’t engage me, I move on.
  • Don’t limit to a certain shelf. This means that I will read novels, and picture books, middle grade, young adult, and just about anything else. So long as I can read the text and the story piques my interest.
  • Don’t force it. If I’m not feeling the story, or I’m not feeling like reading, I don’t force myself to read. I’m not at school any more and I don’t have to read a book if I really don’t want to. If I’m forcing myself to read a book, then it’s not fun.
  • Find new books. I don’t follow trends, I never have. If everyone is raving about a book, I usually avoid it. I prefer to find books that not many people have read before and then tell everyone else how amazing it is!

Basically, the thing that I’ve learned is to have fun with reading. I read books that I enjoy and when I feel like reading. I have taken part in challenges such as the PopSugar reading challenge to mix things up, but even then, I choose books that I want to read rather than those I feel I have to read.

I also read a lot of picture books and middle grade books. They are often quick reads with amazing stories. The humor in these isn’t the same as the humor for older readers, and there are a number of authors of middle grade books who are on my Must Read list.

Reading is a great way to relax, and, with that in mind, it should be an enjoyable activity. Over the years, I’ve worked out what makes reading fun for me, and what’s fun for me may not be the same as what’s fun for you.

As a parent, we can help our kids work out how to make reading fun for them, but ultimately, it’s up to them to work out how to make reading fun… some tips and observations from my own kids will be coming soon.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover