I’ve been loving the post requests on Instagram recently and it’s a great way for me to write content that’s tailored to you, so definitely keep them coming! This blog post is in response to a request on how to continue reading and engaging with books, particularly fictional books.
My interest in nonfiction books only began a couple of years ago and till that point, I mostly read fictional works. Then I went through a phase where firstly, I didn’t get the same enjoyment from reading and secondly, fiction just felt like a waste of time. At that point, I naively relegated fiction purely to entertainment and thought of nonfiction as the only thing I could learn from. Fast forward to the present moment and I’ve discarded that school of thought and I read a combination of fiction and non-fiction every month.
Fictional books for me are not only entertaining but they also provide a getaway for me to step into another world, expand my imagination and observe things from different eyes. Plus reading fiction can be an extremely great stress reliever! Below are some tips on how you can read more in general, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.
1. Get Book Recommendations From People You Trust
If you’ve lost interest in reading, a good way to get back into it is via book recommendations from people you know have good tastes in books. This could be friends, someone like Oprah who has a public book club, Instagram pages like Zaynabtyty which are dedicated to book reviews or Goodreads. Nowadays your options are limitless! Before reading a book, fiction or otherwise I usually check the reviews and ask people I know for their opinions. Quite frankly, I’m only interested in four-star ratings and above!
2. There’s Always Time To Read
My favourite time to read is during my daily commutes which range between 45 minutes to 1 hour per journey. Getting lost in reading, particularly fiction makes my journey ten times better (it’s a journey within a journey!). It’s particularly useful to read on commutes if you have a busy day. You’ll be surprised at the anticipation build up for reading time especially if you’re getting back to a good book!
Find times that work for you in your schedule to read. Something I’m currently implementing is switching off my phone and laptop when I’m at home and choosing to read instead. Social media can be a time vortex and that time can be best utilised in other ways. A hallmark of a great book for me is when I have no desire to catch up on TV and would rather return to it.
3. Read On Topics/Genres You Love!
I alternate between fiction and non-fiction depending on the mood I’m in. In terms of Non-Fiction, I read based on things I want to expand my knowledge about or develop on. This can range from politics, philosophy, religion to autobiographies and self-help books. On the other hand, I’m not very experimental with fiction so you won’t find me buying a historical fiction book for example. The last one I read and enjoyed was The Book Thief and that was the last of that. You will, however, find me reading a lot of African Literature, Crime Thrillers and Fantasy. Sometimes sticking to what you love is best!
4. A Reading Buddy Helps!
Having a reading buddy makes a world of a difference. The Fact that The Millenial Muslim and I both love reading helps a lot. We’re always sending each other book extracts, discussing and exchanging books. I don’t think I’ve ever been to her place without taking two or three books from her shelf. So find someone who enjoys reading and who you can share your love of reading with.
5. Change Things Up
Lastly, you don’t always have to carry a physical book around, change things up by reading on your Kindle or buying an Audiobook instead. I wasn’t a big fan of both until recently but it makes a difference when I’m bored and I can just open up Kindle and start reading or plug in my earphones and listen to an Audiobook. Audiobooks, in particular, provide a different reading experience and I enjoy listening to them whilst I do my daily walks.
Hope the tips help you in your reading journey and I would love to read about how you stay engaged with books in the comments section.