How to Read When You Don't Want to Read

by Cailyn Santee

It’s a pretty common thing for book lovers young and old alike to hit a sudden “plateau.” Books can become more of a chore than an escape whether it is because life has gotten in the way or you’ve become so critical that nothing seems “good enough” to read anymore. This mental downward slope can last for weeks, months, or years if not addressed and the last thing the world needs is the loss of another book lover. I’ve found that there are two ways to easily combat this aggravating plateau that we put on ourselves. 

Make the conscious decision to put time aside and make yourself fall in love with reading again. Don’t just choose any book, pick a new one with a plot that you know you would’ve devoured on any other day and make a goal to read a chapter everyday. Or maybe just thirty minutes of reading is more realistic. The point is to get to that beautiful point in a reading session where the world around you falls away and you’ve completely given your imagination to the words on the page. Instead of focusing on getting through the book, focus more on the protagonists’ journey and how far you’ve gotten through it with them.

If this is hard with a new book, you can always go back to a book you’ve been in love with for years. My personal go-to when I feel I’ve been neglecting my books is The Hobbit. The story is dense enough that every time I reread it, I find something new to fall in love with. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. If Junie B Jones is what made you fall in love with reading, then by all means, curl up on the sofa and read. That’s what’s vital to the process of falling back in love with reading: actually reading. Life may be hectic and overwhelming, but the escape that books bring can be an incredible way to untie the knots of it all and feel peace. Never let books become just another thing you have to do. Let them calm the storm.


Cailyn Santee is a creative writing major at Stephens College and avid cat enthusiast.