how to read like you did when you were twelve before you lost your attention span

When I first got my iPod touch in the 7th grade I used to use its screen as a flashlight so I could secretly read past my bedtime instead of actually using the iPod touch. Now I have the attention span of a gnat and exactly one million unread books on my shelves, but over the past two years I’ve slowly been getting back into reading. Here are a couple tips and tricks I’ve used over the last few years to combat the feeling that I’ve been getting progressively more average since middle school (and to read more).

no genre judging

Sometimes what you need to reignite your love of reading is to reread what started it. If you remember blowing through YA romance or fantasy novels as a kid, try going back and rereading one. Don’t feel bad about whichever book you’re reading, even if you aren’t in its “intended age group.” Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, a book about a traveling circus with ~real magic~, and Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything, a straight up quirky YA romance book, may not fit into my great american classics of the 20th century vibe, but they are just fun to read—which is what reading should be.

find a favorite author

Throwing yourself into a totally different storyline and writing style can be exciting, but having something familiar can be helpful from time to time, too. Kurt Vonnegut is the man for me with this rule. I have almost every book he’s ever written, and when my literary momentum is struggling I know I can always pick up something new by him off my shelf. His consistently satirical tone makes every one of his books fit together perfectly, and it’s easy to slip into a story your more familiar with.

the 50 pages rule

I saved the best for last with this one because this trick has been a true game changer. Whenever you start a new book, commit to reading the first 50 pages. If every word along the way seemed to drag on, you know you don’t really want to read it. Classic or not, if it’s a book that bores you why should you force yourself to read it? I find that making myself push through a book I’m uninterested in means I rarely touch it, but refuse to start reading other books I might actually like because I’m “already in the middle of one.” Sometimes there are great books that have been on my to read list for ages that happen to just be slow reads, so sometimes I break this rule and push on, but generally it saves me so much time.

I hope my tips help you to get back into the stacks at your local library, and if you have any of your own tips drop em in the comments below!!

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