Blogmas Day 31: How to start reading for fun

I’m going to do a full post on my 2018 New Year’s Resolutions, but one of the goalsreally want to focus on is making more time for reading for fun. When I was in elementary and middle school reading for fun was my absolute favorite pastime. I used to keep a book in at school, a book in my house, and a book in the car and read wherever I was.

Once school started becoming more challenging — and especially now that I’m an English major in college, reading tons of novels for class — reading for fun started to take a back seat to other pastimes. Next semester though I’m only taking 12 credits and no English classes, so I figured it would be the perfect time to get back in the habit! Here are my tips for getting back into reading for fun, some book recommendations, and my Bookish Secret Santa reveal!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which allow me to earn a small commission off your purchases at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Honeybee Joyous!*

 

One of my 2018 New Year's Resolutions is to start making the time for reading for fun. In this post I share some tips for how to do that, book recommendations, and my Bookish Secret Santa reveal! | BLOGMAS DAY 31: HOW TO START READING FOR FUN + BOOKISH SECRET SANTA REVEAL | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

 

Create a routine

Step one in getting more books read in 2018 is going to be creating a bedtime routine for myself that involves shutting off my phone before I’m dead tired and reading for a little while. I think establishing a routine will help me make it a habit to reach for a book every night and making it a habit will make it a lot easier.

I want to get back to the place where I reach for a book any time I want to relax, but I think forming the habit through crafting a routine is going to be the best way to get there.

 

Start with old favorites

I tend to read the most over the summer and whenever I’m trying to get back into it I grab a book I loved when I was younger. It always helps to re-read an old favorite from the time when you loved reading more than anything. It’s a great reminder of why you love books and why you’re trying to get back into it in the first place. Rereading my old favorites also has the added benefit of being great preparation for when I have my own classroom one day.

If you’ve re-read your old favorites and are looking for some new books to check out, I’ve included some of my favorite books below!

 

Some book recommendations

 

The Book of Embraces – Eduardo Galeano

I wrote about this book in my most recent Friday Favs, but this is my absolute favorite book of all time! It’s a book of vignettes (somewhere between poems and short stories) that are all loosely held together under the theme of embracing. There are vignettes that make me laugh, make me think, and make me cry. I had to read this for my IB English class my junior year of high school and you know how nobody ever likes any of the books you read in high school? Well, every single person found at least one vignette that spoke to them and that they loved. This book is so meaningful, powerful, and I think everyone should read it!

 

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

I first discovered Madeleine L’Engle’s books when I was in sixth grade and that year I read nearly every single one of them. I was lucky that my middle school library even had a lot of the ones that were out of print. A Wrinkle in Time is her best known book and it’s absolutely excellent. (I’m looking forward to the new movie version that’s coming out soon!) I think this is a book everyone should read and it would make a great gift for any kid on your list. Meg is such a great main character and she always makes me feel like I can do anything. If you’ve already read A Wrinkle in Time, I would recommend you check out the sequels. I like A Swiftly Tilting Planet even more than Wrinkle and I think you’d probably love it too — it involves time travel and a unicorn!

Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

This is another one I read my junior year of high school. Persepolis is a graphic novel from the point of view of a girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. If you’re trying to learn more about history, trying to get into graphic novels, or just want an excellent story, this is the book for you. There’s a sequel that I’ve heard is also awesome and that’s definitely on my to-read list!

Green Grass, Running Water – Thomas King

This is probably my favorite book I’ve read in college. I read it for my Indigenous Literature class and I’m definitely going to be reading it again soon. It’s a wild ride and it’s hard to explain because the plot doesn’t really come together until the end. You follow a number of different characters through their lives and journeys and slowly you start seeing each narrative start to overlap and before you know it the whole story has come together. My class spent days pinpointing little references to culturally significant things and pulling at them like scarves from a magician’s sleeve as they kept becoming more and more and more complex. There’s so much to this book. It’s tremendously clever and definitely stands up to re-reading.

 

Watership Down – Richard Adams

This has been one of my favorite books since middle school, but I always struggle when recommending it to people because it just comes out sounding silly. It’s an epic adventure tale of heroes leaving their threatened home in search of a new haven and the perils they go through on their journey. The catch is, these heroes are rabbits. It’s a thrilling story and you come to really care for the characters. The story could easily be about people, but being about bunnies is part of its charm. If you love adventure stories, you’ll definitely love this one!

 

Read with friends

Something I think would definitely help me get better at reading for fun is reading with friends more. Whether that’s finding a formal book club, informally discussing books with my friends, writing about the books I read here on Honeybee Joyous, or participating in challenges on Goodreads, in 2018 I want to talk to my friends about books!

I just made a Goodreads account and I’m trying to figure out how it works, so add me as a friend and let’s encourage each other to read! You can find my Goodreads account here.

 

Bookish Secret Santa reveal!

You might remember from my post about how to organize a Secret Santa that I’m involved in five different Secret Santa gift exchanges this year. Well, one of those was the Bookish Secret Santa, organized by the lovely Amélie of A Wanderer’s Adventures.

If you want to see what people got each other in this exchange, check out the #bookishsecretsanta2k17 hashtag on Twitter!

 

My Secret Santa was … *drumroll please* …

Hannah-Beth from Oh Hey Hannah!

 

One of my 2018 New Year's Resolutions is to start making the time for reading for fun. In this post I share some tips for how to do that, book recommendations, and my Bookish Secret Santa reveal! | BLOGMAS DAY 31: HOW TO START READING FOR FUN + BOOKISH SECRET SANTA REVEAL | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

 

Hannah-Beth sent me two books — The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I’m super excited to read both of these books! According to the backs of the books, The Night Circus is about two young magicians who are in a fierce competition to the death and end up falling in love and Wither is about a society where lifespans have shortened dramatically and young women are kidnapped to become polygamous brides. Both of these books sound like they have drama, romance, and super exciting plots so I can’t wait to read them!

Not only did Hannah-Beth get me two books I’m pumped to read, she also included a candle (I can see a relaxing bath in my future), a sweet note, and absolutely gorgeous wrapping. Overall, just an incredibly thoughtful gift and I’m so thankful!

Give Oh Hey Hannah a look and follow Hannah-Beth on her social media, which I’ve linked below!

Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

 

{How do you make time to read for fun? What’s your favorite book? Tell me in the comments below!}

  • Thank you so much for participating, Emily! I’m so glad that your Secret Santa has treated you well. 🙂 I’ve been wanting to read The Night Circus for a while now, so I can’t wait to see your review! Merry Christmas!

    • Merry Christmas! It was so much fun. I hope you host it again next year!

  • Great tips! My reading has definitely been on the downhill for several years now but there are so many good books out there that I want to read (and SO many sitting on my bookshelf). Definitely want to up my reading game in 2018!

  • I used to be a big time reader back in the day, but now…I seriously have NO time.

    • Same here! Luckily this year I’m taking fewer classes so I’ve been able to make more time to read.

  • Miss ALK

    I was so happy that 2017 was finally the year I was able to get back into reading for fun since I wasn’t in school anymore! Hope to do even more in 2018!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    Reading is something that I always need to work on! I usually prefer biographies and travel books (mainly Disney!)

  • I finally got into the swing of reading for fun in 2017!! I got a library card and it really changed everything for me! Not sure why I stopped having one in my teen years hahaha.

    Tori
    http://www.mooretori.com

  • I love reading! One of my goals is to read at least one book a month in 2017!

  • Reading is one of my favorite activities! I wish I had more leisure time to do it- I read mostly during the summer since I don’t have to teach then!
    -Nicholle
    http://www.nichollesophia.com

  • Oh my gosh I love love love reading. I am in the middle of making my book list for 2018; will have to check these recommendations out!

  • I started to read for fun since I was 14 and I started reading Harry Potter. I always make sure to make time to reading. Some weeks are easier than other but I like to keep my weekends full of books. It helps when I have a list of books to read!

  • I was just trying to figure out what I should read next. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I always love getting book recommendations, I need to make a book list for 2018!

  • Tara

    ah I loved the night circus! i’m definitely reading more this year!

  • love these tips and book suggestions. I am trying to read more this year by designating 30 min every day just for reading! no phones or computers allowed 🙂