wikiHow to Get Into Reading a Book

Two Parts:Getting StartedEnjoying Reading

If you're the kind of person who doesn't much like reading or finds getting beyond the first few chapters of a book a bit of a chore, you might just be missing out on discovering why books matter. Reading is one of life's escapist pleasures, it's a way of discovering things you never knew and meeting the minds of other human beings without having to actually converse. Why give up these wonderful opportunities just because you've convinced yourself that reading's hard work? To get into reading a book, and making it all the way through, try these illuminating suggestions.

Part 1
Getting Started

  1. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 1
    Choose a book that interests you. There will be time enough later to force yourself to read subject-matter that isn't to your liking. For now, choose books on topics that are relevant to you and that you'll find fascinating. For example, the sports lover can read books on football, sports car racing or running. The hobbyist can read a book about collecting, restoring or making things. The fashion lover can read books about clothes, fashion history or makeup tips. Choose according to your likes!
  2. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 3
    Understand the benefits of reading. Reading well can get you into a good college. Getting educated at a good college can help you understand the world better, through knowing more things. Knowing more things can set you in good stead for earning money, finding interesting work and offering your expertise to a wide range of people. Knowing how to learn by yourself and research in fields that aren't your expertise can help you to survive during harder times, by thinking laterally and using your skills in a transferable way. A non-reader is less able to succeed at doing this due to the lack of access to the broader knowledge reading offers you.
    • If making tons of money isn't the single most important thing to you (and really, it shouldn't be), know that reading enhances your knowledge of the world around you. The development of language, and its ability to communicate ideas is probably one of the single most important parts of human development. The ability to record an idea or a thought, and then allow another person to visualize that idea, either with words or pictures, is absolutely amazing, and it is one of the greatest pillars of civilization.
    • Being able to access the thoughts, ideas and musings of people who have long gone and of your contemporaries has to be one of the most amazing and miraculous things about books and reading. You can learn from rely upon and even "befriend" the people whose knowledge you soak up from books.
  3. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 5
    Be empowered through reading and writing. Learning to write, and especially to read, enables you to understand and experience nearly all of the ideas that have ever been communicated in your native language. This is empowerment, and it is a form of freedom that is invaluable.
  4. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 12
    Choose wisely. Not everything you read is worth reading. Being a discerning reader means choosing the books with care and avoiding books that fill your head with anxiety or irritation. In some cases, reading too much of a genre of books that leaves you feeling empty or unhappy can cause you to hate all reading, and that's a terrible outcome! Instead, always be sure to choose books that are well written, contain good content and don't talk down to you. To this end:
    • Cultivate your inner critic. Read critically––do you believe what the author is asking you to believe? Do you think the author has substantiated his or her claims?
    • Learn to distance yourself from things the author says that you don't agree with, without discarding the whole book. Sometimes you'll see eye-to-eye on some things, but disagree on others. That's good––it means you're thinking critically and not buying into everything the author says. Also, learn to recognize the author's own experience trying to act as a universal experience––when you can see this happening (and it is a frequent slip-up), accept it for what it is (the author's experience) and don't feel you have to apply it to yourself.
    • Read books you don't agree with. Spend a little time reading things you find confronting. This will help you to learn about alternative perspectives and expands your mind. Don't feel threatened––feel empowered to be able to argue better with the proponents of alternative view, as you can demonstrate you know where they're coming from––it's just that you still don't agree!
    • Calm your inner worrier. Many of us read to find out ways to lead a better life––namely, the self-help genre. Unfortunately, much of this genre is about being better through making more money, as if being rich is the only means to happiness. This kind of thinking can make you feel unfulfilled and unhappy. Question any book that leaves you feeling less worthy or insists that you base your happiness on striving for things that are unrealistic.

Part 2
Enjoying Reading

  1. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 2
    Commit yourself. Allowing your mind to wander when reading is a major cause of giving up on reading. Put aside all thoughts of undone chores, things you'd rather be doing or the people you haven't yet texted this week. Commitment requires:
    • Setting aside distinct reading time. You can stop when the time's up but during that time, devote yourself to the book.
    • If you catch yourself daydreaming while scanning the words, gently remind yourself to come back to the present and dive right back into that book.
    • Avoid setting yourself "so many chapters before I finish" rules. Going by time is much gentler on yourself than treating the book as a chore of chapter checking off.
  2. 2
    Allow yourself to go overtime if you do start enjoying yourself. There's no need to put aside a good read.
  3. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 6
    Picture what you're reading in your head. Using your imagination to form the places, people and actions you're reading about will help you understand what's going on more easily. Much of this will come naturally, as your mind tries to build the places, people and situations you're reading about from what you already know. For what you don't know, your imagination will cobble together all sorts of fantastical images. Let this happen and enjoy the process because it's your own inner world jumping out alive from the pages––and it's fun.
    • Just beware of books that are made into movies. Your imagination will create one thing, while the movie will completely turn that upside down. It can be disconcerting and is one reason why many people who love a book will choose not to see a movie made from it.
  4. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 7
    Make notes. Get a notebook. Record your own thoughts, reactions and ideas as you read. It is an amazing experience at the end of a book, or even months or years later, to read back over your notes and see the things that mattered most to you. It's likely you'll discover that each book you've taken notes about has impacted your thinking more than you've cared to acknowledge. This is how you expand your mind and keep it receptive to new ideas and ways of seeing the world.
  5. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 8
    Predict what will happen next. This is a fun way to keep you interested. You may be right; then again, you may be wrong. It's always fun to have the author lead you on a merry dance, only to give you a very unexpected twist when you were sure of a different outcome.
  6. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 11
    Relate to the content. Put yourself "in the book." What would you do in the same or similar situations? Would you want to be like a character? Would you want to do the things the book explores or teaches you about? Can you see yourself in the same place or position as the biographer in years to come? By putting yourself into the shoes of the characters or author, or by visualizing yourself undertaking the suggested actions in a book, you can get a great deal more meaning from your read.
  7. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 9
    Take it slowly. Today's culture focuses on end results (and speedily done too). But with reading, focusing on the end will get you nowhere. You aren't reading to "finish a book" and tally it off. It's much more about the experience, the progress, the journey itself. Pause and imagine scenes taking place, and let yourself get excited and frustrated with the characters! Reflect about the plot (or lack of it) and how it makes you feel. When you do reach the end, spend some time thinking about where you'd take the story and characters next if you were to author the sequel.
  8. Image titled Get Into Reading a Book Step 10
    Read with enthusiasm. What can make content interesting is often defined in the delivery. Try reading out loud sometimes, putting emphasis into what you're reading.
    • Where you read can influence your enthusiasm. Find somewhere calm, quiet and comfortable for a good read. It is best to find a spot where you won't be distracted. If you have a pet that likes to cuddle up to you, this can be a lovely time to spend together peacefully.


  • Keeping a record of the books you've read can help to enthuse you. There are many great online sites where you can "brag" about your reading or share good books with others. You might even keep a Pinterest board just for the books you've loved reading and wish that others could discover too.
  • If you have difficulty reading because of a reading-related condition, seek help to overcome this––speak to your doctor, a counselor or someone skilled in dealing with reading challenges. In some cases, you might also find you need glasses, or higher resolution lenses, to help with eye-related conditions, especially if you get headaches or eye strain when reading.
  • If you tend to read a few pages or chapters and then leave a book, always keep a bookmark in place to help you get back into the book easily. It's better than having to reread over the pages you've already done.
  • Get a version of the book on tape it might help get a better understanding of the book you are trying to read.
  • If you have difficulty reading fine print, ask your local library for the larger print versions. Equally, you can increase the magnification of print on many eReaders.
  • Ask an adult to read it if you're under the age of eight, if you're older Google it or find a video.


  • A book read out of duty won't impart knowledge in the same way as a book read with goodwill and enthusiasm does. Try to overcome your reluctance by remembering the value in reading for your own self-improvement and enjoyment.
  • If a book upsets you or contains offensive content, stop reading it. However, don't let this experience cloud your desire to read other books, including books about the same subject matter. One author's perspective may be all wrong for you, while another author may write about the matter in a much more skillful and thoughtful way. Ask your librarian for help if you don't know how to find a better book on a topic.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Books | Reading Motivation Strategies