The Joy of Reading

As authors, it can be hard to read for fun. It’s hard to not notice the character arc or the plot structure. Turning off your brain so you’re not analyzing the theme can be a challenge. And although there are definite benefits to critical reading texts, it can take the joy out of reading.

Since one of our goals as authors is to bring the joy of reading to others, it would make sense for us to experience the joy (again) for ourselves. Here are some suggestions for rekindling a love of reading:

  1. Read outside your genre. I find I’m less likely to read critically if I’m reading something I don’t write like adult techno-thrillers or parenting memoir books. These books can be highly entertaining and I can appreciate them as texts.
  2. Speed Read (so to speak). When I read quickly, there just isn’t time for my brain to do a complicated analysis of the text. There’s just time to let the words build pictures in my mind before I move on to the next scene.
  3. Read books you love. The books you love to read might not be the types of books you write. However, sometimes we get in the trap of only reading books related to our market. Taking time to go back to those books we enjoy, even if they are a guilty pleasure, can help bring joy back to reading.

Ultimately loving to read again is important because it will be reflected in your writing. People who are fulfilled in their reading life often bring that joy to their writing life.