On Reading

Not everyone likes reading, but it would be pretty tough to find a person who actually thinks that reading isn’t in any way beneficial to the reader. Reading has the ability to expand your command of the language you’re reading in and develop your ability to empathise with people who lead different lives from you. Reading is a skill that is very important especially if you want to be a writer. Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Perhaps the reason that I’ve been struggling so much with writing is that I’ve been having trouble with reading for the past few years.

It’s not that I don’t like reading or that I have difficulties with it. When I was younger, I practically burned through books with how fast I read. I remember going to the bookstore on the weekends to buy the new releases of A Series of Unfortunate Events and finishing each one in about four hours. The evening that I bought Looking for Alaska, I stayed up until 2AM to finish it. And don’t tell any of my former school teachers, but I used to read books under my table in class even when I didn’t understand the lessons that were being taught.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I stopped being “able” to read. For a while, I would go to the library and borrow the maximum number of titles and not even turn the pages of a single one of them before returning them. After a while it just got too much of a chore so I started borrowing ebooks on Overdrive instead. That definitely helped me to get back into reading because it was so convenient, but there are only so many titles that my local library has that I’m interested in. To make matters worse, every time I find a book that I’m genuinely excited to read to the end, it always seems to be followed with me finding another book that is incredibly painful for me to read.

I didn’t want to believe that I had a problem at first. I figured that it was just because I was getting busier. Then, one day, I was at the library bookdrop returning The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith for the second time and I realised that I was definitely losing my love for reading. I read the first few pages of and I was thoroughly intrigued by it, but I just didn’t feel like reading it. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith is one of my favourite books and it’s almost always one of the first few books that I recommend to other people. It’s also one of the only books that I refuse to watch the movie adaptation of because the reviews weren’t too favourable and I don’t want it to ruin the book for me.

I want to be able to read with the overwhelming love I used to have. If you have any recommendation for books that you think will help ease me back into reading, I would love to hear them. Feel free to leave them in the comments section below! If you feel like tailoring your recommendations to me, I’m partial to historical fiction like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Between the Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.


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