Have you always liked the idea of books and being an avid reader, but struggle with becoming enthusiastic about it? Read on! I have 13 tips from some of my favourite people to help you go from reluctant reader to book dragon.

We were recently in Hawaii, and while at the Polynesian Cultural Center bumped into this awesome dude.

After he gave us the spiel on the island of Fiji I asked him if he would pose with a book for me, for my bookstagram account. And, in a @booksinthewild first, he actually opened it and started reading! In the almost year I’ve been doing this account, I’ve also asked several other people to pose, but he is the only one who looked inside first.

We had a great conversation about books in which he mentioned he wanted to become a better reader. He liked books, but just couldn’t really get into them. On top of that, he was still learning English and because he was new to the language he was struggling.

I suggested a few things to him, and so I’ll repeat them to you:

-Read what you love. Anime, mystery, cheesy romance… whatever floats your boat, go for it. Because there’s nothing wrong with you doing you.
-Watch the movie first. I know this is a somewhat controversial suggestion for some, but it can really help get an idea of the book, its characters, and the overarching ideas. Watching Shakespeare plays in high school helped ENORMOUSLY before reading them.
-Don’t push it. Try and enjoy it, but if it’s becoming a chore, give yourself a break and put it down… because you want to like this, right?

After we got home I posted on Instagram to ask my bookish friends for their tips on loving books. Here they are!

13 Tips to Become a More Enthusiastic Reader

bluestockingbookshelf I’m all about watching the movie first. Definitely part of the minority on that one.

abibliophilesstyle I appreciate that you suggested watching the film version first. I actually prefer to do this, and I feel shy about saying so to other bibliophiles. The truth is that most of my favorite books are ones I read *after* seeing the film – Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, the first several Harry Potter books, The Hunger Games, etc.

emjpictures This is awesome! I’d say read a mix of fiction and nonfiction! You’ll be reading to learn and to have fun and in the end it will all be enjoyable!

extremelibrarian You need to give yourself 30 minutes to get ‘hooked’ into a book and short stories are really satisfying, and you have a sense of accomplishment when you’ve finished one :-).

heidishomaker Definitely reading books with movies is a good way to stay interested. I read a book and then can’t wait to finish to watch the movie, it’s like eating a cupcake after cake. Hahaha. It keeps me excited though.

the_great_book_collector Best tip I have. Don’t be ashamed of what you read! Age range is for sales purpose only.

windingbooktrail I think your suggestion to him was perfect. Another thing I always want people in this situation to know is that reading children’s literature is a totally legit (and worthy) way to spend time, even for adults. And for those who are trying to be better or more enthusiastic readers, I think good children’s lit can kindle a real passion for reading.

anna_jakobsson_lund A book club is a good thing. You don’t even all have to read the same book. Just come together regularly and discuss books you’ve read. It’s a good way to get ideas about what to read next.

abibliophilesstyle Perhaps reading along with an audiobook? I know that strategy can work with children, and it helps me when I’m trying to read with distractions.

readingisourthing My one tip… read, read and read some more.

dcosman30 I think as a tip it is important to know what kind of internal dialogue you have when reading. Do you “see” the book in your mind like a movie? Or “hear” the dialogue or nothing? This will determine what kind of book you will enjoy reading. Visual movie brains like mine like reading plot driven fantasy books. “Hearers” like @chelseabelleb prefer wordy conversation books and “nothing” people like non-fiction.

raisingamazingchildren The best way I know for whetting an appetite (in someone else) to want to read is to read aloud to them.  (It worked for Robert Frost, who didn’t read books until he was 14. His mother read to him, and then one day he decided to and wrote a poem.)

happilyeveradventures Read what you like. Even if it’s “trashy” like a mindless mystery or comic book. You need something to draw you in. Make a daily habit. Make it a pleasant experience with some candles or whatever you like. Have a goal like you’re going to see the movie after or you’re going to talk to someone who is also reading it.


And finally, there you have it! Awesome ways to get into reading, and straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Did we miss any? (Probably!) Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them! Write them down and stick them in a comment below!