Recapturing that ‘lost in a book’ feeling as adult is something most book lovers crave but find ourselves experiencing with incredible scarcity.

That feeling of hiding under the covers to read ‘one more chapter’ and staying up until the sun rises, all the while thinking ‘worth it’, especially as you had nothing too serious to worry about the next day.

The absolute loss of your sense of self, with no concept of what is going on around you, losing hours because you are wholly emerged in this world the author has built for you.

This is the feeling that has begins to ebb away, especially if you have had to study books in an academic setting. But here are five ways I think can help you find it again.

  1. Stop treating it like a chore
    – I always hear people saying ‘I should read more really’, in response to one of my particularly long winded excitable rants about a book. Like it’s shameful that they don’t read, or that it is a task you must force yourself into.

    The only thing required from you in the modern age to read more is to put away those screens. We like to endlessly watch crap telly because we’re not really watching, we’re on our phones, laptops, tablets etc. Typically, your millennial and gen z have 3+ devices on the go at the same time. If you feel like you’re ‘forcing’ yourself to read, it will never be enjoyable. You cannot force a love of literature on yourself if you are doing it to fulfil some wellbeing tick list, this is something you get to do, something worth making time for. Find a genre you love, doesn’t have to be anything highbrow, you’re free kindle cute little romance novel still counts.

  2. Find the genre, or book that used to make you feel that way- start there.
    -doesn’t matter if it was ‘Goodnight Mr. Tom‘ that was read to you by a teacher in primary school, or ‘Harry Potter’ (although, maybe get those second hand from a third party distributor… a certain TERF doesn’t need any extra royalties right now…). Re- read those books, or have a look at what genre it fell into and explore other titles with it.

    My point is, you don’t need to be reading Charles Dickens or anything considered good by the best seller lists. Read what you enjoy and you will enjoy reading again.

  3. Ask your friends, family and partners for their favourite books.
    – most people, even those who find no time or love for reading in the current lives, will have a dog eared, dusty copy hanging around of something they once enjoyed. If you’re friends with a book nerd like me, chances are we have a miniature library you can choose from.

    On a soppy note, it’s a great way to get to know the heart of the people you love, they enjoyed this book, this book spoke to them, this book found a little puzzle piece part of them and put it into words- why?

  4. Favourite movie? Find the book it’s based on.
    – whether they’ve done an epically shit job translating this book to film or not, whether you’re pissed, surprised or happy, it’s a great way to engage with a book. Especially in relation to a form of media that’s easier to consume in the modern world like film or television.

    Trust me, 9 times out of 10 the book is better than the film. That cute little romance scene they cut short? BAM whole chapter. The plot twist they don’t have time to explain? BAM several chapters worth of the author tip toeing you up to this crucial moment with clues and foreshadowing. That characters back story? BAM fully developed and alluded too throughout the book.

    The book is always better, I promise.

  5. Recapture those stolen moments, those ‘one more chapter’ moments
    – hide away from your colleagues on a lunch break, hide from kids, partners and obligations and sneak yourself a moment with a book. Take a selfishly long bath and read. Go to bed a little early or stay up a little late. Hell, have a long poo and read in there!

    Step away from reality and take stolen moments to read. It’s one of the few forms of media that is truly a mini break from the real world. You cannot scroll through instagram, like you would whilst watching Netflix, if you’re reading. The access to long form t.v series’ and the culture of binge watching has fundamentally changed the way we consume most other types of media. But reading is still just reading. You will very rarely (if at all?) find your favourite book series will get cancelled without having its moment to wrap things up. Plus, once the author feels they are done with the world, there’s a whole world of fan fiction out there for you, if you want it.

Feel inspired? Hopefully you’re feeling something… even if it’s just enjoying my general enthusiasm! Follow for book reviews, more reading thoughts and writing stuff too