Overcoming reader’s block

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Christopher Farai Charamba The Reader
A couple of years ago, one came across one of those online challenges. This specific one was to read 50 books in a year. As someone who is fond of books and is rarely without some form of reading material I thought this was going to be a breeze.

The challenge had 50 different types of books that it expected one to cross off their list; a memoir, an autobiography, a book that became a film and so on and so forth.

The first couple of months of the challenge were relatively easy, essentially one is expected to read a book a week and that generally doesn’t take much effort if you set aside the time. Going randomly through the list I ended up reading books that I would not often pick up.

And then the fatigue set in.

After a few weeks, perhaps six, the appetite to read was lost. Much like the infamous writer’s block I had descended into a space of reader’s block where consuming a page would take ages and I never got to the end of a book.

I never did complete the challenge and made a feeble attempt to try once again the following year but never managed to. At some point, however, there was a need to break the reader’s block and I experimented with a few tricks that resulted in reinstating my love for books.

First of all, reading is a habit and a hobby. Like all habits and hobbies, consistency and practice is key. If one wants to break the crisis of reader’s block the first thing that they will have to do is read.

I forced myself to read at least one chapter every day regardless of how uninterested I was in the act of reading.

Eventually, if it is a good book, you will find yourself reading more than just that one chapter because you are now intrigued by the plot and curious to find out where it will go and how it will end.

Another key find is to read at a consistent time every day. One of my favourite moments to read is early morning before I get my day started.

Dedicating 30 minutes or an hour each day will create a habit and at that time every day regardless of what it is you are doing, you will likely see the need to pick up a book and read.

Something that I have always enjoyed doing when I do not feel like reading is to pick out a favourite book and re-read it or read fond passages from the book.

Reading something you are familiar with can be useful in that your level of concentration does not necessarily need to be high but you are still reading. Another advantage of this is it might re-ignite your passion for reading by reminding you why you fell in love with books.

Going through the work of Oscar Wilde one is instantly in awe because of the multiple aphorisms he conjures in his script.

Finally, to regain the spirit of reading, don’t force yourself to finish the book. If you find that the book you are reading is too cumbersome to go through, move on to another book until you find one that suits your taste.

There are no hard and fast rules to overcoming the disinterest in reading but if you are passionate about books you can work your way back to consistent reading, all it takes is a little bit of dedication.

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