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Librarians Share 20 Ways to Read More Books

Man Reading Book and Sitting on Bookshelf in Library --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Is it hard for you to make time to read? Is getting into the proper headspace to enjoy a book a daunting task?

In an age when digital distractions are omnipresent, getting lost in literature can be difficult for many readers. How can you get back into the habit? The Guardian asked librarians to share the best ways to rediscover reading and make it a regular habit—and their tips for the “most unputdownable” books.

The number one thing is to not beat yourself up if you haven’t read in years.

“A whole combination of things have come together in an unfortunate way to make it harder for people to read,” says Nancy Pearl, librarian, author, literary critic, and former executive director of the Washington Center for the Book at Seattle Public Library. “The state of the world makes it very hard to read, because there is so much to worry about. People don’t have the energy to concentrate on reading as we used to.”

Audiobooks are an excellent way to relive a dormant reading habit, says Louise Morrish, a librarian turned novelist who works at a secondary school in Hampshire, England.

“Listening to an audiobook is reading,” says Morrish. “There have been scientific studies where they’ve stuck sensors on to people’s heads, and the areas of the brain that are lighting up and connecting are the same when you’re listening to a story as when you’re reading it yourself.”

And, of course, visiting your local library is always an option.

“Your local library is a really good source,” says Morrish. “The librarians there are brilliant at helping you find books and it is free: you can take a punt on something and won’t have wasted money.”

“I always suggest going to the library or bookstore and talking about what you’re looking for,” says Pearl. “Say: ‘I just read this book, I want another book just like it.’”

Head to the Guardian now to check out 17 more recommendations from librarians on how to fall in love with reading again.

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Photo: Man reading book and sitting on bookshelf in library © Royalty-Free/Corbis

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