These things and more can be found within the pages of a good book. Unfortunately, reading for pleasure is somewhat of a lost art. As a parent, when was the last time you read a book for pure pleasure, and not as a way to lull your child to sleep?
Even as a writer, I’ve experienced reading dry spells.
That’s quite a change from the voracious desire I had as a girl – reading everything from novels to cereal boxes. It seemed my hunger for reading could never be satisfied. I always wanted more.
As life filled up with work, friends and my latest crush, I put reading on the back shelf. My habit dwindled and my love of reading for pleasure faded. I still dreamed of becoming a writer, yet I didn’t even support my own craft.
Fact: There was a time in my life when reading a book felt like a chore.
Maybe you know the feeling.
Why would I want to read at home after reading at work all day? It seemed like a good idea in theory, but in practice, it was just one more thing to do.
I’m hoping this post will open your mind to reading books again. Purely for your own pleasure.
Reading for pleasure is sexy. It turns on your mind like no reality TV show ever will. The rhythm of a captivating story can take your breath away.
Project: Indulge in Pleasure Reading
Unlocking your passion for reading is easy – you just have to find the right books. Like lovers, one size does not fit all. Here are some tips to make reading for pleasure a blissful diversion.
- Make time for it. Spend one night a week with the TV off. Wake up 15 minutes early and steal some time just for you. Read on your lunch break. Log out of Facebook. You only need a few moments.
- Get comfortable. My favorite time to read is at night before bed. Yours might be in the morning with a cup of coffee or snuggled in the nook of the couch after the kids are asleep.
- Permission to break up with bad books. While you’re discovering your passion for pleasure reading, my advice is to break up fast with books you don’t like. Your time is precious – don’t waste it on a book that doesn’t grab you from the beginning. That’s the beauty of reading for pleasure – your satisfaction is all that matters.
- Try new genres. Spice it up with books you never dreamed of reading – you may be surprised by the stories you like the best.
Start Here: Pleasure Reading Book List
Books to expand your horizons
- Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World by Glenn Stout
- Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story by Evan I. Schwartz
- Road Map to Holland by Jennifer Graf Groneberg
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Books to escape life
- The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, all by Suzanne Collins
- I Sing the Body Electric! Stories by Ray Bradbury
- A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
- Anything by Anita Shreve or Elizabeth Berg
- Anything by Dr. Seuss
Books to cry over
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Books for pure fun
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- Cleaving by Julie Powell
- Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
- Anything by Janet Evanovich
Intense recent read
- Room by Emma Donoghue
Reading for pleasure is such an intimate, sultry experience. Try it again and see how it feels. It’s a beautiful escape that every woman can afford.
What books do you read for pure pleasure? Please share them in the comments below.
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Special thanks to my sexy librarian friends for recommending the books above.
Photo by José Antonio Carretero