Finding an Engaging Book

Finding an Engaging Book

06/21/2020
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Sometimes it’s hard to get engaged in a book for many reasons. Learn what you like in a book, and focus on it when you do.

View of open book from top

I have a bit of a problem sometimes where I don’t get engaged in books as much as I’d like. My primary problem is that I try to read so much that I read at times when I’m not focused. It’s really easy to let my mind drift to random thoughts about my kids, work, or other projects that I have going on.

In order to find a book that you’ll really get into, there are a couple of important steps to work through to make it happen.

Your first step is to find the types of books that you enjoy. This isn’t to say that you can’t find an engaging book in a genre that you don’t normally read. However, it’s going to be far easier to get engaged in a book if you want to read it. For example, I have no interest in picking up a romance book. It just sounds terrible. If I go into that type of book, I’m not likely to become engaged, simply because I have no interest in reading it.

In other words, you want to find books that sound interesting to you. Would I ever read a romance novel? Potentially, but it would have to have pretty excellent reviews across the board by a wide range of people. A better example for me would actually be fantasy novels - I don’t generally love fantasy novels, but some of my favorite books I’ve ever read have been fantasy novels. This is because I have given fantasy novels a chance that have excellent reviews across the board.

In order to find what types of books you like in general, you’ll have to read novels from multiple genres. Perhaps you’ll find you really like young adult novels, mystery novels, non-fiction novels, or one of the multitude of other genres. You don’t need just one, but the more you read, the more you’ll start to understand your own tastes in books. You’ll begin to see what types of books are really interesting overall to you and that can capture your attention the best. You need to read in order to find out what you like to read. Amazing, I know.

The second step to get engaged is to find time where you can focus on the book that you’re reading. If you’re not focusing on the book, it will be too easy to not become engaged. This is where I struggle the most. I have to force myself to focus on what I’m reading, especially at the start of a new book, in order to really get into it. 

This is definitely hardest for me because of my kids. They don’t understand that I want to really engage in a novel - they want attention all of the time. Especially as I begin a book, I have to force myself to focus on the words and the storyline. If I can remain focused for the first few chapters, then I’ll become locked in to what’s going on.

This doesn’t mean that every book that I start, and that I focus on, becomes a super engaging read for me. A lot of books are a miss from that point of view. When you read a lot, that tends to happen. However, the odds increase dramatically when I am able to focus, and read a book that sounds really interesting to me. I’ve recently read a few excellent books that were books that I didn’t want to put down. I certainly read way more than I should have been, but when you get into that reading zone, you don’t want to get out of it. Becoming engrossed in what’s going to happen next is one of my favorite feelings as a reader - you just can’t wait to read further.

Read what you like, and focus as you do that reading. It will help you become engaged in books more fully, and really appreciate the work the author has put into it.

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