I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I made a goal for 2024 to read 50 books. When I tell people that, they ask, “why 50?” Partly because it’s a nice round number and partly because reading 52 books, or a book a week, sounded too scary. 

As a kid, I read all the time but when I got into middle school I decided reading wasn’t “cool” anymore and stopped. I replaced reading with doom scrolling, video games and watching TV. 

Through high school and into the start of college, I read mainly for classes, finishing a book or two a year. I didn’t think too much about my departure from reading. I told myself I got away from it simply because I didn’t want to, and I had better things to do. How wrong I was!

Others may disagree, but I don’t love reading physical books. They are heavy, bulky and hard to read in bed. I have read on my iPad some, but it makes me feel like I am just using another screen. I decided I wanted a Kindle and put it on my Christmas list. With it, I have revitalized my love of reading. 

An article I read recently in the New York Times, “Everyone Likes Reading. Why Are We So Afraid of It?” by A. O. Scott, tells the beauty of reading perfectly: “Reading is supposed to teach us who we are and help us forget ourselves, to enchant and disenchant, to make us more worldly, more introspective, more empathetic and more intelligent.”

It’s a beautiful quote, and I have found all of these traits to be true while rediscovering reading. I found time passing quickly while reading “The Martian” by Andy Weir, putting myself into the shoes of the main character while he navigates escaping the planet of Mars. I was enchanted by the words of Robin Wall Kimmerer in “Braiding Sweetgrass” while she disenchanted my narrative of western society and our relationship with nature. I was introspective while reading “Alone on the Wall,” the harrowing life story of Alex Honnold, a climber who doesn’t use ropes to protect himself on 3,000 foot cliffs. 

These examples are all beautiful but you don’t have to read to gain enlightenment and be a better person; you can just read for fun. No need to tackle the classics or an 800 page book. I recently reread the first Percy Jackson book, and got just as much out of it as I did the dense, science-focused book “Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures.” 

Rediscovering reading has in turn boosted my mental health. I no longer feel the need to be on social media for long stints throughout my day, which I have found sucks my energy and in the end, doesn’t gain me the knowledge, introspection and emotions reading does. I find social media shuts off my brain, while reading opens it.

If you want to get into reading, here are 5 quick tips that have helped me rekindle my love for reading:


Choose a good format. For me, the Kindle is perfect but for some that isn’t the case. Find out whether your iPad, an audiobook, or physical books are going to keep you the most engaged.

Find a chunk of time everyday. Reading for a couple minutes before bed has ensured I get just a bit in everyday, keeping me more engaged in the story.

Don’t read books you don’t want to read. There is a weird societal pressure to read certain books, genres or authors. It doesn’t matter. Just read what you want.

Talk to others about reading. If none of your friends read, talk to your professors, parents, grandparents or anyone who will listen about the books you are reading. Bonus point of this tip is you will probably get book recommendations from others. 

Make a list of the books you read and the ones you want to read. It is motivating to look back on how many books you read, and how often you read a book. When you finish a book, it might feel like “well, what now?” Having a list of more books to check out will keep the momentum going.

Happy reading!