I know. We all endured the torture of studying at least one Shakespeare play throughout our time at Secondary School. Whether it was the witches of Macbeth, the Ghost of King Hamlet, the pound of flesh of the Merchant of Venice or the love story gone wrong of Romeo & Juliet, for many Shakespeare is a name they want to forget after they sit their exams.
I was the same and so you can imagine that when I received my First Year Reading List for English Literature and it included not 1, not 2, not even 3 but 4 Shakespeare plays I had to take a moment.
I used to be the biggest bookworm imaginable. World Book Day fairs were the highlight of my school year and I'd saddle out at 3pm carrying stacks upon stacks of wonderful new literature. I'd rush home and devour as many as I possibly could and then beg my Mum to buy more for me as soon as possible.
Studying English as a subject however, diminished my bookworm tendencies. Our English class was wonderful and my all time favourite class but once you have learned Hamlet back to front and analysed it so incredibly in depth, the joy of reading is a little lacking. It wasn't just that, as you grow up life gets in the way. Exams and work take up so much of your spare time and so you want to spend the precious remainder with your friends & family.
However, after having a little bit of a streak of non-sleeping nights due to stress a few days into January, I decided I'd try to get back in to what relaxed me most. Reading. It wasn't as easy as I expected. My tastes have changed dramatically, except my love for Hunger Games, and romantic or teenage drama novels no longer do it. I've discovered that I love old fashioned stories but with modern plots; Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, George Orwell and the man himself - Shakespeare.
Sticking to my 'accidental resolution' to read more we are three months into January and I have totalled off at least 24 books or novels. Some short, some long. Some about crime, some about murder, some about loss and some that rhyme. See what I did there huh?
The most important thing I think is to find your genre and your style. Realise what you enjoy reading and you'll be far more inclined to pick up a book. My bookcase is now overflowing with books that I'm not only reading because I must but also books that I'm reading because I'm intrigued.
That's the other thing. Get more books!! I'm not asking you to splurge in Waterstones. Go to the library, borrow from your friends or even buy an e-book (although I do prefer the feel of being able to turn the page and the smell of a good new book...I told you, bookworm.)
Fit it into your time, without setting it like a schedule. If you "schedule" in your reading time, it will quickly become like a chore and you won't want to pick up a book. Instead, recognise where you have free time. As I said earlier, I read for about 30 minutes to an hour before I go to bed because it helps me destress. It also encourages a better nights sleep as my brain is whirling with magic of the stories rather than my to-do lists and worries. For you it could be any time. Travel to school or work or Uni? Read on public transport. Got a half hour break? Read. Finding yourself a little bored refreshing the same 3 social media pages? Pick up that book!
Finally, set yourself a challenge. Always keep a book on you. Set a goal of how many you want to read, but don't be disappointed if you don't reach it. It isn't about goals or achievements or a total - not really. What's most important is that you reconnect with the wonderful words of incredible writers and immerse yourself in the amazing worlds they create.
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