If you’ve never read a book, or don’t understand people who spend their time with their noses stuck in a novel, you’re far from alone. According to a YouGov survey in 2013, nearly four million adults in the UK don’t read books for enjoyment. If you didn’t grow up in a house in which books were prevalent, and you have a busy life, it’s easy to feel that curling up with a novel is last on your list of priorities. People who don’t read often think that there is no ‘point’ to it, especially where works of fiction are concerned. If you found reading a tiresome task at school, why would you bother as an adult?
Firstly, it has to be said, reading a novel is far from a pointless task. The act of sitting down to concentrate on a book can have a meditative effect. Therefore, if you have a busy life, reading can actually help you to cope with stresses and pressures. Gaining an understanding of the characters in a story can improve your ability to empathise with others, thus improving your relationships. All good fiction is well researched, so you can learn factual information from novels too. If you have children, you’ll be setting them a great example by sitting down to read. Children whose parents read are usually much more motivated and enthusiastic about reading themselves.
If you’ve decided that you’d like to dip a toe into the world of reading, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice out there. If a novel is too daunting to start with, you could try a collection of short stories. You could choose stories or novels based on your interests, or opt for total escapism in the form of science fiction, thrillers, or romance. Ask friends and family for recommendations; and don’t hesitate to visit your local bookshop, library and charity shop as well as sites like Amazon.
Many people have never read a book, or are very infrequent readers. They think that reading a novel is boring, or they just don’t have time to start a story. However, as already described, there is much to be gained from developing a regular reading habit. Indulging in fiction is far from futile; if it can help extend your or your child’s education and alleviate some stress into the bargain, then what’s not to like about all that?!
I'm a former English teacher and private tutor who is passionate about education. I've been writing professionally for the past three years and have written educational worksheets for use in schools as well as contributing to an educational journal. I've also written on every other topic under the sun!