If you tend to read a lot, you most definitely have come across books which seem to go on forever – and not in a good way. One of the worst parts about a book that bores you is that it can never keep your attention. How often do you fall into that pattern of reading the same paragraph over and over again? Or do you just fall asleep? I just give up and end up with a pile of unread books that I attempt to go back to at some point or the other. Unfortunately, sometimes we have no choice but to power through a book, be it for studying, reviews or career development. This is why I chose to write this article about How to read a boring book and make it interesting!
How to read without getting bored
Choose an exciting book! That would be the simplest answer really. Although, we can never quite know what we’re getting into. Book recommendations from friends, family or even reading lists that we find online can sound much more appealing than the actual book.
If you are stuck with a boring book I recommend you try one (or all) of these options to read without getting bored:
- Take Breaks
- Read more than one book
Taking regular breaks when you are trying to get through a book which is difficult to read may make it easier to digest. I often set myself a target of one chapter and reward myself with a break. This may seem counterproductive, but it sure helps me clear my mind and helps me re-focus for the next target.
Doing enjoyable tasks during these breaks, like grabbing a cup of coffee or chatting with a friend also helps you to easily look forward to them. Therefore you will aim to finish your target reading to reach your “reward” or break. That’s one way to rewire your brain to forget about the book being boring and focus on what you will get when you complete the read.
Read More than One Book
This is surprisingly more effective than you would think. Someone once told me this was a horrible idea because you would get the storylines and characters confused. However, I highly doubt Gandalf is going to make his way into The War of Art and muddle up my reading experience. Not that either of those books is boring, but I digress – reading more than one book can help you get through the uninteresting one by providing you with variety.
As much as they are different books, alternating genres, styles of writing and topics provides a way to keep yourself engaged in the content.
Audiobooks are a great alternative to trying to read a book. Sometimes, all you need to get through a boring book is to have someone else read it to you. Narrators and voice actors of audiobooks are carefully selected by audiobook providers like Audible to keep listeners interested in the content. It might also be less tiring if you’re listening to something as opposed to trying to keep your eyes focussed on the text.
How to concentrate on reading a book
- Eliminate distractions
- Take Notes
- Break it up
- Don’t read when you are tired
This might not make a boring book interesting, but it might help you get through it easier. Putting your phone on silent or even sitting in a quiet space away from the TV can help you stay on track with your reading. Social media updates will always be distracting when you read, whether the book is boring or not, but the appeal is greater when the book is boring.
The trick is not to let yourself get distracted at all. By completely eliminating the distraction from your reading space, you will be able to focus wholly on your book.
Taking notes is also a clever way to keep yourself alert and focussed when reading a boring or difficult book. Having to write highlights or key learning points from the book will ensure that you will not only remember them, but that you will also remain focused and not fall into the trap of having to read something over again.
Break it up
Schedule your reading time into manageable periods of time. You know what you are capable of, so break the book up into sections and get through it section at a time. By not pushing yourself to complete as much as possible, keeps you alert on the task at hand and you avoid getting tired. Which leads me to the next point:
Dont’ read when you are tired
If you are already tired, there’s no point in picking up a book you find boring. Not only will you just fall asleep, you will start to blame the book for making you fall asleep. Then you have two problems: the book is a difficult read and your brain associates it with sleep! So, try to keep books you find boring for when you are awake and alert.
How to get through a book fast
Sometimes we don’t have the ability to make time in our lives just for reading, which make the above recommendations pretty hard to follow. If you have to get through a boring book fast then try:
- Abridged Versions
- Book Summaries
Abridged versions of books exist to give you the experience of the book without the wordiness. It is this wordiness which can sometimes lead to us being bored in the first place. These abridged books aims to not take away from the “essence” of the book and you will still get the main ideas; you just miss out on the small details.
Book summaries can solve your problems when it comes to boring books. Firstly, it can save you from spending money on a boring book and secondly, if you absolutely have to read the book, a book summary will give you all the key points of the book in a fraction of the time! You can try out Blinkist for yourself if you don’t believe me! Read our review of Blinkist to learn more about the service, and see if it is something for you!
In conclusion: we’ve all had to get through a boring book at some point but finding ways to make it interesting helps us get through it easier. The methods mentioned in the articles are simple things to try and can easily be introduced into your reading routines. Hope they help keep it interesting!