eading. One of the best ways to escape the outer world and enter a world of your own. This may come easy to some people, what with tuning out the world around them and focusing on a really good book. But this might not be the case for you and that’s completely fine. Actually, it’s more common than you may think.

While some people need background noise to focus solely on their book, you may find yourself having trouble diverting your attention away from the world around you, making reading a really hard and frustrating task. It’s easy to become distracted when doing any task, especially reading. So don’t feel bad if you happen to be going through a time where you can’t seem to focus on a really good book and therefore are not retaining any of the information you’re reading.

Depending on your struggle, if you get distracted easily, or you can’t seem to tune out the world around you, there are ways to hone in your mind on the task at hand. There can be sounds, distant conversations, or simply your mind has other plans than focusing on a book. No matter the distraction you face when you sit down to continue a really good book, it may be frustrating and you might find yourself wishing that there was just some way to get you to focus better.

Reading can be really enjoyable if you forget the world around you and escape to a world written in ink. But to be able to do this, you must tune out the world around you. Although sometimes challenging, it can easily be done by following a few simple steps.

Follow these helpful tips to assist you during your next reading session!

  1. Take it nice and slow
  2. Remember that the details don’t matter
  3. Don’t focus on your troubles, but instead learn to work around them

Slow Down and Don’t Stress

It’s easy to be hard on yourself and to critique yourself for every little thing you can’t seem to grasp. Don’t let reading be one of them. Reading is supposed to be a hobby that takes you away from your problems in the real world, not cause another problem for you. If you focus too much on the fact that you’re not retaining anything that you’re reading, you’ll come to realize that it’s only adding to your struggles. By doing this, you’re only giving more attention to the issue at hand.

A few simple tips and tricks can help you avoid these struggles:

  1. Use your finger to track your sentences
  2. Set a timer
  3. If you’re easily distracted, find a place to read alone.
  4. Don’t underestimate the power of music

Reading with your finger is a simple trick, yet has the best results when it comes to reading at a faster speed and retaining information more efficiently.  Using your fingers to ensure that you read each line, is a very simple trick, but also really beneficial. When your finger is guiding you from word to word, instead of your eyes aimlessly wandering a page, you’ll be more in tune with your book and the words in front of you than the world around you.

You’ll find that with your finger on the page tracking your words, your mind will move faster. As you finish sentence after sentence, you won’t be thinking of going back and re-read because your finger is moving alongside your thoughts. You’ll not only read faster but retain more because your brain is focusing on the words in front of your finger, instead of anywhere else on the page.

Woman pointing to words on the page of a book.
Reading can be fun and simple with a helping hand.

Speed reading means exactly what you think it means. When you read and try to retain every detail that you read, you’re doing more bad than good. You may think that this is helping you retain more information, but actually, you will most likely not remember most of what you read.

If instead, you read fast or at a fairly normal pace, depending on your reading speed, you’ll retain more information and have a more enjoyable time overall. Focusing on minuscule details can be exhausting and ruin the experience of sitting down with a really good book. But, when you speed read you’ll not only finish your favorite book faster, but you’ll enjoy it all the more.

Another way to ensure you read more and more effectively is by diverting your attention to the book and solely on the book. You may be too hard on yourself without realizing it. When your attention is solely diverted to the fact that you’re not reading as much as you hoped or you’re not understanding what is being said, you’re only distracting yourself further.

Finding a nice quiet space to read, away from distractions such as people and electronics may be just what you need to help you focus better. But know that if you need sounds and find reading in silence a way for your mind to wander even more, then listening to music may be the simple solution you need.

Some people find that listening to music only makes them lose focus even more, but there are ways to listen to music that enhance your reading experience. By going on YouTube and typing in ambient music, you could transform your reading experience in a matter of seconds. Whether you want to listen to sounds of ambiance inspired by your favorite book or the ambiance of a relaxing place, such as a coffee shop. There are hundreds of videos to play in the background while you dive into a good book.

Focus on the Bigger Picture

You may find yourself re-reading paragraphs over and over again because you can’t seem to grasp any of the words on the page. But what you might not realize is that this is doing more harm than good. Since you keep going back and re-reading a few words, a paragraph, or maybe even a whole page, it may become a bit of a habit. So, the next time you read, you might find yourself wanting to go back and re-read a part again, ensuring that you got every bit of detail possible.

Woman sitting upside down on a couch reading a book.
Reading doesn’t have to be boring.

If all of your attention is devoted to remembering every little fine detail, you’ll miss the big picture. Details on a page don’t matter as much as you may think they do. Sure, there can be bits and pieces of the plot foreshadowed in the book, but you’ll likely catch on to those no matter the speed of your reading. What you won’t need to remember is every single detail on every single page.  

How to Get You Out of A Reading Slump

If you’re an avid reader, you’ve most likely experienced some sort of reading slump or you simply found yourself having trouble focusing on the book you’re reading. Either way, you probably know that it’s bound to happen. Whether you can’t find a book you’re interested in or the last book you finished was so good. So good in fact that you can’t seem to bring yourself to read anything else. The same can be said for those who can’t seem to focus or retain any of the information when they read.

Sometimes all you need to do is read, even though you can’t seem to remember anything. There are multiple tips to help you get on track and establish how to get over a reading slump while continuing to read. Remember that continuing to read, even during your reading slump, will be the only way to ensure that you get out of your slump.

Man sitting crosslegged and holding a book.
Sometimes all you need to do is read, even if you’re not particularly in the mood.

A simple, but easy trick to get you back into reading, even if you think that you’ll never be able to focus again, is focusing on the dialogue. It can be intimidating to go to read a book after a really long time and see a page filled with words and long paragraphs. But, if you follow this simple trick then you’ll be back to reading in no time.

Find a book of your choosing, but not one that you want to read, just one that merely interests you. Now, don’t read every word, but instead focus only on the dialogue. By only reading the dialogue, you won’t be as intimidated as you would be when having to read every word on every page. As you read the dialogue, you’ll have an understanding of what’s going on in the book, allowing you to understand enough of what’s going on.

After a while, you’ll find that you’re confident enough to retain the information that you read and you can transition yourself into reading every word on the page, not just the dialogue.

Next Time You Sit Down to Read a Book, You’ll Have the Confidence You Need to Start and Finish Your New Read!

Focusing on your struggle with reading only discourages you from getting back to one of the most relaxing hobbies you can have. Now that you know how to divert your attention to your current read and solely focus on reading and retaining your story, you’ll find yourself loving the act of sitting down with a good book and reading to your heart’s content.

Oct 9, 2023