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relearning

We librarians have a fair share of stereotypes leveled at us, some more-accurate, some totally-nonsensical. But the most prevalent assumption about our job is obvious – people think we read a lot.

And it’s true!  

Mostly.  

I’ve been working as a librarian for a year now, and what I’m writing is something I wouldn’t have dared mentioned in my job interview. Before I started work as a librarian, I wasn’t reading much at all. Of course, I loved reading as a kid, and I’d recently graduated from college, where I’d trudged through piles of textbooks. But the idea of reading for leisure had escaped me at some point.  

I knew when I started my job here that I had to shape up my act. People were going to depend on me for recommendations, and I wasn’t about to blow it. The rules I set up for myself were pretty simple:  

  1. I’d read 20 minutes every night before bed.
  2. I’d finish at least one book a week.  

It wasn’t long before I started breaking my own rules, but what I found in those early days was that I liked reading again! I was reading book reviews in my spare time, researching exciting new authors, and I was eager to share my knowledge with folks at the Library. Even if I didn’t finish a book every week, and even if I missed a night of reading, I was still looking forward to sitting down with a book.  

If you’re like I was, and have a hard time working up the motivation to read more, here are a couple of tips:  

  • Don’t’ discriminate. Read anything. Your diet doesn’t have to be entirely made up of hefty classics. Read a manga! Try some nonfiction! Learn about something you never knew you were interested in.  
  • Talk about what you’re reading. My book enjoyment shot through the roof once I was telling my friends about what I’d read. Oftentimes, the only thing stopping someone from reading is the lack of a recommendation!
  • Go to the Library. I’d be lying in saying my job didn’t positively affect my book intake. Being surrounded by books is a major inspiration, so a weekly trip to the Library will surely help you as much as it’s helped me.  

There’s no shame in falling into a reading rut. I’m a librarian, and I’ve had some embarrassing droughts. But the only thing between you and your next great literary love is getting a book in your hands.

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