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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers


Switching off the news and escaping within the pages of a book is a guaranteed mood booster! But if you’re struggling to concentrate, here are 12 helpful ways to refocus.

1. Find the right space Find a comfortable reading nook that works for you. If you are learning or working from home with others, space will be at a premium. All you need is a beanbag, chair or a cosy corner. Check the temperature, lighting and noise levels. Then let your bubble know your reading plans!

2. Limit distractions Turn your television off and switch your phone to silent for a distraction free reading environment. Be fully present, allowing yourself to focus and find your rhythm. When your mind wanders, gently return to the text without judgement.

3. Repurpose your time Repurpose time normally spent on other activities (like commuting, appointments and more). Find a regular reading time that suits, either early in the morning before your bubble is awake, on a break during the day, or in the evening.

4. Create a family reading tradition If you have young children at home, finding reading time may seem unrealistic. Create quiet moments by encouraging your bubble to join you. Set aside regular time for reading silently together.

5. Rearrange your bookshelf Whether you organise your books alphabetically, by genre, colour or online, reacquaint yourself with your collection. Take the time to browse your home library, revisiting favourites. Then curate your own reading list, noting titles (old and new) you would like to read.

6. Read for pleasure Don’t waste time reading what you think you’re supposed to read! Instead, choose topics that fascinate you or people you admire. Ultimately, you should only read books you enjoy and yes, that means putting down a book you are grappling with!

7. Accept that it’s OK to quit! Don’t be afraid to put a book down. If you’re not enjoying it, quit and move onto another. Accept that you will not enjoy every single book you read and that’s OK.

8. Visit your favourite bookstore online Browse your favourite bookstores online for recommendations and new titles. Remember, during Level 3 lockdown, printed books can only be purchased online. Otherwise access eBooks and audiobooks for devices.

9. Create online connections Join an existing online book club or start an informal one of your own. Schedule a video chat with friends and family to discuss what everyone is reading. Don’t forget, your local library also offers online access to audio and digital books.

10. Discover more Reading introduces us to new ideas, challenges the imagination and helps reduce stress. Read outside your comfort zone and you will learn more about the world around you. We all have our favourite authors and genres, but don’t limit yourself. If you usually read thrillers, try a biography or memoir. Enjoy history? Explore suspense, travel or romance.

11. Embrace audiobooks Listening to audiobooks is ideal while exercising or doing chores. Printed, digital or audio versions all count. If you find reading difficult, especially during lockdown, an audiobook will make a difference in your enjoyment.

12. Revisit childhood favourites Books and special stories from our childhood often stick with us throughout life. Rediscovering childhood favourites can be comforting, relaxing and provide a dose of nostalgia. If you have children, help develop a lifelong love of reading by devoting quality time to reading to them.

By Andrea Molloy Discover the best books as they are published at


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