If you have spent most of the year waging an internal battle between "wanting to read more" and "finding the time to read more" then now is the chance to turn things around.

Use your summer break to read some really great books, without it feeling like a chore. Easier said than done? Try these helpful tips and recommendations to get started.

Ease yourself into it

If it has been a year or more since you picked up a book don't jump in with unabashed enthusiasm and a copy of something verbose and undecipherable. Instead try a nice easy read like a crime thriller or check out recent best –seller lists for an easy page turner.

Choose a topic or genre you really like

If you love sci-fi don't try to devour Jane Austen's entire back catalogue. If you're not too sure about fiction, why not check out a biography or autobiography of someone you find really interesting.


But don't force yourself to read what you think you should be reading: if you love a trashy crime, don't fight it! If you get teary reading Marian Keyes, that's okay too, go for it.

Keep it short

Don't tackle a 1200-page epic like War and Peace. Instead, keep it short. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a short, snappy modern classic as is Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Janette Winterson.

Make reading part of your routine

If you catch the train or the bus make this your reading time or if you drive to work let your book keep you company as you eat your salad at lunch. Reading before bed is another good option.

Join a book club

Find a group of like-minded readers and sign up. You will be motivated both by the opportunity to drink champagne on a Sunday afternoon and avoiding (most importantly) being the only one who hasn't read the book that month.

Join the library

It is probably something you haven't done since you were clad in an unflattering school pinafore but spending some time at your local library can really inspire your reading. Leisurely trawl the aisles as you stack your book choices higher and higher, then take them home and it won't cost you a cent.

Don't be afraid to skim a little

A lot of great reads have riveting sections and not-so-riveting sections, don't let it derail you, if you are getting bogged down just skim read a few pages until you find yourself hooked again. No one is going to judge you. In fact, no one will know, unless you tell them (don't tell them).

Carry your book with you

Keep your paperback in your handbag; slip your e-reader in your satchel. If you have reading at hand you can pick it up at any time, like waiting for a friend at a café or standing in line at the bank.

Try an audiobook

If you commute to work but really like just sitting back and closing your eyes why not try an audiobook. There are great smart phone and tablet apps for doing this, including Audible http://www.audible.com.au/. If you want a free option a lot of libraries offer audiobooks for loan as well as the regular turn-the-page varieties.

Just get started

Not even sure what book to start with? Here are some of our picks for great holiday reads:

Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton

A poetic and at times disturbing journey into 1980s Brisbane, and the surge in gang-related drug crimes at the time, seen through the eyes of two young boys, one of who doesn't speak.

Boy Swallows Universe. Photo / Harper Collins
Boy Swallows Universe. Photo / Harper Collins

Normal People – Sally Rooney

The acclaimed author of Conversations with Friends does it again with another story of on and off lovers that has everyone talking.

Normal People. Photo / Penguin Random House
Normal People. Photo / Penguin Random House

Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan

The author of A Visit From the Goon Squad delves into history again with this World War II exploration of a young woman's search for her lost father.

Manhattan Beach. Photo / Simon and Schuster
Manhattan Beach. Photo / Simon and Schuster

The Lost Man - Jane Harper

The acclaimed Australian author of The Dry raises the bar even higher with her latest novel.

The lost man. Photo / Pan Macmillan
The lost man. Photo / Pan Macmillan

Washington Black - Esi Edugyan

Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and one of the Washington Post's top 10 books of the year.

Washington Black. Photo / Penguin Random House
Washington Black. Photo / Penguin Random House