The stories in Genesis move fast, and each is rich in content - don't rush through them. The characters in Genesis are the main focal point - if you read the book and don't really notice the characters, you've missed the joy of reading Genesis. The word Genesis means "beginning", which is what all the stories of the book are about. Adam is the beginning of the human race, Noah is the beginning of a covenant people (God makes a covenant with humanity - the rainbow is a sign of his promise); Abraham is the beginning of the Chosen People, Isaac is the beginning of the Promised People, Jacob is the beginning of the Israelite people, Joseph is the beginning of the Blessed People (see the promise to Abraham in chapter 12 - and see how it partly comes true in the life of Joseph).
Each of these characters are crucial to the identity of Israel, of how they would think of themselves, and how God would think of them. In the future, God will refer to himself - not as Sovereign Lord, All-knowing and All-powerful, BUT as God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So as you read through the first eighteen chapters, take time to notice what the characters are like. What is likable about them, what is sad, what is wrong with them, what is right with them. They are very real people, and God is able to use them as they are....that should be an enouragement to you.
Come up with a one or two word description of each of the main characters of Genesis, as you read their stories, try to see yourself in them, and in others. And note how God is faithful to them.