Do you read as much as you’d like?
For the past couple of years I make a resolution during New Year’s to read more books and every year I’ve failed. Except for this year. I’ve already doubled the amount of books I’ve read this year compared to last and and the year’s not even half way. Still, going from 10 to 20 books is not that much, but you’ve got to start somewhere right?
Reading is a great way to escape the real world, it increases your knowledge and sparks creativity. The biggest problem really is to find and MAKE sufficient time to read.
Here are some pieces of advice based on my own experiences that helped me to increase my reading.
It’s okay not to finish a book you don’t like
This was a real game changer for me. You’re so drilled to not quit something you’ve started that isn’t finished yet that not finishing a book feels really bad. I could read a book for months, dragging myself through the pages just to finish it. That took away the fun of reading and it become something I had to do rather than something I wanted to do.
Which brings me to my next point…
Don’t treat reading like a chore
The moment you start doing it, you lose all the fun. So put down the books you don’t love and look for one you really do want to read. Also, you’ll find that you have ‘less time’ to read when you’re reading a book you don’t like. Sometimes I just want to read a thriller instead of a more serious personal development book and when I switch it up, I enjoy reading so much more.
Set a realistic goal
Setting goals helps me to keep focused, but when the goal is not realistic it has the opposite effect. Look for a number that is challenging but that is still realistic for you to meet. It can also help to break it up in smaller goals. For example, read 20 pages (or 20 minutes) every day for a year and adjust your goal upwards if you’re just flying through the pages easily.
I kept my reading goal to myself, but for others it may work better to share their goals openly to keep themselves accountable.
Always have a book at hand
Make sure that wherever you go, you carry a book with you. There will always be moments you can use to read. Are you waiting for the bus, at the dentist or at the airport? Don’t stare at your phone, use that time to read! I always have my Kindle in my handbag, but when I’m travelling by plane I also like to take physical books with me.
Read at a time that works for you
You’ll hear most people say they like to read in bed before they go to sleep or on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Lately I’m hearing more people talk about how they get up earlier to read before they go to work or during their lunch break at work. Play with it a bit and find a time that really works for you.
Make a To Read list
Where do you start when you’re looking for a book to read? Create an account on Goodreads [https://www.goodreads.com/] and keep track of the books you come across and you’d like to read. You can also enter reading challenges and set your personal goal, which could be another way to keep you focused. Also, people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg share their book recommendations, which is a good place to start. I also like to have a look at the New York Times bestsellers, especially for novels.
Train yourself to read
With every skill, practice makes you better. Especially if you’re just picking up the habit of reading for pleasure, it can help to train yourself. Set a timer or a number of pages you want to read. Start low, for example five minutes of reading or 10 pages, and increase gradually. You’ll see that focusing on your book will come much easier to you!
Read physical books
There is just something about the feel and the smell of physical books. I love the portability of ereaders and the ease with which you buy a new book, but nothing can beat the real thing. Also seeing the progress you’re making in the book and the finished books on a shelf give a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. Plus, it’s a lot easier to browse through if you want to look something up.
Always have your next book at hand
Finishing a book and not having your next one available after you turn the last page obviously slows you down. If you have it on your ereader or on your bookshelf ready to grab you’ve already made the choice you want to read it, which eliminates the barrier of choosing your next book.
What tricks are you using to read more?