Many of us have an ongoing list of books that we want to read, but then life happens and we never get around to it. I’m certainly guilty of spending far more time in front of social media than actually reading a book. I’m trying to be more intentional about screen time and finally get around to reading more actual books every year. Here’s some tips that I learned to help me reach my goal of reading more books.
We should all read more books. It’s how we gain knowledge and broaden our horizons. A good book can take you on an adventure to a far away time or place, relax you and reduce stress. Reading consistently also helps with memory improvement, vocabulary expansion and better writing skills.
Best of all, you can read a book any time or any place! Even if you feel awful and can’t get out of bed, you can always curl up with a good book. If concentration and focus are a problem, try using audio along with your book to help your attention.
Create a Daily Page Goal
The first way to begin reading more is to set a daily page or chapter goal. In the beginning of your journey, start small. Five or ten pages is a great place to start if you don’t have a regular reading habit now. It will get you into the habit of picking up a book daily.
After awhile, you might want to challenge yourself even further. Now you might want to set a new goal to read twenty, thirty, or even fifty pages a day. But remember, a good reading goal should stretch you but not overwhelm you.
Create a Reading Routine
Besides knowing how much you’ll read, it can be helpful to know what time during the day you’ll get your reading in. For example, you might decide that instead of scrolling Facebook or Instagram on your phone in the mornings, you’d rather take those 20 minutes and reading a few pages.
Some people prefer to read before bed. Just remember that it’s easy to fall asleep in the middle of your reading and if you prefer to read horror or other disturbing content, the book may keep you up or cause disturbed sleep!
Take Advantage of Long Wait Times
Thanks to the rise of electronic readers, it’s easier than ever to carry a book (or five) with you. If you have a Kindle app on your smartphone, you’re all set! Use wait times during the day more constructively to read a good book rather than mindlessly scrolling social media.
Some moms like to read while they wait for her kids in the carpool line. These days, if I’m stuck at a doctor’s appointment I make it a point to read something intentionally instead of mindlessly scrolling social media.
What’s Already On Your Bookshelf or Kindle?
If you’re like me, you may have books sitting on your nightstand, bookshelf or Kindle that you never got around to reading to. Before you buy anything new, take inventory of what you already have and begin there.
Keep a TBR Stack
A “TBR” stack or pile is a “to be read” catalogue of books you plan to read. You can create a special category for TBR books on your bookshelf or add a few books you can’t wait to read onto your tablet in a special folder. You can also create a list on Amazon.
By keeping books around that you’re excited to read, you’ll look forward to grabbing a few minutes here and there. And after awhile, you may find yourself reading more often and for longer periods of time.
Audio Counts Too!
If you’re really fatigued at the end of the day, it can be hard to focus on book pages. Try listening to audio, either on its own or while you’re reading the book to help you concentrate. You can also play it in the car or while you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
Reading is a wonderful hobby but don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to spend hours on it every day for it to be worthwhile. Even reading for as little as 15 minutes can be a fun and relaxing escape from everyday life.