For many of us, time is always at a premium. Work, family, socializing, and a myriad of other things seem to fill our time before we even realize it. When we do an honest accounting of how we spend our time each day, we probably notice a few areas we’d like to improve. Including more books is often one of them.
Even avid readers can find themselves challenged to read as many books as they prefer to. Most of us do plenty of reading in the course of our jobs or when spending time online. However, the quality of that reading time isn’t always the best. Browsing an infuriating social media exchange is not a replacement for enrichment.
If you’ve found yourself wistful about the good ‘ol days when you always had a book on hand, you’re in the right place. If you aren’t accustomed to doing a lot of reading, consider getting some reading glasses to get ahead of any eye strain you may experience. With that said, check out our 15 strategies and reasons to read more books.
Setting goals is great, but setting them too high can just make you feel like you’ve let yourself down. Don’t commit to reading more than you realistically can. You’ll feel better about your progress.
Mums The Word
Paradoxically, the more people you tell about your reading goals, the less likely you are to follow through. The reasons have to do with how our brains process rewards. When we announce a goal, our brain feels like it achieved it already and stops devoting energy to it.
Read What You’ll Enjoy Reading
This seems like a no-brainer, but consider reading what you know you’ll enjoy and finish. If what you’re currently reading isn’t working for you, don’t force yourself to continue. Choose something more at your current speed and come back to the other one later.
Keep One Handy
If you have a book on you at all times, you can always spend a few idle minutes reading a chapter or two. It’s even easier if it’s on your mobile device.
We already mentioned keeping a book on your mobile device, but there are many more options. Kindle or Audible can make it easier to take your reading with you on the go. While some crave the feeling of a physical book, you can’t beat the convenience.
Remember how we looked at the way we spend our time? See if you might be spending more time on less pleasurable activities and borrow some of it for reading.
While announcing your reading goals to your friends or co-workers might backfire, you may have more luck with a reading challenge. It’s interactive if you want it to be, but completely private if you prefer. Book Riot and Goodreads are places to start.
Get In The Zone
If possible, set aside a quiet place to read which is free of distractions. Minimizing tech can help keep you from being tempted to log on instead.
Calm Your Mind
If you’re in the middle of a whirlwind of activity, you’ll have a hard time clearing your mental slate for reading. Try to get some of these other priorities managed before sitting down with your book, or you’ll likely just become frustrated.
Break It Up
If you’re just having one of those days, don’t give up just yet. Set a timer and read for only a 20-minute chunk, for example. It’s short, sweet, and will help you maintain focus when you’re having trouble getting your mind to quiet.
Keep One On Deck
Make sure that you have at least one book ready to pick up when you’re done with your current one. It’s one less barrier between you and your reading goals.
Speaking of having one less barrier, make it easy for yourself. Allow yourself to only read a paragraph instead of a chapter. If you get distracted when using your device to read, use a physical book instead. Find the excuses you’re making and trim them out.
Plan A Time
Having a set time to read as part of your daily routine can be very meditative. You’ll have fewer distractions and will be more likely to tie up any loose ends before you start reading.
By this, we don’t mean read slowly on purpose. Instead, use some hacks to make sure you’re getting the full message intended by the author, especially if they write dense stuff (we’re looking at you, Tolkien.) Mouth the words or even read them aloud if you have the opportunity.
Make It Who You Are
Lastly, incorporate being a reader into your identity. Transform reading from something that you do into something that is a part of who you are: a reader!