Sometimes we have a really hard time doing the things we know we should do. Or even what we want to do! For example, I know that taking the time to do a little bit of yoga every day will make me feel better but I just…don’t do it? Because of…reasons? For a lot of people, reading more is one of those things that they want to do, that they know that they will enjoy, but just can’t quite get themselves to DO. But do not fret, my pets, because there are little tips and tricks you can do to learn how to read more and get you back into the reading groove.
How to Read More: 6 Steps
1. Make it a habit.
This is a “yeah, duh” point, but if you make reading a regular habit, you end up reading more! Easy peasy!
Of course, the creating of a habit is less easy. As with any new habit, you’ll want to start small, in ways that are manageable within your life. Set a timer for 10 minutes (or even 5 minutes) and read until the alarm goes off. Aim to read before bed: 30 minutes or until you nod off, whichever comes first. Even if you fall asleep after two pages, that is still two pages read! It doesn’t have to be huge or grand; tiny changes add up to big results.
And on that note…
2. Fill in the gaps (in your schedule).
While it might be hard to dedicate a large chunk of your day to reading, I bet you can find little times in your day where you can fit in a few pages. Standing in line at the post office, waiting for your coffee to finish brewing, in the bathroom doing…well, you know. Pretty much anytime you spend on your phone browsing through Twitter or Instagram could be used to knock out a few pages of reading. Try to find one or two little instances in your day where you can sneak in some reading.
For example, during my lunch hour at work, I leave my phone at my desk and bring a book with me to the staff room to read while eating. This way I can get a good 20–30 minutes of reading done without having to put off other tasks.
3. Audiobooks are not cheating.
There has been a long-standing belief that audiobooks “don’t count” as reading. And I am here to say that is malarky! Flimflam! Poppycock! Both reading a story and listening to one involves decoding the messages being presented and processing new ideas.
SAME POWERS! pic.twitter.com/kGRqnZe7Bt
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) December 14, 2018
Plus, the added ability to multitask while reading makes them sort of the best thing ever. Listen to an audiobook while you’re walking the dog, or when you’re cooking dinner, or soaking in the bath, or planning a bank heist, or while grocery shopping. There are SO MANY options. Plus, you get the added bonus of having someone read a book to you, which is comforting in all the right ways.
4. Find yourself a challenge.
Sometimes we need a bit of structure to help guide us towards our goals. If “read more” is too daunting of a goal, break it into smaller, more defined goals. Aim to read all the books of a certain series this year. The internet is full of reading challenges (the best of which is, of course, Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge) which can create smaller, more attainable goals than just ‘read more’.
5. Embrace ebooks (and the ways you can read them).
I know there are ride-or-die physical book fans out there, and I get it: I too enjoy holding a real paper book in my hands and turning the pages. But there are some times when that actual book is an actual pain in the butt to bring with you:
Trying to hold a book and read while standing on a crowded bus (particularly if you are, say, super uncoordinated and have never really figured out how to stand on a moving bus without hanging on to something for dear life, i.e. me)? It’s much easier to hold onto your phone and read an ebook using an app.
Packing for a vacation and trying to pack your book and then your backup book (in case you finish too quickly), and the backup book for your backup book, and having trouble fitting it into your carry-on? Ereaders are slim, have super long battery life, and can hold approximately eleventy billion books on them.
Stuck in spreadsheet hell at work and desperately looking for distraction? Open up the Kindle Cloud Reader in another window on your computer and sneak in a few pages before you die of boredom (NOT THAT I HAVE EVER DONE THIS AT WORK THIS IS JUST A HYPOTHETICAL HAHAHAHAHA OH HI ANY COWORKERS WHO MIGHT READ THIS).
6. Don’t fear the DNF.
Picture it: You start a new book, that one book that everyone has been raving about or is the Very Special Book that you feel like you need to have read in order to be considered A Reader. But you are just NOT into it. Your mind starts wandering a few sentences into a chapter. Each page is a total drag. But you have to finish it, right?
Here’s the thing: Life is too short for bad books. If every word is a chore and you are not required to read it for a some sort of test, Do Not Finish that baby! There are so many great books out there, it doesn’t make sense to force your way through one that you are not enjoying.
Think of it this way: If you were trying to get a kid to eat more vegetables but they hated the taste of kale, would you keep forcing them to eat just kale? Probably not. You would probably work to find other vegetables they liked more and that they would want to eat. (Also, guys, kale is the worst, I’m just saying…)
You will want to read more if you are reading things you enjoy! So if you’re 25–50 pages into a book and just NOT FEELING IT, drop that sucker and go find something else!
Hopefully, these tips will help you conquer your reading goals for 2019! Want more tips and tricks for how to read more? Try these: