40 Tiny Tasks For a Richer Reading Life
While we at the Riot are taking this lovely summer week off to rest (translation: read by the pool/ocean/on our couches), we’re re-running some of our favorite posts from the last several months. Enjoy our highlight reel, and we’ll be back with new stuff on Wednesday, July 8th.
This post originally ran Jan. 30, 2015.
Being a reader is a life-long project, and we all want to do it well. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the parts of a reader’s life that feel insurmountable — the TBR list you’ll never complete; the library hold list you’ll never catch up on; all the amazing books you’ll never hear about, let alone find and own!
But there are little ways we can enrich our reading lives every day: small changes we can make or ideas we can try to change up our reading patterns and find new books to love. Here are forty places to start. Add your own in the comments below, or try a couple first and then come tell me how they go.
1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and use that time to read a poem.
2. Visit your library — especially if it’s been awhile — and ask a librarian for a recommendation.
3. Let go of one reading prejudice and never think about it again.
4. Read one book in a genre you think you despise.
5. Ask someone you respect for a book suggestion, and read it right away.
6. Give away the book that’s been on your TBR pile the longest.
7. Volunteer for an organization that promotes literacy.
8. Read a book that looks like it will make you feel uncomfortable.
9. Commit to a reading challenge.
10. Cull ten books from your collection and donate them without bringing any new books home.
11. Read out loud to someone you love.
12. Make a list of the ways reading intersects with love in your life.
13. Listen to the audiobook of a book you DNF’d years ago.
14. Read your best friend’s favourite book, no matter what it is.
15. Dog-ear a page.
16. Write in the margins.
17. Ask your oldest relative or friend their favourite book. Read it right away and tell them.
18. Read outside.
19. Listen to an audiobook while you run errands.
20. Read a play. Let yourself take the time to imagine how it might be staged.
21. Reread a book you hated in high school. Reread it twice.
22. Apologize to someone you’ve been snobby or snarky to about books.
23. Read a book by an author from a country you’ve never imagined visiting.
24. Read a collection of poetry by a single poet, front-to-back, twice.
25. Give your favourite book from childhood at the next baby shower you attend.
26. Give your favourite book from your 20s to your favourite college student.
27. Read a book by a person who doesn’t look like you.
28. Read a book by a person who wouldn’t understand you in a million years.
29. Read one page of a holy book from a faith you were not raised with.
30. Listen to a podcast about books.
31. Attend the next reading in your town, even (especially!) if you don’t know the author.
32. Write a handwritten letter to a living author you adore.
33. Visit the grave of a dead author you adore.
34. Visit a place you’ve only ever read about in books.
35. Crack a spine. Go on. Do it.
36. Read a superhero comic, especially if you haven’t in years (or ever).
37. Watch an adaptation of a book you like and try to like it for what it is.
38. Memorize a poem.
39. Reread the book you loved best when you were sixteen.
40. Have a conversation about books with someone you’ve never talked books with before.