10 Tips to Read More Books

I keep getting comments from people on social media and in real life about how much I'm reading right now, during my summer vacation (basically a book every two or three days). The books I'm finishing are generally in the 250-350 range and are all pretty much contemporary literary fiction with a smattering of non-fiction thrown in, so they're not like easy YA novels or anything (but to each their own!). I'm not a speed reader by any means, and I tend to clock, on average, about 45 pages an hour, accounting for various interruptions. That means, for a book of 300 pages I need about six and a half hours to read it, give or take. Here are some ways I've amped up my reading during my off-time:

1. Add it to your to-do list- I have a to-do list every day, always, so I'll either add an item that relates to pages or time. I'm a pretty devout to-do list follower, so if it's on there I feel obligated to get it done. 

2. Always carry a book- You never know when a fast appointment actually runs slow, when your lunch date will be running behind, or when you stop for an impromptu splash-pad visit and you can get in a few pages. 

3. Set your phone aside to limit unnecessary pick-ups- I hate myself when I do it, but I too am a random-phone-picker-upper while reading. I try to keep my phone on the kitchen counter or somewhere else out of reach more often these days. 

4. Set a timer and tell your kid/partner to shush- This sounds harsher than it is, but now that Sawyer is five, I don't feel bad telling him that I'm going to set my phone timer for twenty minutes to read and that when it goes off he can show me his LEGO creation/drawing/Magnet Block tower etc... He's getting better and better at respecting my time, and he always knows that he'll get my attention when it goes off. Plus, it's a good skill as an only-child for him to have. 

5. Read while treadmill walking- I can't read while running, but during the hot summer I spend a fair amount of time walking on the incline. I've been leaving an easier paperback on my treadmill so that I can do something productive during my workout time, rather than just look at my phone.

6. WATCH LESS TV- Yes, I'm yelling. At you. (Well, only if you're trying to read more and are an avid TV-watcher... the rest of you can go right ahead and carry on). During the school year I watch less than 4-5 hours of Netflix, but now that it's summer I probably clock in at closer to ten hours. I get it, it's a great way to unwind, but from a quick Google search I see that the average adult watches anywhere from 3.5-5 hours of TV A DAY. Even if you cut out an hour and devoted it to reading you'd get through an extra book a week. 

7. Set a goal- Goals are fun to accomplish- who doesn't feel good about themselves when they reach a benchmark? Even if you don't make it you'll still get further along than before, which totally counts. Goodreads will make it so much easier for you if you start using the app, with charts and emails. My son right now has a goal of 100 books for the summer and we mark off a box on his little paper chart every time he gets there, and he's so excited to see his progress. 

8. Be social- Join a book club, get your friend to read the same book, join Goodreads, participate in #bookstagram, etc... Reading is often a solitary activity, but it doesn't have to if you don't want it to be. I LOVE being in our English department book club, even though we struggle to get people to participate (WHY????) and it's often just three or four of us. If you don't want to commit to a club, encourage a friend to read the same book and then pick a date a few weeks away to meet up for coffee and discuss. 

9. Start easy- If you're out of the habit of reading a lot or are in a rut, choose a book that might be a tad easier than your normal choices, either in writing style or content, and get back into the groove of things there. I do this all the time- after a heavy, long book, like, say Overstory by Richard Powers, I'll definitely pick up some Sedaris or something like that to help give me a little literary break.

10. Read while you eat- Chances are, there's at least one meal of the day where you eat alone and just look at your phone. For me it's often breakfast, lunch when I am working, so I try to replace that time at least a few days a week to read.


No comments:

Post a Comment