George RR Martin says that a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. We love this. Books can be the gateway to a hundred places, a million thoughts captured and spun into words that can sink into the soul. But today’s busy and chaotic world doesn’t provide much time and space for curling up with a good book. To combat this, we have been collecting creative ideas on how to carve out corners of your schedule to make way for more books. Here are some top tips on how to read more…
Bring Them With You
The golden rule for reading more – always carry a book with you. We never know when we will be stuck waiting at a bus stop, with some time to kill before a class or business meeting or hanging solo because of a friend who is always late. Having a book on hand means you can instantly bury your head and you will be surprised how quickly those five-minute reading spells add up.
Make a Tiny Habit
One step at a time conquers the mountain and 5 pages at a time finishes the book. Achieving goals is all about starting small and this means tweaking your already existing habits rather than attempting the mammoth task of starting from scratch. Try and commit to just 5 or 10 pages of your book a day, whether in the morning or last thing at night. It's not a grand scary amount but it is small enough to chip away at your reading list.
Don’t Fall Asleep
Falling asleep with a book in hand is a fast way to start associating reading with being a sleepy time task and means that you may autotune your body to feel tired when picking up a book. If you want to read in bed then try and prop yourself up so you are less likely to doze off.
Always have a title lined up next as it spurs you to keep on reading the book that’s in your hands. Try to go from one book to the next without a major break as if you skip your reading habit it can send you into a slump. Join Goodreads and set yourself a reading challenge, see what books your friends are buried in, and get encouragement to engage with literature.
Feasting on literature can be done in many ways and the audiobook can be a really efficient way to get through stories. Listen to audiobooks while commuting, driving, cooking dinner, or walking the dog. You may think that it’s not physical reading but it's worth thinking about why you read in the first place and if there’s a place for audiobooks in your life.
Buy used books or join book swaps so your budget is better able to accommodate those long lists of things you want to read. Even better, sign up to your local library and join book clubs. There’s nothing that will encourage you to read more than access to cheap or free books and a community who also adores reading.
Lose the Obligation
Nothing can send you into a reading slump faster than a book you feel obliged to finish. There are so many amazingly wonderful books out there, if you don’t feel like you are clicking with the book you are currently reading, put it down and pick something else up. There is no obligation to keep doing something that isn’t bringing you joy and in fact, it is more likely to put you off your reading time rather than encouraging it.
Share your favourite books in the comments and let's get our reading lists on the go.