I’ve always loved reading, when I was a little girl I never went anywhere without a book in my hand and most of the time walked around with my head in a book. With books you can let your imagination have total free reign. The words in the book provide a background but your imagination brings the story to life. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoyed reading for learning to, finding out about new topics and learning more about the world.
Last year I set myself the target of reading 50 books (about 1 a week) to get myself back into reading as I’d not been reading consistently and I was missing it; I ended up reading 79 books.
If reading more is something you’d like to do this year, these are some of my tips to help you get there!
- Always have a book with you – this is my top tip. You won’t read more if you don’t have a book to hand! Have it at the top of your bag so you can read on the train, put it on top of your phone so that when you reach for your phone automatically out of boredom you get your book instead! The same as you carry around your phone and wallet, carry around a book as well.
- Have a loose target – having a goal to work towards helps provide something to aim for. Make sure it’s reasonable in whatever time frame you give yourself and don’t worry if you don’t meet it. A target gives you something to measure and reflect on.
- Keep a list of books you’ve read – I enjoy keeping track of the books I’ve read. It helps me to see how many I’ve read and I can look back for books and authors when people ask for recommendations.
- Choose your next book before you’ve finished your last – sometimes it’s easy to read when you’re in the middle of a book and it really grips you but sometimes you take a long break before the next book not knowing what to read next. If this is you, maybe choose your next book before you finish the one you’re on.
- Start you next book as soon as you finish the last – similarly to the last tip, it can help to read the first chapter of your next book as soon as you finish a book.
- Use your local library – it’s a lot easier to read more when the books are free. This also stops the need to use more resources by buying new books. You could also buy them second-hand from charity shops or share with friends.
- Read a book instead of looking at your phone – instead of wasting time scrolling, read a book.
- Find your why – having a reason as to why you want to read more will help you read more. If you don’t have a reason then why bother! I want to read more because I love it, it makes me happy spending my time reading rather than on social media or something else.
- Read before bed – Taking 15 minutes or so before bed to read can help switch your mind off from thoughts and keep you relax before bed; it also helps you get away from screens which helps you have a better night’s sleep.
- Use a calendar – if you’re someone who really likes to keep track and finds it satisfying ticking boxes or giving yourself stickers, this could work for you. Using a physical calendar or habit tracker to tick off each day you read or use a sticker chart, they’re not just for children!
- Join a book group/ read with a friend – having a deadline to read by can help ensure you read and having an accountability partner to keep you on track may work for you. This can be a great way to discover new books and share books as well.
- It’s okay not to finish a book – I never used to like giving up on a book which meant that sometimes I’d be stuck on a book for weeks, I didn’t enjoy the book so didn’t want to read it so had no motivation to pick it up. If you’re not going to finish a book, don’t drag it out, just stop!
- Read while you travel – if you can, use time on the train or in the back of a car reading. If you get travel sick maybe this one isn’t for you but for me. Reading a chapter or two on the tube each day it a great way for me to enjoy the commute a little more!
- Take a reading break – if you work from home, intersperse your work day and tasks with mini-reading breaks. It’s a great way to refresh your mind, giving it a little break every couple of hours. If you work in an office and rarely use your full hour lunch break consider using your lunch break to read. Escape away into a book for a book rather than keeping your mind on work even in your break.
- Audio books – I’ve not personally got into audio books but for some this is a better way to read more. If you have a long drive to work you could use this time to listen to an audio book or listen on a long walk or a run.
- Speed-reading – this one takes it a little further, I find this a useful technique for non-fiction books when I’m not so enveloped in the plot. If you want to learn more about increasing your reading speed check out this blog post by Tim Ferris.
If you have any other tips to add to the list, please comment below!