Back in December I decided that this year I was going to read 40 books. But since it was the same goal I set last year – and failed to accomplish – I was worried that I’d be forever saying ‘Next year 40’ and never actually reading them.
That’s when I decided to devise a fool-proof plan to reach my goal this year. No ifs, ands or buts about it!
So far I’ve been killing it! It’s February 2nd and I’ve finished 10 books. How am I doing it, you ask? Well, I sat down and made a list of the small changes I’ve made to help encourage more reading. I’d love to share them with you!
Watch less TV
Okay this might be obvious but I’m going to say it anyway. When we spend less time on other activities it leaves more time for reading. I don’t know about you but TV is my BIGGEST time suck, bar none. I can claim to have no time to read and yet somehow I managed to plow through an entire season of Father Brown in 3 days. So even if you commit to watching one less show, that’s a few more pages or even chapters you can finish. BTW, Father Brown is excellent! I’m now reading the books. (BONUS POINTS for additional books read!)
Join a reading challenge
So I *may* be a bit competitive. A bit. Maybe. Okay, a LOT! When a friend put a call out to see if anyone was interested in joining POPSUGAR’s 2016 Reading Challenge I jumped at the chance. Not only does the challenge encourage you to read outside your genre, it’s flexible enough for you to select your own titles. I never would have read a political memoir but because I had to select one I read Justin Trudeau’s Common Ground and really enjoyed it. I’m using Evernote and Goodreads to track my progress. (PS. Goodreads has a reading challenge too!) (PPS. Evernote is DA BOMB for thought organization. Just saying.)
Take a book on the road
Do you take a bus? Wait in lines? Go for lunch? Take breaks at work?
Then having a book on hand is perfect to sneak in those extra pages in your down time. I make it a habit of always having a ‘roadie’ book. It’s usually a paperback because carrying a heavy hardcover sucks. I remember reading Stephen King’s On Writing book and he made it very clear that spare moments are lost moments if not reading. He also said that if you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have time to write, and those are words that every writer ought to live by.
Treat it like a meeting or appointment. Put it in your phone or daytimer. It doesn’t have to be hours, even 10 minutes will do. If you treat it like it’s important to you then guess what? It becomes just that.
Make it a ‘Family Thing’
This is great on a two-fold level. 1) it encourages kids to start or continue reading and 2) gives you guilt free time to read. If everyone’s doing it then there’s no problem! My husband and I have taken to turning off the TV (see note above) and reading together. Again, length of time doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re all together and reading.
BONUS TIP: Get a library card
Worried about the cost of reading that many books? No problem! Libraries are full of books just waiting to be enjoyed. Most libraries also lend out eBooks too! This usually means no waiting for a book to be returned.
BONUS BONUS TIP: Audiobooks, yo!
Okay so you drive to work. Not ideal for reading, but it’s perfect for listening to books! Audiobooks are great for those who are on the go. Doing housework, driving in a car, running on the treadmill, working in the yard – these are all great moments to listen to a book. And again, most libraries also lend these too.
Of course there are other ways to get you reading more books. These are just a few tips that work for me. Now I want to hear from you!
What are your reading tips? What are your biggest challenges? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks and keep on reading. 🙂