Reading is something many of us aspire to do more. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and it's difficult to find time to read. When we do find time, it often seems to be more of a hassle than an enjoyable way to spend time. It doesn't have to be this way. These are my tips for making time to read and enjoying it.
Finding A Reading Space
Pick a place where you feel comfortable reading. This can be on the bus or train in the mornings, during lunch, in your favorite chair in the evenings, or in bed before you go to sleep. This spot should be somewhere that tells your brain that it's time to read.
Things to consider when picking a reading space:
1. The Noise Levels- Do like to read with white noise in the background? Or would you prefer to have complete silence?
2. The Amount of Space- Do you like to stretch out when you read? Or do you like more of a cozy space to read in?
3. Lighting- Does the space provide enough light to read without straining your eyes?
Picking The Right Book
When picking your book, read what you enjoy reading. This isn't school where you have to continue reading something even if you hate it. No one is going to grade you on what you read for fun.
If you don't know what to read, start by going to your local library and picking out a few books in different genres. These can be bestsellers everyone is talking about, a special gem that caught your eye, or a recommendation from the librarian. Librarians are readily available to give you suggestions. They are usually readers themselves, so they are more than happy to discuss books.
Making Time to Read
Decide how often and how long you want to read. Mark it down on your calendar, and make an effort to meet that goal. It doesn't have to be every day but you should make an effort to read on a consistent basis. You can adjust your reading schedule and read more or less depending on your lifestyle.
If mapping out time on a schedule is not something that you're comfortable with, instead you can use different colored Post-it flags in your book to show what you have read and what you still have left to read.
If you want accountability for your reading, a book club might be for you. Book clubs are groups that meet together on a regular basis, (usually once a month) and discuss a book read before the meeting. Depending on the group, books might be chosen by the group leaders or members might take a turn picking books.
Common Types of Book Clubs:
1. Genre Based Book Clubs- Book clubs that read books of a certain genre
2. Age-Based Book Clubs- Book clubs for readers of a certain age
3. Organization Run Book clubs- Book clubs that are organized by a school, library, or another community organization
This is a great way to have accountability when you are trying to form a reading habit. Plus, book clubs expose you to books, authors, and genres you may never read otherwise.
First Page, Last Page
A trick I've found useful to get me in the reading mood is, when you start a new book, read the first page and then flip to the end and read the last page. Then go back read the book all the way through. By reading the first and last pages before you read the whole book, you build up anticipation for when you reach that final page.
Be warned though, if you do the first page, last page you might run into some spoilers.
Start a Goodreads Account
Goodreads is a social media site for readers and authors to connect. Readers can review books and receive recommendations based on how they rate the books they read. Starting every New Year's Day they have a reading challenge where you decide how many books you want to read that year and help keep track of your reading. Users also can create reading lists based on topics or genres.
Getting Out Of A Reading slump
Sometimes, you hit a point where no matter what you do or how many books you try to start, reading feels impossible. This is known as the infamous reading slump or reading burnout. Most readers at some point have a slump.
One of the best things you can do when you are feeling burned out is to give yourself time. Pushing yourself to read when you're burned out will not help you accomplish your goals.
Don't Feel Guilty
Sitting down to read a book is not laziness. You are expanding your mind. Even if you are reading fiction, you are still learning and growing as a person.
On the flip side of the coin, don't feel guilty for not reading. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to get things done.
Reading a book is a beautiful, magical experience, one that you should enjoy. Life may get in the way but don't ever stop reading. We can't go to many places right now, but through books and the power of imagination, we can travel farther than we ever could before.