Secrets To Make Reading Better
Some people read a lot of books and some don't.
In this blog post I wish to share a few tips which might motivate you to read more books.
Change your mindset "The key to reading lots of book begins with stop thinking of it as some activity that you do. Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you. It's not something you do because you feel like it, but because it's a reflex, a default daily habit. This may take some time to adjust but I promise you it's worth it.
Don't make unattainable reading goals
If you're not a bookworm then don't commit yourself to reading more books than you can handle. Start by setting a reading goal that is easily attainable - such as reading just one book per month or 20 pages a day. If you're already breezing through a book a month then jump up to two. When you're not over-committing yourself, you will find that your reading experience is less stressful and more enjoyable. Fun Fact - If reading is not stressful, you will be able to concentrate and read more.
Create a distraction-free reading environment - Hello Reading Haven!
Some distractions you can't avoid, like when your Amazon Prime delivery gets dropped off and your dog goes nuts. But there are plenty of other distractions that you do have control over.
Start by reading in a room that is quiet and doesn't have temptations like a TV. You could also turn your phone on silent or airplane mood for a certain amount of time.
We have all been halfway through a book and asked ourselves, "Why am I reading this?" Don't worry. It happens to the best of us. Instead of trying to power through a book that you're not enjoying or finding useful - just put the book down, I repeat put the book down and walk away to the closest book shelf and get another book and start reading something else.
Read books you actually enjoy
When you read books that you actually want to read, you'll find it more difficult to put it down. I'm a big fantasy book fan. If you find the genres of books that you enjoy reading, then you are more likely to become so immersed that you have to keep reading.
Always have a book on hand
You will always have an opportunity to read. You can read on your morning commute (well, audio books if you are driving). There is time when waiting at the doctor's office, or wasting a couple of minutes before a meeting or conference call. I find I can bear the lines at the grocery store or the school carpool line with a book on my iPhone. I have also started buying those mass paperback books they are so small and fit in my handbag perfectly. Basically don't let time go unused, pick-up a book and start reading.
Skim This applies more to reading newspapers, magazines, or online content, but when it comes to reading for leisure don't be afraid to skim books. It helps you get through the book faster so that you can move on to the next one. Give yourself permission to skim it's ok. Also download an app like Blinklist which delivers bit size key ideas of non fiction books, its perfect for people who love to learn, who don't have time to read, and even people who aren't into reading.
Listen to audio books
I am always listening to audio books. I listen to them while doing housework, while walking the dog, while driving and being stuck in traffic (Living in Los Angeles there's a lot of traffic all the time I make use of that time in a productive manner.)
Borrow reading time from something less important
I get it. The thought of reading for two or three hours a day may seem like a serious time commitment. However if you borrow time from something else in your day you'll realize that it's really easy to devote more time to reading. Did you know that the average American spends five hours every day watching TV? If you fall into that category, you can reduce your TV watching time to two hours per day and spend the other three hours reading, being creative or learning something new. Hey try reading first, then TV, if you do it the other way round it might not work as well. I have a confession since the pandemic happened and we lost regular TV for a few months due to no new shows airing, I read more books then I have done in 5 years. It completely changed life and my daily routine. I now read more then I watch TV which is crazy to me as I love TV. I just prefer to read now.
Partake in reading challenges
You know you want to! Reading challenges are an excellent way to encourage you to read more books because it's fun and interactive. Goodreads has an annual challenge reading that gamifies your reading goal. You can also discover new books to read by seeing what your friends have read.
Next time you are about to drop some cash on clothes or junk that you don't really need (hello target run!!), change the habit and use the extra cash to build-up an inventory of books. It may sound crazy at first, but I guarantee it's one of the best motivations to read more because once you finish a book you can view your TBR pile and decide what to read next.
Use technology to your advantage - Hello Audio Books again! Personally, I love physical books. Nothing beats that smell and texture of the actual book in your hands. Sometimes carrying a book around isn't easy or convenient. Today you can read a book on your iPhone, iPad or Kindle while traveling. Even listening to an audiobook through Audible or Books on your iPhone. Using technology gives you more opportunities to digest even more books throughout the year. Just do it!
Read multiple books This strategy may not work for everyone, but it does for me. The key here is to choose one fiction and one non fiction and jump between the two. Or you can have several different books in different locations around the house, like in the bedroom, the bathroom, another downstairs on your iPad. I have quite a few books on my phone for when I'm driving. Having a variety of books to read at once is challenging for me and keeps me from getting bored. It also helps to mix up the multiple books that I'm reading and I get more books read faster.
Keep your eyes open I'm always on the lookout for new books to read. Every where you look there's a book being offered. Browse best seller lists online. Amazon or the actual brick and mortar bookstore always has suggestions, I usually find the best reads while looking for suggestions from blog posts or friends or sometimes Facebook Ads. When I come across a new book that looks interesting I write it down either in my notes on my phone or a post it note so that I won't forget about it.
Commit to reading when traveling or before bed Traveling is the best time to read. Think about all the free time that you have while waiting to catch your flight and while you're in-air. You may actually be able to finish an entire book while traveling. woohoo reading challenge! Also make it a point to read right before you go to bed. Do this instead of watching TV or browsing social media. Two bonuses - you will read more and sleep better.
Eliminate decisions Yes you heard that right. Instead of aimlessly searching through thousands and thousands of new book releases, search for curated lists on Goodreads. Any of their lists help to eliminate decisions and give you more reading time.
Share what you read Share the books that you've read. It becomes a part of the entire reading process since you are passing along information or insights that you have just read which your friends might actually want to read too.
Have your next book on stand-by Whenever I'm about to finish a book I take a couple of minutes in my office and select the next book I'm gonna read. I then jump from one book into another immediately. Of course it helps if you are reading a series.
Set a dedicated reading time This helps make reading a habit. For me, I always set aside 20-30 minutes in the morning before everyone wakes-up. This prevents distractions. The 20-30 minutes before I go to bed are my most favorite moments. I read more throughout the day, but since some days are more hectic than others, that's not always guaranteed. Having dedicated reading times at least ensures that I'm reading around at least an hour every day.
Buy books that are on sale If you're on a budget, or are frugal, then check out books that are on sale. I use Thiftbooks online website to buy books. We are also lucky we can easily browse used books or sale items on Amazon. This is a cost-effective way to build a little library of your own. You can also check books out at your public library and sometimes you can snag some free books by entering giveaways. Check Goodreads.
Join a book club Joining a book club is another way to motivate you into reading more. You will get great recommendations and a community to discuss and share your thoughts. What could be better?
Hijack your Facebook habit I get it - bad habits are hard to break. Social media is hard to not go on! But you can change your habits with a little determination. There's tons of books out there on habit forming. Read them to change your life!!
Read in sprints There are some days when my attention isn't the best. When I have one of those days I set a timer for 25 minutes and then read in 25 minute sprints with a 5 minute break. Reading in a 25 minute sprint prevents my mind from wandering and is short-enough that I won't get burnt out. Have you ever read The Pomodoro Technique?
Take notes or read aloud These methods can help you better understand the author's message. Speaking aloud develops new conclusions, and increases everything from concentration to focus and retention. Whether you jot down notes in the book margins, or in a notebook (Hello book journal!) Doing this will improve your literacy skills, which in turn will make you a bonafide book worm!
Every book you read has the potential to touch your soul deeply, and inspire thoughts that might otherwise lay dormant. Reading regularly is a great way to escape and unwind and it increases your knowledge, focus and world views.
How many of these tips can you add to your daily grind? Comment below if you have used any of these tips to read more books or plan to.