Yes, it’s me! You’re not hallucinating 😉
I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks! I seriously underestimated how busy the beginning of a new school year could be, especially when you’re in a brand new school, with new colleagues, in a new grade. Phew!
I’ve been working more than usual and got home completely wiped with absolutely zero energy to do anything else than sit on the couch in front of the TV or with a good book. Or simply go to bed. It’s safe to say that that lofty list of goals I set for myself three (eeek!) weeks ago has not progressed AT ALL. That’s life, I guess…
I’m trying not to be disappointed with myself and get back into a more normal rhythm so I can spend more time writing this blog, but also working on my novel and just live a more balanced life all around. This is me taking the first step, by bringing you a post I had planned to publish earlier this month.
As you may know, every year, I try to read a certain number of books. The number varies depending on what’s going on in my life, but it’s never been below 40. I normally achieve reach my goal, too. And every time I tell people that I read 45 books, or 48 books in the past 12 months, I always get the same reaction: “How do you do that? I can’t even manage to finish one!”
First, I reassure them and let them know that I’m a true bookworm, but over the years, I found myself giving some advice to people who wanted to read more. I’m no expert, but here’s what I tell them the most:
1. Include reading in your nightly routine
It’s no secret that electronic devices take more and more space in our lives. It’s also proven that they over stimulate our brain, which makes it harder to fall asleep. Many experts recommend reading before bed to get into a better mindset for the night, helping you get better quality sleep. I try to do that every night and I really see the difference when I don’t.
You’ll be surprised how many more books you can read by simply adding a 10 or 15-minute reading session to your routine, daily. When you add it up, it’s more than an hour of reading each week you didn’t have before. Yay!
2. Give yourself goals or enter a challenge
If you’re the type to thrive on a little competition, you could join a reading challenge or set goals for yourself. I know it works for me.
For example, when you register on Goodreads, you can take part in the yearly reading challenge and enter each book you finish. The best part is that YOU decide what you’re aiming for. It can be as little as two books, or 200 if that’s more your style.
As the year progresses, you’ll see how many books your friends have read and it could incite you to up your game. Or you can compare yourself with the previous years and see how you were doing back then, if you’re reading more, or not… But either way, it’s a great method to keep track of what books you’ve finished. It’s also very stimulating to see that number grow!
3. Join a book club
Nowadays, you can find a book club anywhere and they take all shapes and forms. My mom has joined one at her local library. They meet once a week and every time, the members talk about books they recently (or not so recently) read and loved, recommending them to the other members. There’s no obligatory book to read and discuss. They’re just sharing what they like and taking notes on what they could read next.
If you’re not the kind to join a real life book club, the interwebs are great to find people to talk about books with! Personally, I’m a member of the Bookworm Bitches on Goodreads. Every month, the members suggest possible reads and vote in a poll to decide what’s next on the list. There are many categories. You can read every suggested book every month, or read one once in awhile. There is no obligation. Forums are opened so members can post their thoughts. It’s all very friendly and you can be as involved as you want.
The idea here is that by sharing with other readers, you’ll create a sense of accountability and commit to your reading time, not shoving it aside because of chores, errands, tv and whatnot 😉 You’ll also become part of a wonderful community that will help you reach your goals.
4. Find a reading buddy
If book clubs are too intimidating, you could always do it on a smaller scale and find a reading buddy. Again, the idea is to hold you accountable. I’m sure there’s someone in your entourage that would love to read more, too. Get together, go sit in a coffee place and read! Or give yourself a limited amount of time to finish a book and tell the other about it. Use you imagination!
5. Carry a book with you at all times
This is a must. I’ve been doing this since the end of high school, just like Rory Gilmore. There’s always a book in my bag or my purse, because you just NEVER know when you’re going to get some down time and have to fill it up.
It could be over lunch because all your coworkers are in a meeting somewhere without you. Or at the garage, while you wait for your oil change. Or at the dentist, in the waiting room. Whenever you have some free time like that is the perfect time to grab your book.
I know, it’s tempting to simply grab your cell phone. But do you really need to check Facebook one more time today? Really? I didn’t think so. And think about all those minutes adding up to make hours of reading time. Voilà. You’re reading more!
Do you already use these tips? What other advice do you have for people who want to read more? I’m also planning a post about where to find books, do you have any insight? Let me know in the comments below, on Instagram or on Facebook. Now, open up that paperback and spend some time doing something you love 🙂
Until next time,