Happy Hump Day All
Ever since I was little, I’ve always enjoyed reading, which I credit my Mam for. Being a reader herself, she always had a book on the go, and encouraged me to take it up as a pastime as well. If you’re like me, you’ll have a pile of books sitting on a shelf (chair, desk, floor, etc.) that are waiting for you to tackle them. But sometimes it can seem hard to find the time to fit reading in for various reasons. So, today I thought I’d share a few handy tips if you feel like you’d like to keep on top of your reading schedule, and start working your way through that pile of stories you’ve been meaning to get to.
Always have a book to hand
No matter where you are going, always have a book to hand. Throw one in your bag on the way out the door, leave one in the glove box of the car or have one ready in your locker at work. We often find ourselves having blocks of time to kill for whatever reason, so if you have a book to hand, it can be a great way to pass the time while also helping you stick to regular reading.
When it comes to a reading schedule, size matters (the jury is out on other areas). Right now, I’m reading City on Fire by Garth Risk Halberg. I’m enjoying the story, but it is one of those books that you must be fully tuned into or you will miss stuff. As well as that, it’s over 1,000 pages long. That combined with it being a bit of a heavy read as well as my daily schedule mean that I find myself hitting the wall with it sometimes. When I read a big book like this one, I find I always go for one substantially smaller directly after, because after you finish a large book, it can feel like a chore staring into another 1,000 plus pages straightaway. So, alternate – big, small, big, small – so you don’t hit book fatigue. For instance, I may change my mind, but once I finish this one, I plan on giving Lord of the Flies a read, which is much shorter at less than 300 pages.
Dump the ones you’re not enjoying
I’m sure everybody has experienced this at some point. That book that sounded so good when you read the cover in the shop has turned out to be complete s**t. It happens. But, rather than trudging on through something you’re not enjoying just to get to the end and see how it finishes, just move on to something else. If you’re not enjoying it, chances are you won’t enjoy the end either, so don’t waste your time. If you really want to know, save yourself some time and Google it.
Switch off those devices
Unless you’re a modern reader and using one to read off (personally, having been born and grown up, for the most part, before all the technology we have today really took off, I need the physical paper book in front of me to really engross myself), switch off all smart phones, Ipads or anything similar, and leave them in a different place to where you are going to read. We are so conditioned today to reach for them without even realising we are doing it, so putting some distance between you and them for a short time will mean you are less likely to get distracted. And anyway, the world won’t implode if you don’t aimlessly scroll through Instagram or tag people in memes on Facebook for an hour. The break will do you good!
Build a reading haven
Having a set place to go to might help you get in the reading frame of mind. Find a space in your house that you can use for just that and set it up with stuff like beanbags, blankets, etc. The more comfortable a place is, the more inviting it is, and it might inspire you to tackle that reading list more often.
Fill your coffee table with books
You know when you go to a doctors or hairdressers, how they usually have tables full of magazines to keep you occupied while you wait? Well, do the same in your home. Have plenty of books laid out on your coffee table, so that you see them when you walk into your living room, and might be inspired to pick one up rather than switch on the TV.
Set a goal for how much you want to read in a certain time frame
We set targets for what we want to achieve in our fitness and wellbeing, as well as objectives to save money, so why not the same for this? If you set yourself a goal for the number of books you’d like to read over a set time, it’s more likely to keep you on track. If say, you set yourself a goal of reading 2 books a month, that’s 24 a year. Set a goal that is realistic and manageable for yourself.
Take part in reading challenges
Reading challenges are a great way to stick to a schedule and broaden your horizons by forcing you out of your comfort zone into genres you might not normally venture in to. There are literally thousands of them online, so a quick Google search should help you find one that works for you. Plus, many reading challenges appear on social media pages and sites like Goodread’s, so they have an added social aspect as you can interact with people who are doing the challenge as well. Here’s one to get you started:
Join a book club
It’s kind of old school in a way, but it’s a great way of staying on track with your reading. And you also get to me other book enthusiasts, who you can discuss the big talking points in the book you all have been reading and get different viewpoints and perspectives. You can also get recommendations off them for your next book, especially if you can’t decide on what you want to read next.