One of the challenges I set myself this year was to read more… Over the years I’ll collected a ridiculous number of books which are taking up far too much space and embarrasingly I have yet to read… Buying books purely with the intention of looking at them on shelves doesn’t seem like the brightest idea and so I’ve decided to tackle the task head on! Whilst sharing my journey on my social platforms, a number of people have shared that they are unable to find the time to read, despite having the best intentions and so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share 15 Ways To Read More in 2020…
♡ Always Have A Book To Hand:
If you always have a book to hand, you’ll never miss an opportunity to read a couple of pages. I always have a book in my back-pack and if I’m travelling or in a waiting room I have something to occupy my time. I’ve also found this to be a fabulous way to ease my anxiety. When I’m at home, I have various books dotted around my house so whenever I have a spare couple of minutes I can pick up a book and have a short read.
♡ Replace Bad Habits With Book Habits:
Do you have a naughty habit which you’re trying to give the boot? Perhaps you want to stop smoking, procrastinate less, spend less time on social media or watch less TV? Whatever the habit, begin replacing it with picking up a book… I guarantee you’ll be surprised as to how much extra reading you do and it’ll do wonders for both your mental health and self discipline. FYI CBT and Positive reinforcement are all the rage!
♡ Avoid Burnout:
This might sound a little unexpected but reading can be surprisingly intense and it’s important to take regular breaks to avoid burnout, eyestrain and headaches. Taking short, regular breaks isn’t something to feel guilty about and will make all the difference to your reading experience. Personally, I’ve found that taking short breaks (usually to make a panad) allows me to remain focused and excited to get back to my book.
♡ Create Your Personal Reading Space:
There’s something lovely about cosying up in your own space… Creating a comforting reading nook really adds to the reading experience and makes it a more pleasurable task. My personal nook includes a blanket and I make sure I’ve got a drink to hand and lighting to prevent eye strain if I lose track of time.
♡ Buddy Up:
Having an accountability partner is a simple and effective way to ensure you stick to your goals. Chatting books with a friend may provide just the encouragement you need to complete a book and it’s always a fab way to discuss what you’re reading share suggestions and recommendations – you may even be able to agree a book-swap and save yourself some pennies!
♡ Use Your Travel Time:
One of my favourite opportunities to pick up a good book is whilst I’m travelling. Whether I’m catching the bus, the train or flying I’ll be sure to use the opportunity to catch up with my reading. I’ve found this to be a simple way of squeezing in a couple of extra books, whilst feeling like I’m making use of time which I’d otherwise probably spend staring into space. It’s a foolproof double winner…
♡ Embrace The DNF:
There’s nothing worse than trying to read a book which you’re struggling to enjoy, after all reading should be enjoyable and not feel like a chore. If you find yourself struggling with a book, accept it’s not your jam and put it down. Embracing the DNF creates more time for you to spend reading books you enjoy and prevents you from feeling negative connotations towards reading. At first, this may feel easier said than done, but it definitely gets easier over time and it becomes rather liberating (trust me)…
♡ Openly Receive Recommendations:
It is easy to waste valuable reading time researching which book to read next… Fortunately, I’ve found two simple yet effective ways to overcome this. My first suggestion is to create a TBR jar whereby you don’t have to pick your next book, you simple pull the name out of a jar. My second suggestion is to connect with other readers.. either in the library or online and ask them for their thoughts and suggestions.
♡ Don’t Let Reading Break Your Bank:
Admittedly, being a book lover can be pretty expensive but don’t let this put you off as there are a number of ways in which you can keep your book costs down. Some of my favourite methods are participating in a book swap, visiting charity shops, using loyalty card points and keeping an eye out for promotional freebies… I’m all for directly supporting authors (I love indi books), but don’t allow books to break your bank!
♡ Make Reading Part Of Your Routine:
There are a number of ways in which you can incorporate reading into your daily routine. The simplest way is to allow yourself 15minutes every morning to pick up your book and get stuck in. Reading first thing means that you’ll be feeling bright and refreshed, additionally, you’ll also feel like you’ve accomplished something before your day has even begun! In contrast, some people like to make time to read in the evening but I find this provide too much room for excuses and distractions.
♡ Use A Reading Tracker:
I’ve found that reading trackers have been really beneficial in motivating me to read more. I personally enjoy using Goodreads, however I am also using the tracker which I’ve created in my bullet journal. To keep myself focused, I’ve also added my book count / goal to my twitter and instagram bio’s and this has genuinely helped me keep focused and I definitely find it satisfying updating my trackers. If you’d like to see my bullet-journal spread, let me know in the comments and I’ll be more than happy to share it…
♡ Set Yourself a Goal:
If you follow my blog, or follow me elsewhere online you’ll know that I’m an avid fan of goal setting… This year I set myself the task of reading 50 books, which works out on average 1 book per 7.5days. I’ve found that breaking my goal down into monthly and weekly chunks has been really beneficial in helping me read more as it keeps me focused and it’s satisfying to know I’ve achieved each of the targets which I’ve set myself. The #2020ReadingChallenge on Goodreads is a fab way to connect with others and track your progress.
♡ Join A Community:
You probably won’t be surprised to know that there are many active reading communities online, so why not get involved! I’ve found communities on Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr so whichever platform is your favourite you’ll be sure to find plenty of active communities to connect with.
♡ Mix It Up:
One of the best ways I’ve found to read more books is to mix-up the genres! I found it can be pretty intense reading one self-care book after another and equally as intense reading psychological books one after another. In order to break the cycle, I make a conscious effort to mix-up the genres I read. This keeps things fresh and ensures I remain enthusiastic and focused towards all of the books which I’m reading.
♡ Give Audio Books A Try:
Audio books are a fabulous way to enjoy books, especially whilst you’re on the go… You can listen in the car, or in the bath and I’ve heard that audiobooks are particularly beneficial in reducing night terrors and complimenting a good nights sleep. An alternative to audio books are podcasts – there are lots available online, I particulalrly enjoy using the BBC sounds app. If you have any recommendations, I’d love to know…
I’m curious to know, what books are your favourite & how do you make time to read?
I’d love to find out in the comments below!