Hello, good morning, happy Wednesday! Wherever you may be, I hope you’re well. Today I wanted to talked about reading (duh), specifically, ways that I’ve been able to read more. So far, I have read 31 “things” in 2020, 27 of which have been actual novels, and the rest short stories. This blows my previous years’ reading activity completely out of the water, and while I’ve always been a voracious reader, as I’ve gotten older I’ve been reading less and less. Which is SO SAD, because I love books, and I will always have more books to read than I have lifetimes to read them. One of my resolutions for 2020 was to read more, and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve done to accomplish that goal. Most of these are really obvious, but I was surprised by how these little changes really made an impact on my productivity as a reader, and I hope that they can be useful for you, too.
1. Seriously, just sit down and read. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought about reading after work or after errands, and never actually got around to picking up a book. Usually, this is because there’s ALWAYS something else that you can be doing. There will always be more laundry, shows to catch up on, more to do besides read. It may sound simple, but once you take the time to sit down and actually read, as opposed to just thinking about reading, you’ll be surprised by how much you actually read.
2. Read. Every. Day. This can be as little or as much as you’re comfortable with, but try to get a little bit of reading time in each day. For me, this means squeezing in 30 minutes of reading at some point in my day. Whether that 30 minutes is in the morning, during a lunch break, or in the evening, reading a little bit every day makes you feel more productive, especially if you’re prone to reader’s guilt like I am.
3. Don’t be afraid to DNF. I used to hate not finishing a book. Even if the book was terrible, I felt like I HAD to finish it anyway, and doing this seriously slowed me down. If you’re not enjoying the book you’re currently reading, then most likely, you’re spending less time reading. Once I started putting down books that I wasn’t enjoying, I made more time for reading books that I loved, and I started finishing more books. I know it may not be the best feeling, but just DNF it. Life is too short to read bad books.
4. Read with a friend. Also known as buddy reading, this is a fun way to read more books, especially if you have a friend with similar reading tastes as you. I’ve buddy read a couple books with my friend Alyssa, and the reading experience is so much more fun when you have a friend to gush and cry with as you read. (Side note, I love Alyssa’s blog, so if you love books and reading, you’ll love it too, so check her out!)
5. Always carry a book with you. This one was a game changer for me. Even if you don’t think you’ll have the time to read, bring your book anyway. You’d be surprised at the reading opportunities you’re missing out on. I take a book with me EVERYWHERE now, and I even have a book specifically for my car, in case I leave my current read at home. Don’t judge me.
6. Before you pick up your phone, read a few pages. This is something I’m still working on, as I’m trying to disconnect from my phone in general, but I always feel more productive if I spend a few minutes reading before scrolling on social media. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I love social media and the opportunities it gives us, as a society, to connect with people in a different way, but if you’re trying to read more, maybe try to avoid the rabbit hole of Instagram videos. Been there.
7. Take advantage of your library’s online database. In these strange times, some of us may be feeling lost without our local library. I recently discovered that I could use my library card to access my library’s database of eBooks and audiobooks using apps such as Libby and Overdrive. Honestly, it’s probably the best thing since sliced bread (are people still saying this?). As someone who wants to focus on borrowing books over buying them, this has been life-changing, and I’m only exaggerating a little bit.
8. Don’t forget about eBooks and audiobooks. They count as reading, too. I used to be, and I say this with great shame, a book snob. I hated reading eBooks, and I much preferred owning and reading physical books. While this is still somewhat true, and I do love reading physical books and owning them, reading eBooks has been one of the main reasons that I’m able to read more. For some reason, I read them faster than actual physical books. Not only that, but eBook readers, such as Kindles and Nooks, are SO portable and convenient, and you can even read on your phone. Audiobooks are great because you have the ability to read literally no matter where you are or what you’re doing. I know there are surely some people who consider these formats “lesser” reading experiences, but don’t listen to them. You do you.
And that’s it for my super simple tips that helped me to read more! Like I mentioned, I know most of these are very obvious, but you’d be surprised at how effective they are once you implement them into your life. Feel free to share with me your tips for reading more, or just share your reading experience in general, I would love to hear from you in the comments. Until next time, happy reading.