I’m sure there are many of you out there who, like me, want to read more.
At the start of every year you tell yourself: ‘I’m definitely going to read more books this year’ – only to reach the end of the year and find that you’ve actually read even less than you wanted to?
Yep. Been there, done that, and, let’s be honest, reading more is easier said than done, even if it is something you enjoy doing.
But as it will soon be the start of a new year, and the time for new year resolutions, here are 5 tips that will (hopefully) help you on your way to reading more books in 2017.
I’ll, no doubt, need to refer back to this post a few times myself…
1. Set Yourself a Designated Time to Read
Set yourself a time where you don’t do anything but read. Make it a part of your routine. If you’re really busy you could set it at the time of day when you’ve done everything you need to do for the day. Or, instead of spending all your free time watching hour long episodes of that show on Netflix, back to back, maybe only watch one episode and use the rest of your free time to read. Just giving yourself an hour or even half an hour to read every day can really help you read more.
2. Find a Designated Space to Read in
Find yourself a space where you go to read. If you’re lucky enough to have the space in your home, create a little reading nook. Set it up so it’s cozy and quiet and as secluded as possible. This really helps in getting you to read more because, not only do you have a set time you associate with reading, you also have a set space. The space is also one you will associate with relaxation so you’ll look forward to your reading time. Even if you don’t have the space in your home to dedicate to a reading nook, any room in the house will do. Just ensure that during your designated reading time, everyone is kicked out of that room and knows not to disturb you.
3. Set Reading Goals
Set yourself a target number of books you want to read. This could be a weekly, monthly or even a yearly goal. Set yourself realistic goals that take your schedule and lifestyle into account. Setting a goal will make you read more because saying: ‘I want to read 12 books this year’ is a lot more concrete than saying: ‘I want to read more this year’. With goals set, you have an achievable number rather than just a vague idea. And if you manage to reach or surpass your reading goals you’ll feel even more accomplished!
However, if you don’t reach your goals that’s perfectly OK. Reading is supposed to be something you’re doing for fun, remember? Don’t set yourself unachievable goals (for example, if you have 3 kids and a full time job you’re unlikely to get through 5 books a week). Don’t force yourself to continue reading a book you’re not enjoying because you have to reach your monthly goal. Don’t race through books without fully taking them in just to reach your goals. You can always change or adjust goals whenever you want, they’re goals you’ve set for yourself. Don’t make your reading goals your focus. Reading should not become a chore or guess what will happen? You’ll end up wanting to do it less.
4. Choose What Books You’re Going to Read Ahead of Time
This kind of goes hand in hand with setting yourself reading goals. If you have a goal to read a certain number of books a week, a month, a year, why not choose the books you’ll be reading ahead of when you start reading them? One of the problems I always have is deciding which book to read next out of my ever growing collection of unread books. If you have already narrowed it down to a smaller number of books it makes it a lot easier to choose which book you want to read next. And, again, this isn’t set in stone. If you have chosen your books and you change your mind about wanting to read them, you can always change, add or remove books.
5. Read Books You Actually Enjoy
I think this is probably the most important point of all. Because you can set a time, find a space, have reading goals, plan your books, but if the books you are reading are not interesting or enjoyable to you, you will still find it difficult to read more. You will find yourself making excuses not to read, find yourself dreading your designated reading time, find your designated reading space boring instead of relaxing. I used to try to continue reading books I wasn’t enjoying just because I’d started them and didn’t want to leave them half read. But reading should be fun. You should not be dreading your reading time because the book you’re reading is a total bore. Stop reading it and find a book you’ll find more enjoyable.
Plus, if you are reading books that you enjoy, you will find that you are flying through the pages because you just can’t stop reading them. This, in turn, will make you read faster. Which will make you reach your goals quicker. And then guess what? You’ll end up reading even more books than you intended!
Hope this list was helpful! If anyone has more tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments.