How to Spend More Time Reading

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February 05, 2015

I've always been a pretty big reader. You know, when I was eight or nine, I was that kid who checked out a stack of books from the library so big that I had to use my chin to help me hold the stack. Yeah. But over the last couple years, and especially over the last semester, somehow I've just...stopped. Like totally. 

I think I went four months without reading for fun at all. That's scary to me. I love to read and I seriously believe that I'm a much more intelligent person for it. So over Christmas break, I was reading quite a bit and decided I wanted to change and make reading a priority.

But I'm busy. We're all so busy. It's easy for things that are optional to fall to the wayside when deadlines and exams and pressures come. When I made my goal for this year of reading twelve books, I wanted to make sure that I made reading convenient and fun, not just another thing to do. 

1. Always be in the middle of a book. For me, there's something oddly intimidating about starting a new book. So whenever I finish a book, I first of all try to have another book ready and then I do my best to start it as soon as possible or even right away. 

2. Always have a list of books to read. I use Goodreads for this, but you can use a notes app or pen and paper if you want. You're a free woman (or man); you can do whatever you want. But I always like having a couple books I'm excited about reading so that period of "Ughh, what do I read now?" doesn't set in. 

3. Always have reading material with you. If you read on a Kindle or Nook, that's easy enough to stick in a purse--so are small novels. Maybe toss a book in the car so you always have it in case you have an unexpected delay somewhere. And I'm not a fan of this next option, but you can also read books through the Kindle or Nook app on your phone (including free samples on every book!), but that just gets a little too small to read for long. 

4. Explore other formats. Think about the way you learn best in school. If you're an audio learner, you might enjoy listening to audio books while you exercise or drive. 

5. Read at the same time everyday. I'm specifically trying to make a habit of reading for 20-30 minutes every night before I go to bed. It's great for calming my brain (unless I'm reading true crime!!) and it helps me to set aside that time specifically for reading.

6. Keep a reading log. Like I said in #2, you can do this in whatever form you choose. I like using Goodreads because I can also save a rating or review along with the book once I'm finished. Then, if anyone ever asks for reading recommendations, I can easily flip through books I've read and rated highly to remind me.

7. Be familiar with your public library. The other day--oh my goodness, I'm so proud of myself--I spent time to look up a couple books I wanted to read, find out which of the seven campus libraries it was at, found the floor and the shelf, figured out how to move them (we have moving bookshelves!) and found my book. I was impressed with myself! Seriously though, libraries aren't usually that complicated, but just knowing the process of how your library works will make you that much more likely to read since you won't have to pay for every book. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read! What are you reading these days? How often do you read?

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