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Hi everybody and welcome to a new post!
When I tell people that I love to read and even blog about reading, one of the first things they always ask me (somewhat skeptically, sometimes even a little condescendingly but that’s rant for another day) is “How do you read so much?”
Well, I’m here to spill the deets. And shockingly as it may be, the secret is not one of the following:
- I do not have superpowers. I can’t read super quickly or stop time to read whenever I want (though how cool would that be?)
- I am not in possession of a timeturner or any other device that helps me control time.
- I am not able to stay up all night and read (quite the opposite, I need my 9 hours of sleep just to be a decent human being, so really I’m at a disadvantage here.)
- I do not lack what is called ‘a life’, as is perhaps the most common misconception. I actually do have stuff to do and places to be, just like anyone else.
Honestly, I don’t think I read a lot. I think I fall pretty much around the average point on the spectrum. I’ve met people who read WAY MORE than me. And people who read less than me. So please take this post with a grain of salt. I am in no way an expert and reading this post will not grant you sudden superpowers to read at superspeed. But I do like to read, and I do have a few little tips on how to read more, so I figured I might as well share them. Here we go!
1. Kindle is your friend
How did I survive before I discovered the power of Kindle and ebooks? Sure, physical books are great: they look nice on a bookshelf, smell nice and you can pet them. BUT Kindle has an app that goes on your phone. So basically, you ALWAYS have a book, no a whole library, with you. So use it. Waiting for a doctor’s appointment? Read. Waiting for a friend to pick you up? Read. Train or bus ride to work? Read. Standing in line at the post office? Read. Forced to sit through a social gathering you don’t really want to be at anyway? Read.
Honestly, I’ve read on my Kindle app when brushing my teeth, I’ve read while eating, I’ve read while waiting on someone, I’ve even snuck in some reading time when maybe I shouldn’t have (*cough* social gatherings *cough*). It’s just so easy. And all those 5-10 minutes of reading throughout the day really add up.
2. Read what you love
This should probably be the number one rule. If you want to read more, read what you love. Read something that’ll have you turning the pages, read something that’ll have your heart pounding, read something that you are so in love with, so involved with that you can’t imagine not continuing the story as soon as possible.
If you love romance, then read romance. If you love horror, then read horror. If you love comic books, then read comic books. Just don’t read something because you somehow feel obliged to read it or because you feel like you will be judged if you read something else. If you love what you read, you’ll want to read more. Simple as that.
3. Stop engaging in time-suck activities
We live in a time where everyone is busy. Busy is the new cool. But busy or not, there’s always some idle time here and there. Time where you’re really not doing anything you want to be doing. Time where you’re just doing something out of habit and it’s really just sucking up time. And if you want to read more, just think about what that time-suck is for you. And next time that time-suck comes around, ask yourself “Do I want to do this right now? Or do I want to read?”
For me, social media is my biggest time-suck. I love to check all my social media a few times a day, but if I’m not careful, an hour or more have passed where I’ve just been aimlessly scrolling though Facebook or have gotten lost in the Pinterest maze. So I try to stop myself from spending too much time aimlessy checking social media and spend some of the time I would have done that by reading. Your time-suck could be social media too, or it could be watching tv without enjoying what you’re watching, or driving in the car (in which case, audiobooks are your friend). Just think about it, catch yourself in the act and if you’d rather read, then read.
4. Schedule time to read
If your hobby is a sport or class of some sort, you’d have a scheduled time for that right? You’d have a specific time set up for going to the gym, or that guitar lesson, or that language course. And people wouldn’t come bother you during that time and say “oh you’re just lifting weights here, so you’re not really doing anything, so can you help me out with X, Y, Z?’
So why couldn’t you set up a specific time for reading? Set up 30 minutes or an hour every day or on some days where you’ll be reading and you can make it clear that you need that bit of time for yourself and can’t be disturbed.
My specific reading time is usually the 30 minutes before bed. I love going to bed 30 minutes early and just read. The downside is that I often fall asleep before my 30 minutes are up, but I really don’t have anyone but myself to blame for that!
5. Share the love
As with most things, sharing love only makes that love grow. So if you’d like to read more, find other people who love to read. Check out book blogs, get a Goodreads profile, interact with fellow book lovers on social media, check out booktube. Because one) seeing other people get excited about books will make you even more excited about books and make you want to read ALL. THE. BOOKS and two) talking about the books you love with someone else will make you even more excited about books and make you want to read ALL. THE. BOOKS. So it’s a win-win!
Whenever I am in a book slump, I first turn to booktube. It’s like healing for the book slump soul. Same with my favorite bloggers. Checking out their blogs and reading their rave about a favorite book of theirs will always get me back in the mood to read. So if you want to read more, the book community is your biggest friend! (We ALL want to read more.)