In the first part of this mini-series, I discussed how I felt like a fraud for giving up on a challenging book. This week, I’m going to share with you seven tips that enabled me to read more.
I’m the type who’s always got his nose in a book. I read everywhere, from the train to work, at the dentist’s waiting room, or in bed at night. Clearly, I love reading.
But how do you get back this love of books when you’ve not read for a while?
Has someone ever asked you if you’re a reader, and you give that half-arsed smile and say ‘sort-of’?
You spend all your free time watching Game of Thrones back-to-back but complain you can’t find the time to read. Well, reading is the same as your Netflix series; if you want to read more, you need to spend the time sitting down and doing so.
Here’s some easy to follow tips for anyone looking to read more.
1 – Don’t set impossible goals
If you’re not in the habit of reading books back-to-back, then don’t set a Goodreads goal of reading one hundred books.
Logistically, that’s as good as two a week… of course, you’re going to fail!Be realistic.
Think about what you already read and try to improve it in incremental steps.
Going from three books read, to twelve is a huge difference, plus it’s achievable. A small goal would be to read thirty pages a day. This is a small amount, often achieved within forty-five minutes (a typical episode on Netflix).
You can do it over breakfast, on the commute to work, or in bed at night; or all three if you’re that way inclined. The point is it’s not difficult when you make the time.
2 – Take your book everywhere
Pop it in your work bag in the morning, in your gym bag in the evening, or on your bedside table at night. If your book’s always within reach, you can read it whenever you have a few minutes spare. The more visible the book is, the more likely you are to pick it up.
Additionally, a Kindle is extra portable and much more durable; especially with a cover. And it carries hundreds of books in one.
3 – Create a relaxed reading zone
Having a distraction-free space where you can put your feet up, enjoy your cuppa and read your book will make all the difference.
Not only is it a safe haven from your busy life, but it will also become associated with reading time.
As a bonus, the more comfortable it is, the more time you’ll want to spend there. Some people go all-out with bean bags and candles, but ultimately a chair by a window is all you need to get started.
4 – Quit…
This goes back to my main point in part one. If a book isn’t for you, don’t feel the need to continue slogging through it.
This is the quickest way to lose interest and motivation in reading. I was guilty of possessing the trait of not wanting to be defeated by a book, but you know what? Life’s too short.
Throw it to the side and find something new and enjoyable to read instead. There’s plenty to choose from, so you have no excuses.
5 – Have one ready
Keep your next book on your shelf for when you finish. This helps to eradicate decision fatigue.
Although many readers, myself included, are guilty of buying new books all-the-time, it does make it easier to begin. A large pile of books isn’t necessary, just one or two in waiting is all you need.
If you finish and then wait a few days for the next book to arrive from Amazon you’re killing your momentum considerably.
You’ve done well to finish that first book, so keep the momentum going by jumping straight into the next.
6 – Be open-minded
Ask those around you for recommendations.
As family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers’ offer up thoughts, make a note of the title and be sure to look it up later. It’s the easiest way to find your next book, plus it’s a sure-fire way to build rapport with another person.
This is especially handy in environments where you don’t know many people, such as a new job, or moving to a new area.
Ask enough people, and you’ll be surprised by what they suggest.
7 – Share Your Opinions
The great thing about finishing a book is you’ll have formed an opinion… hopefully. Good or bad it doesn’t matter, you’ll have one. Now that you have it, share it.
Social media makes it easier than ever to connect with like-minded people, so have a search for the book you’ve finished and join in the conversation. Sites such as Goodreads offers a more precise approach to rating books, allowing you to do so with a star rating system.
Alternatively, search Facebook for book-related groups. Not only will you get to share your opinions, but you will also get some recommendations off the back of it. Wouldn’t that be great?
So they’re my tips for getting out of a slump and reading more. Let me know in the comments how you get on. And if you have any tips and tricks to add, let me know below.
Next week I’ll be giving you my recommendations for books that are easy to read, but challenging enough to make you think long after finishing.
If you’d like to receive an update when part three is published then whack your email here. You’ll also be entered into all of my future competitions automatically.
Have some tips to add? Be sure to drop a comment below to let me know. Until next week,