Tuesday, March 3, 2015

10 tips for reading more books

tips for reading more books on the blog
I used to be a voracious reader. When my siblings and I were kids, my mom would often take us to the library. I would pick up entire series of books at a time, and read them before our next library trip. I read throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school. I especially enjoyed my literature classes when I was in school- I was happy to read the required, classic literature for my classes. In college, because I liked reading (and English, in general) so much, I decided to take English classes as my electives. All of those classes ultimately led to a minor in English. What I'm getting at is that I have always loved to read. In the past few years though, reading had taken a backseat to all of my responsibilities and priorities (mothering, mostly).

I decided to bring reading back to the forefront of my activities this year. I decided that I would make reading a priority. I would find time to read for at least 15 minutes every day. Like you, I am busy, but I decided that I would find time to read every day. I can honestly say that this has become the most enjoyable goal for me to keep this year. I read the Divergent series in January. (I recently watched the movie, as well. I am excited for Insurgent, the movie, coming out this month. Allegiant? Humph). I took a different turn, and read The Stranger by Albert Camus after the Divergent series. I enjoyed it. I felt like I had to write an essay after I completed it, however. I guess that's not necessarily a bad thing. I started reading the Twilight series recently. I completed the second book New Moon last night. It's different than something I would typically pick up, but it came highly recommended by Denise, my good friend. I am really liking them. I am very happy to be reading again.

I have a few tips to share with you if you want to read more books, as well.

Make a reading goal and stick to it
I decided on 15 minutes a day (and am tracking my progress using this daily, tracking printable). Maybe 15 minutes is too short or too long for you- adjust accordingly. Or maybe instead of timing yourself, you could make a goal to read one or two books a month, etc. Set deadlines and stick to them.

Join a book club or take a class
Reading with a group is really enjoyable. It's also nice to have  list of books that have already been decided for you as with a monthly book club or by a professor. I used to really appreciate a syllabus at the beginning of the school year with the list of books we would be reading that quarter or semester. Sometimes it's nice not having to choose a book. Book options can be overwhelming. That said...

Don't be too indecisive about your books
Fiction? Non-fiction? Autobiography? Young adult literature? Classic literature? Books that will be made into movies this year?? (I'm biased to that last category). Anyway, the options are endless. Pick up that book that interests you, and start reading it today. Why dillydally??

Read what interests you
Duh. I've noticed, though, that sometimes people (me) put restrictions on what they read based on what they're "supposed" to read. For a while I was stuck on only reading classic literature. I thought, "Nothing else is worth it." That's simpleminded and wrong.

Keep a list of books you want to read
Any time something piques your interest, note it. That way you're not pondering what you're going to read next. You already have a list (or stack) of books at the ready.

Consider reading a particular genre, series, or collection of books by one author at a time
If you liked a book in a particular category, chances are you'll like another book in that category. Also sticking to books by one author, for example, is good exercise for your brain. You begin to see patterns in themes, settings, characters, the author's philosophical viewpoints, etc. Here I go with the essay writing desires.

Try out new books, as well
Yes, read what interests you in your favorite genre, but also branch out from time to time. I mentioned that I was surprised by my liking space adventures the other day. I would have never thought that would interest me. Also, vampires? Never woulda thought- yet here I am eager to begin Eclipse. You won't know unless you try.

Carry your book with you at all times
You'd be surprised how often you're waiting around at places. You could be reading instead of just sitting there.

Stay away from your electronics
I am constantly on my phone. Now that I started reading, I'm not as plugged in as I used to be. And I like it that way. Electronics can be a time suck.

Borrow books from friends or from the library
The benefits of borrowing from friends (or the library) are obviously a). that they're free, but also b). now you have something interesting to talk about. While you're at the library, check out what book clubs are offered there or in your area.

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Also, any books to recommend? Please share in the comments. :)