Maybe you included reading more in your New Year’s resolutions, or you’re signed up for the Goodreads yearly reading challenge. Or maybe you used to love reading, but you haven’t picked up a book in a while… In any case, reading has many benefits and is an activity that is worth investing a bit of your time in! Read on for ways to easily trick yourself into reading more regularly.
(Note: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. I only recommend products that I like and either currently use or would use. If you make a purchase, you support this blog: I earn a commission at no cost to you.)
A book to go
This first tip is pretty straightforward: endeavour to have a book with you at all times. If your books are all at home collecting dust on a shelf, you’re not very likely to get any reading in. Have a book in your work bag, by your sofa, on your bedside table… You get the idea!
That way you can sneak a few pages in when you’re in the bus, you have an unexpected wait, or you take a break while you’re working.
You don’t need to pop to your local library to stock up on books – you can download loads of them on your Kindle, smartphone or laptop via Amazon. This is practical because of the amount of books you can have with you, without being too weighed down. Obviously this is good for commuting and traveling, though it’s also helpful for those wishing to downsize and simplify their possessions, for instance if you’re moving soon.
Even though I love the feel of paper books, there’s two major reasons I read on my Kindle. One is that I’m impatient and I can get books instantly, ha. For instance when I was putting together my resources page and writing about a Discovery of Witches, I started thinking about reading the second book in the series. A few seconds later – boom – it was on my Kindle. This obviously has its dangers, exercise caution!
The other major benefit is that many of the “classics” are available to download for free! For example my boyfriend and I have been enjoying the Sherlock Holmes books, all for free. Do explore what’s available, as the free version isn’t always the first one listed.
Be mindful of how you use your devices though: if the goal is reading more, then turn the Internet or at least your notifications off (see point below). I personally love my older-gen Kindle Fire for reading as it’s a bit clunky for apps and browsing the Internet, therefore eliminating that temptation while I’m reading.
Replace screens with pages
This one is probably a big one for most people. Be honest with yourself. How much time do you spend staring at your phone versus reading useful information or something that brings you actual pleasure? If you want to scare yourself, you can track your time for a day or a week with a time logger. We’re all guilty of spending quite a bit of our time mindlessly scrolling through emails and news feeds. Even spending a bit of that time reading would make a big impact on your life.
The first step is awareness: try to catch yourself reaching for your phone when you’re bored or every time it vibrates. See if you can accept the “itch”, let it go, and return your focus towards something constructive. For more info on how to do a bit of a digital detox, read this 5 steps to sanity blog post.
You can choose to intentionally read first thing in the morning, during the day when you’re bored and about to reach for your phone, or a chapter in bed. The chapters will quickly add up!
Set reading targets
This doesn’t work for everyone but it can be motivating! I personally love this, because I have a big picture goal (read 27 books this year) and a reading list on Todoist, inspiring me to reach my big goal. You can set yourself a reading goal for the year by signing up to the Goodreads reading challenge. You could then look for inspiration on Goodreads, by seeing what others are reading or browsing recommendations based on what you’ve read in the past. Then you can create a list of books you already know you want to read on your task manager / with pen and paper.
Sharing is caring
Another way to ebb yourself towards reading more is to receive and give inspiration from/to others. For example you can share what you’re reading and see what your friends are reading on Goodreads or on social media platforms. Or you could check out the reading lists of bloggers you follow.
I’m building my resources page here – go check it out: it’s brand new, but there’s already a few suggestions there. By sharing what you’ve enjoyed yourself on Goodreads or in a blog post, you can receive further recommendations from people with similar interests!
- Think of a couple ways you could add a bit more reading into your life. For example a chapter in the evening or a few pages during your commute.
- Check out my growing list of book recommendations and share your recent favourite reads in the comments below!
- Watch this young lady’s tips on how to fit more reading into your day (below, or follow this link if the video isn’t appearing). I have two books on the go too. I read “how to” books in the morning, then more relaxing things (mainly fiction) in the evening.