As I have admitted in the past, I am not always the most faithful reader. I often find myself in various periods in my life where I am either reading constantly or not at all. With this being said, I can say (confidently) that I do love to read and make a conscious effort to prioritize putting my nose in a book as much as possible. When doing so, I can easily read 3-4 books a month, which a friend recently told me ‘insane.’ This led to a conversation about how he feels that he is “horrible at reading” and that he wished he could do it more.
Reading is something many people wish they did more of. So why are we failing at it? Much like other aspects of our lives (working out, eating better, learning a new trait, traveling more), we forget to treat reading like any other habit. If you want to do something, you need to prioritize it and make room for it.
We say we don’t have time to read, yet somehow we are on level 498 of Candy Crush and have watched every episode of our favorite Netflix series 47 times. There is always time for new habits and here are a few ways to create more space for reading in your life.
USE AN AUDIOBOOK APP
I am an OG reader so it feels almost shameful to suggest not putting a physical book in your hands. However, listening to an audiobook is a really efficient way to ‘read’ without carving out hours in your week to do so. Whether it’s in the car/train/bus on the way to work or while you are walking on the treadmill, there is usually a chunk of time we already have in the day that can be used listening to a book. Audible (or any audio streaming service for books) allows you to digest books while multitasking with other aspects of your life and it is a wonderful way to add more reading to your day. I personally use my car commute to and from work to listen. I also find audiobooks a great way to tackle large or complex reads that may be difficult to retain the old fashioned way.
MAKE READING A BEDTIME RITUAL
Like most people, I love to hop into bed and stick my nose back into my phone (because let’s be honest, it’s in there all day long). However, this year I have made a conscious effort to avoid my phone before bed as much as possible. If the statistics on why phones in bed is bad for you aren’t convincing enough, the fact that you can use this time to get some quality reading in should help. In fact, I have noticed that when I read before bed, I often get a much better night of sleep than when I am glued to my phone or watching TV. This also allows me to devour one to three chapters a day, guaranteed.
JOIN A BOOKCLUB
This recommendation made it to the list because there is no doubt that a book club will motivate you to start reading more. With that being said, I do not belong to one. I have been wanting to join a book club for years now. A – because I want to read more and B – because it’s a great way to meet new people. Even if you cannot find a local book club to join into, there are lots of virtual clubs that you can be a part of. Having the obligation to read a book within a deadline so that you can be part of the conversation will certainly force you to get in more reading than if you were on your own.
STOP READING WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE
It may seem ironic for me to tell you to stop reading books when the purpose of this list is to help you read more, but I promise this recommendation will change your reading skills! There is nothing worse than slowly and painfully trying to work your way through a book that you do not like. In fact, reading something that you don’t enjoy will often prevent you from picking up a book at all. This is why it is so important to be honest with yourself and to put down books that do not bring you joy. You will waste less time on ‘hard to get through’ books and will actually enjoy the time you spend reading books that are bringing a value to your life.