For book lovers everywhere, the aspiration to consume more literary worlds is an ever-present one.
Immersing oneself in a good book not only sharpens the mind but also offers a welcome escape from our fast-paced, technology-saturated lives.
Yet, amid our bustling schedules and never-ending supply of distractions, committing to reading more books and sticking to your goals can seem like a daunting task.
Here are some practical tips that can help you stick to your reading goals.
Read what intrigues you
While this may seem self-evident, it is surprisingly easy to let bestseller lists, recommendations, and critical acclaim dictate your reading choices, often sidelining your personal interests.
Remember that your reading journey is just that – yours. It should be driven by what piques your curiosity and stimulates your interests.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to finish every book you start. If a book doesn’t captivate you, feel free to put it down and pick up another. Your reading time is valuable; ensure it’s spent on books that truly enthral you.
Swap screen time for book time
In today’s digital world, it’s all too easy to fall into the vortex of endless scrolling, liking, and sharing on social media platforms.
A quick check of your feed can effortlessly morph into hours spent staring at the screen, consuming snippets of information and images that often add little value to our lives. The average person is said to spend about 2.5 hours on social media every day – time that could be redirected towards more enriching activities, such as reading.
In terms of practicality, start small. Next time you reach for your phone with the intention of checking social media, grab a book instead. Over time, your mind will begin to associate downtime with reading rather than scrolling, transforming these periods into reading sessions.
Schedule your reading time
Creating a specific time slot for reading might seem unnecessary or overly structured at first, but it can significantly enhance your reading habits.
Think of it as a daily ritual; a dedicated period to indulge in the delightful world of stories that takes you away from the mundane routines of everyday life.
By treating reading time as a form of self-care and a mindful break from your daily obligations, you infuse it with greater value and importance.
Having a consistent reading schedule also sends a powerful message to your brain, associating that particular time slot with the joy of reading. Over time, your mind starts looking forward to these scheduled sessions, enhancing your concentration and enjoyment during your reading time.
Having a dedicated reading schedule also allows you to manage your time more efficiently. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a large book or an ambitious reading goal, breaking it down into daily reading sessions makes the task manageable and enjoyable.
Use ‘commute time’ for reading
Even if your office is currently your kitchen table, creating a reading routine equivalent to a typical commute time can be a game-changer for your reading habits.
By designating the time you would spend commuting as your reading time, you’re carving out a niche in your schedule solely for this purpose.
This practice allows you to mentally commute to and from your work, even if physically you’re not moving. It’s a sort of a ‘transition ritual’ that signals your brain the beginning or end of work, creating a healthier work-life balance.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can progress through a book with this routine. Those fifteen minutes or an hour per day add up over weeks and months, allowing you to devour book after book.
Join a reading community
Connecting with like-minded individuals who share your passion for literature can enhance your reading experience, making it richer and more multidimensional.
This is where joining a reading community, be it a local book club or an online reading group, can transform your solitary reading journey into a shared literary adventure.
Being part of a reading community offers numerous benefits. You’re exposed to an endless supply of recommendations, opening you to titles, authors, or genres that you might not have ventured into on your own.
A reading community also provides a platform for meaningful discussions. Unpacking a book, interpreting its themes, or debating character motivations with others can deepen your understanding and appreciation of the story.
Keep track of your reading progress
In the journey towards achieving your reading goals, monitoring your progress can serve as a potent motivational tool.
The act of logging the books you’ve read can provide a sense of accomplishment and spur you on to continue with your reading habit. Whether you use a simple notebook or an online platform like Goodreads, the aim is to make your reading journey more rewarding, not stressful.
By noting when and what you read, you might start to see patterns, such as what genres you gravitate towards, which authors resonate with you, or even when during the day you prefer to read. These insights can help you tailor your reading choices and routines to enhance your reading experience.
It’s important to remember that tracking your reading progress should not become a source of pressure or guilt. If you find yourself getting stressed about not reading ‘enough’ or as quickly as others, it might be a sign to step back.
Reading is meant to be an enjoyable and enlightening activity. It’s not a race. It’s about quality, not quantity.
Diversify your reading formats
There’s an undeniable romance associated with the feel of a physical book – the weight in your hands, the rustling sound of pages turning, and that comforting bookish smell.
However, in the modern age, you’re not confined to the traditional hardcover or paperback. By embracing different reading formats such as e-books and audiobooks, you can adapt your reading habit to various situations and environments, making it more versatile and sustainable in your daily routine.
E-readers and audio book platforms allow you to store hundreds of books, making it ideal for travel or daily commuting. Plus, their adjustable font size and backlighting cater to a comfortable reading experience in different lighting conditions.
Libraries are an underutilised resource that can significantly assist in diversifying your reading formats without straining your budget. Beyond their physical book collections, many libraries have embraced digital trends and offer a fantastic array of e-books and audiobooks.
No matter how lofty your reading goals, remember that the essence of reading lies in the enjoyment and enrichment it provides. Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to reading. A book that challenges you, moves you, or simply entertains you is always a good choice.
Here’s to days filled with compelling characters, riveting plots, and the joy of losing oneself in a good book. Happy reading!