For me, reading is as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth and my morning cup of tea. I’ve been a reader since before I can remember. My Saturday mornings as a child were spent in the local library, choosing a batch of books for the week ahead. I used to get them home and stack them up beside my bed in the order I planned to read them. What can I say, I’ve always loved a good bit of organisation.
It’s not always easy to find the time to get really stuck into a good book though. With a full time job plus my blog and all the other elements of day to day life, reading isn’t always my top priority. Whilst I LOVE those Sunday afternoons where I don’t move from the sofa and make a good dent in my to be read pile, they can be pretty few and far between. I’ve therefore managed to slot reading into my everyday life and here’s how you can too...
Read what you love
This is a key one and once you figure this out you’ll be flying through the shelves in no time. If you don’t enjoy what you’re reading then you just won’t bother getting stuck in. There’s a hell of a lot of chat online about current ‘it’ books, books that ‘changed my life’ and books that have won numerous awards and sold millions of copies. That all means nothing though if you’re not interested in the subject matter.
For me, I’m all about the thriller/mystery/whodunnit genre. Whilst I do branch out to other categories from time to time, it’s always a good mystery thriller that really gets me sucked in. Self-help and memoir books, despite their popularity on Instagram, just aren’t really my cup of tea. So no matter how many times I read a review that tells me said book will change my life in 5000 different ways, I resist adding it to my Amazon basket because I know chances are it will be left on the shelf to collect dust. Find the genres and authors you enjoy and choose some of their titles to get you going.
Set yourself a reading goal
I love me a good goal. Whilst I’m all about those January resolutions and aims, I find myself setting goals throughout the year. For me, having something to work towards really helps me to get going. Last year I set myself the target of reading 50 books. I can confirm that I didn’t even come close meaning this year I’ve opted for the much more manageable 30.
Think about how much you are realistically likely able to read and set yourself a target. Even if you start low with ‘I will read 5 books by June’ at least you’re giving yourself something to work towards. Don’t be too optimistic (like I was last year) but a good challenge is always a great way to spur you on.
Join a book club
Joining a book club is a sure fire way to get you to pick up a book. Nobody wants to end up embarrassing themselves like Rachel on FRIENDS when she thought Wuthering Heights was about robots. Do some research to find out if there are any in your local area with times that suit you, or even set up your own. They’re a great way to not only prompt you to read more but to make new mates too!
You don’t have to join a book club in its traditional form either. There are loads of online options and some of my favourite bloggers including Zoe, Anna and Beth all run clubs on their Instagrams that you can get involved with. Similarly, why not ask your work colleagues or family members who enjoy reading to get together and form an unofficial reading group. Teamwork makes the dreamwork and all that.
Travel is your best friend
My reading spot of choice is tucked up in bed, candle burning and good chocolate based snack by my side. Actually though, the place I probably do the most reading is on public transport. Whether I’m travelling across the country on the train or flying off on my jollies, I always make sure I’ve got a good book with me. If you’ve got a long journey ahead then getting stuck into a cracking read is the perfect way to make the time fly by.
Similarly, if you commute to and from work then reading a book is a much better way to pass the time than aimlessly scrolling on your phone. If you’re a nervous traveller then a good book is a great way to distract you from your fears. Always start it before you leave home to make sure you’re actually going to enjoy it. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a long journey with your only entertainment option as a book that makes you want to gauge your eyes out.
Consider audio books and kindle
Whilst I am a physical book kinda gal, I know loads of people who find reading on a kindle or listening to audio books is much more up their street. You can get kindles pretty cheaply these days and there’s often a selection of free books to choose from if you don’t want to risk buying a book you won’t enjoy. They’re also a great option if you don’t have the room to store stacks of books.
Audio books are perfect if you simply don’t have the time to sit down and read. Whack them on in the car, in the shower and in the kitchen while you’re cooking dinner and you’ll be surprised by just how quickly you make your way through them.
Always carry a book
Alright so it sounds a bit obvious but a good start is to actually have a book on you at all times. Put one in your bag so if you find yourself with a spare half hour on your lunch break or an unexpected train delay on the way home (and let’s be honest, that’s pretty likely) you can grab it and get stuck in for a few pages.
Think about all of the times you would usually pick up your phone and scroll Twitter looking at nothing in particular. Start swapping out your phone for a book and before long it will be a major part of your daily routine.
For me, reading is the perfect way to switch off for a while and forget about everything that’s going on in life. I find that taking the time to dedicate to a good book helps me to be more alert and productive in other areas making reading a win win.