Whether you’re new to reading or if you’re already a book worm and are just looking to increase your literary intake, you need to ask yourself some questions: What is preventing me from reading more?
First, I'd like to dispel some myths that you probably believe:
Myth #1: “I don’t have time to read.”
This is false and is no excuse for lack of reading. My ultimate piece of advice for this struggle is:
MAKE the time to read! Don’t just expect it to happen because you it want to- schedule time to read and make a commitment to yourself to make it happen. You can even set rewards for yourself, like seeing that movie you wanted to see, or buying that new expensive book instead of waiting for the library, etc. Positive reinforcement if a great way to form habits.
-If you're struggling to find the time to read, I recommend that you try to read before bed (and after waking up in the morning once you get the hang of it). I used to stay up way too late into the night on my computer, making me tired and groggy the next morning, which is no way to live. So finally I had enough and decided that I would cut myself off from the computer and not use it past 10:00 at night. But after 10:00, I would lay awake in bed, my mind still racing from the internet, and the bright screen still stimulating my eyes, a while after I’d stopped looking at it. It took me far too long to finally fall asleep, and it felt like my plan would never work. The next night, I got off the computer at 10:00 and got into bed. I still didn’t feel tired at all, so I picked up the book that had been sitting near my night stand for months and decided to give it a try.
I ended up loving the story, and in no time, the bed was warmed up, my body was relaxed, and I was starting to feel sleepy. I had just read myself to sleep, and the best part was that all I had to do was lay down and turn off the light, I didn’t have to get up and get ready for bed because I already had. It was clear that this was the best way for me to read.
Then the next morning, I saw my book on my night stand and was interested in what happened next in the story. To my surprise, it works both ways! You can read to relax yourself at night, and read to wake up your brain in the morning. Reading woke me up quickly and more effectively than an just my alarm clock jolting me awake. The book actually got rid of the sleepiness and cleared the fog in my brain.
And that’s my reading success story. If I have the time to read, then so do you!
Myth #2: “There’s nothing that I want to read.”
First of all, yes there is.
There are plenty of websites out there to help you with this problem. GoodReads is an excellent example.
-Also, when you're out hunting for a new book in the bookstore or library, read not only the synopsis of the book, but also start reading the book as well. Sometimes, a book sounds good from the summary, but once you start reading you might find that the author's writing isn't to your liking, or maybe it just isn't what you're looking for after all.
-If you find a promising book online, on GoodReads for example, and you don't have a kindle, I've heard that you can download the kindle app on your iPad and you can download the first chapter for free on to the app to see if you like it.
- Book Stacks:
A "Book Stack"is what I like to call the stack of books that most readers have of the books that they want to read- usually in order. I have one myself, and in fact, I highly suggest that every reader who does not have a book stack should make one.
Some people who are trying to read more might already have a stack of books that they want to read. In most cases, I bet that the stack is just sitting in the corner or on a shelf of a book case, being ignored.
-First of all, go through your stack and make sure you WANT to read every single book that is there- it's going to be hard to motivate yourself with books you don’t want to read. If the book doesn’t make you excited or spark your interest in some way, then don’t read it. You don't have to cross it off your list forever, just until you get into the habit of reading regularly again. It won’t be hard to find a better book you actually WILL want to read to kick off your reading frenzy.
-After you’ve found a good amount of books that you’re just dying to read, PUT THAT STACK WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT! If it’s tucked away and out of sight, bring it out and put it someplace you can’t ignore- or next to the place you’ll be doing the majority of your reading- like next to your bed, so it’s the first thing you see when you get up and within convenient reach.
With a book stack of interesting books, you’ll want to finish your current book way more when you see your stack of enticing books just waiting to be read by you. You’ll be more motivated to read AND finish your books faster this way.
-Now that you have a book stack, don’t let that pile shrink! As soon as you take one from the top, find another to place at the bottom. And on that note: don’t be afraid to move the books up and down the pecking order! This will help ensure that you are motivated to read the next book, and can help you weed out ones you thought you were excited about but actually aren’t anymore.
- Other tips:
-Always carry a book with you everywhere. Don't leave the house with out a book- make room in your purse or bag, or bring it in the car with out so if you have to make an unplanned stop you'll have it easily accessible.
-Read things besides books- such as the newspaper, articles online or in a magazine, and take the time to read the text on menus and pamphlets. This will help you get used to reading regularly- and it's important to read more than just books. The internet has made our attention spans shorter, so it will be good to challenge yourself to read long articles you might be intimidated by, or go out of your way to watch foreign films so you'll have to read the subtitles.
-Set goals for yourself: depending on your reading speed, figure out the amount of time it might take you to finish a book if you read ___ amount every day. Also consider how big the book is and the amount of time you want to devote to reading it. Plan to finish it this week, or try to read at least one book a month, and then set your goal. Then, you can adjust your future goals accordingly. You can use positive reinforcement here as well.
-Think about WHY you want to read more. Just having a reason alone can motivate you to read far more than you have otherwise.
-Lastly, consider the fact that maybe you’re having trouble reading because you’re too busy giving your attention to other things, like your phone and your computer. Shut the screen you're reading this on and pick up a book instead!
Thank you for reading~