Many of us say we wish we had more time in our lives to read, but how many of us actually make the time? I always set an annual reading goal (this year it’s 200 books), but the main reason it works for me is that it motivates me to set aside time for something I already love.
But what if you’re trying to find more time to read and it’s not the #1 thing you’d do if you had two minutes of free time (as it is for me)?
Here are ten simple strategies that will help make you a more avid reader.
Always Be on the Lookout for New Books
The desire to read is the biggest thing that will get you to actually do it, and that desire is built upon there being a book that you want to inhale. Keep a list of great books your friends or family recommend – either on paper, or online – so that you always have a good book on hand that you’d like to borrow or buy.
Ebooks (whether on an e-reader or just a PDF file on your computer or phone) are a great way to sample ideas without committing to 250 pages of them. Typically shorter, they are a great way to get new information and learn more, without spending too many hours doing so. See a great list of free ebooks at ereadergirl.com.
Don’t eschew long books because they are, well, long. Steve Jobs is manageable when you break it into pieces. So is Gone with the Wind. Especially if it’s a book you’re dying to read, don’t turn your nose up at it just because it’s longer than you’d like. Dive in, instead.
Don’t just think of what you normally read – think of what you could be reading. I’m a travel memoir girl at heart, and sometimes have trouble remembering how freeing novels can be. What about you?
Have Books Around
The best way to ensure you read more is to have more books around at your disposal. If you don’t have glorious bookshelves, stacks are A-OK.
Read Before Bed
The easiest time to read is the time we most associate with reading — before you nod off. Although you may not be able to get a ton of reading in (my husband is an expert at one whole page pre-sleep), you can get started.
I don’t know too many people who haven’t yet tried digital reading, and for good reason. It’s easy, lightweight, and fun. Get the newest bestseller at any time of day or night – in your hands. I love the kindle. For $119, it’s worth every penny.
When you think you can’t take any more time out of your life to read a book, think again. By listening to audiobooks you actually can read more — while doing something else. Clean, exercise, garden, or travel all while “reading”.
Go Far and Wide
Reading is all about going beyond the boundaries of your normal life, so try to push the limit as much as possible when it comes to what you read. To feel better about your reading voyeurism, hit garage sales or mine amazon.com for $.99 books. It’ll encourage you to try new things, without regret.
Make the Time
The best way to read more is to make the time to do so. If you can’t set aside 30 minutes a day like my (semi-retired) mom can, try setting aside 10 during your commute. Something is always better than nothing.
What do you do to read more in your daily life?