Are you ever inspired by all the beautiful photos of books on #bookstagram? I know I am. Ever feel like there’s so many books to read but you just don’t have the time in your life to read? Yep me too. Maybe the last time you read a book is a distant memory but you really miss reading. Perhaps you’ve never been a reader, but you wish you were.
Today’s post will hopefully give you some reading tips on how to build your reading habit! There’s some cute cat photos today for an extra bonus. Enjoy! (Ginger cat: Magnus Mewington, Black Kitten: Luna Bean)
1. Find a book you’re going to love
As a book reviewer, I read a lot of books. Some of them I really enjoy, others I find a struggle to get through. A lesson I’ve learned is that when I’m not feeling like picking up my book it’s probably because I’m not enjoying it. If I have a few books in a row that I don’t enjoy, it’s a struggle for me to keep up my reading habit.
By finding a book that you’ll love, chances are you’re going to want to spend time reading that book. If the content is boring, or you’re reading a book because you feel obligated to (everyone else loved it, or someone gave it to you) motivation to keep reading will be a struggle.
Choose a book on a subject matter that interests you. Be it a celebrity you admire, a sport, or a book set in a distant land with a good dose of magic. Grab the book that catches your attention. Maybe check out some reviews on it (just watch out for spoilers!). Ask your friends for recommendations of books they think you’d like to read.
If you’re not liking a book, it’s okay to set it down and pick up another one. (I know not everyone likes doing this) I find that sometimes a book just isn’t right for me at a particular time. If I persevere with reading it through that feeling, I often don’t enjoy the book and my experience is coloured by that.
2. Switch up the format:
Maybe reading visually isn’t something that is going to work the best for you. It can take up space carrying a physical book, and isn’t always practical. When you’re busy in your day you might not have the hour (or even half an hour) to sit with a book and just read.
Using an audio book is a great way to read a book whilst doing something else. Chores, commuting and cooking are all prime audiobook times. In the digital age of today, we really have no excuse for not reading! There’s a plethora of apps that give you access to audiobooks both free and paid.
Try reading on your device. That way if you’re out and about and you have some extra time (maybe waiting for an appointment) you can whip out your phone and do some reading. It’s a great alternative to the endless social media scrolling that can suck us in so easily!
3. Identify times in your day to read
Do you have some time on your lunch break to read? That’s one of my primary reading times out of my day. I generally read better in the morning and during the day so I like to find times to read then.
Do you scroll on your phone before bed? I’m guilty of doing this too. It a habit that’s actually pretty bad for our health. The blue light emitted by our phones can disrupt the circadian rhythms that help us to sleep. So if you’re struggling to sleep, swapping the phone out for a physical book could actually be a great idea!
4. Join a book club or participate in a read-a-thon
Here’s a social reading tip. Book clubs and read-a-thons are a great way to build up your reading habit! Reading doesn’t have to be a purely introverted activity. Discussing the book you’re reading with other people is a lot of fun! You might even find your next great read this way.
Check at your local library to find out where your closest bookclub might be. If there’s no bookclub near you, why not start your own? You can invite your friends, and maybe some new people and have a great time.
If the sound of going to a physical bookclub doesn’t appeal to you – why not join one online? There’s lots of groups on Goodreads or Facebook that are dedicated to reading and discussing books together. You could even participate in a read-a-thon or book of the month via YouTube or Instagram.
Sharing what you’re reading with other people is great. It helps to make new friends and keep you accountable to your reading habit.
5. Choose to read.
If reading is a habit you want to develop you’re going to have to choose to read. There’s no way around it. Sorry. There’s always distractions, always other things we could be doing. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in being busy that we loose sight of what time we could have.
Yes, there are things that we do need to do. Work and family and the responsibilities that come with those things do take up time, and they should. But the rest of the time, what are we doing with it?
I really appreciate that Apple has built into its latest phone software update the ability to check our screen time and make informed choices as a result to have down time where apps are locked. It can be shocking to realise how much time we spend looking at our phone!
The self-imposed limits of the Apple software I think is a great step toward making sure we’re caring for ourselves. Having some down time is important. Mentally, physically and spiritually we need time away from screens to unplug.
I find reading to be something that’s really relaxing for me. It helps me unwind, and destress. It’s important to make time for activities that help us to do that.
What do you do to relax? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you liked the photo of my beautiful cat Magnus at the start of this post and picked up some useful reading tips!
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