Whether you’re failing to get through your to be read pile or you haven’t picked up a book in ages, here are ten tips to help you squeeze more reading into your day.
When I was at university studying for a BA in English, I only had eight hours a week of seminars and lectures on my timetable. The rest of the week was free for reading.
Can you imagine that now? I literally work more hours in a day than I spent in formal learning in 2001. All that time for reading was a luxury I didn’t appreciate then but would probably kill for now.
So, if you don’t have the leisure time, waistline, energy or hangover recovery speed of a 21-year-old (these are the things a 36-year-old married woman misses the most), how can you fit more reading into your already very busy day?
Here are my ten tips for getting more reading in your life.
1. Use your commute
Commuting is effectively dead time so use it to your advantage. If you’re on the train, bus or ferry, stick a book in your bag and rattle through several chapters to and from work. If you’re driving, why not try audiobooks to get your fix? They’re great for longer journeys, too.
2. Early rising
I’m always first up in my house and love the 30 minutes or so I get on my own before the world joins me. If you have the luxury, get a few chapters read before the day starts and head off to work wearing the smug grin of reading accomplishment.
3. Late nights
Similarly, you can grab a few minutes after everyone has hit the hay. A quiet house is the perfect place to read so get a coffee and curl up for a twilight reading session. (As in after dark. Not of the vampire kind. I hate those books.)
4. Diary it
The only way I get things done is by scheduling time to do them. The same goes for reading. Stick it in your diary, making space for a half hour or so during the day, and you’re more likely to get some reading done.
5. Set a target
Give yourself a reading goal. Set a target for how many pages you want to read or a date for which you want to finish the book and you’ll get there one page at a time
6. Read with friends
Find a friend to partner you on the read and you’ll encourage each other to get to the end. You’ll also have someone to compare notes with once you’ve finished.
7. Use your lunch breaks
Getting away from your desk is important at the best of times but even more vital if you’ve got a book to finish. Set aside some time in your lunch break or set up a lunchtime book club with your colleagues to really make use of your midday break.
9. Follow a literary prize
Reading books shortlisted for literary prizes gives you both a reading list and a deadline by which to finish. You can get involved in related chat on social media and engage in loads and loads of content about the prize before the winner is announced.
10. Join a book club
The best way to read more is to join a book club. It gives you the impetus to read at least one book a month and provides inspiration for lots of other reading. You’ll also indulge in loads of book chat, which feeds your inner bookworm and fuels your reading mojo. Perfect.
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