If you're like me, you have a stack of books a mile high left unread on your bedside table. Not only that, but you KEEP ON buying more. Now, for me as a bookshop, I LOVE IT. But me as a reader, not so much. It's like I'm always catching up but never seem to actually finish a book. I've recently changed a few things and have managed to read much more, so I'm sharing with you 5 tips on how to read more books.
Join A Book Club.
I've been running the Big Comfy Book Club for about 5 years and it's one of the best things I've done. Not only does it open my eyes to different genres and authors, it's also a fantastic way to meet likeminded people. We chat about the book but always go off on a tangent. There's more of a hunger to finish the book so we can all discuss it's merits and failures (with wine) at the end of the month. I've now started an Online Book club where the discussion takes place on Facebook. If you can't find a book club local to you, then join mine!
Read An Audiobook
I love audiobooks! I used to think it was cheating as you don't physically stare at a page however, over the past year or so I've really delved into them. They are always on in my car on the commute to work. In the hour of traveling I do each day, I'm joined every time by a book. I use Audible as their library is unmatched. I can get through a book in about a week and often sit in my car even when I've already arrived home to carry on listening! Audible also offer a 30-day free trial which gets you a free book (which you can keep even if you don't carry on with them). I'd definitely recommend it, and you can sign up HERE.
Make it part of your routine
The main reason my reading decreased was time. It's an age old excuse, and it's rubbish. In the spaces between doing things like picking up children, making dinner and work, there are pockets of time, sometimes cavernous pockets! Instead of filling these with Facebook and Youtube, consciously have your book in a regular place, and sit and read. Set the in your diary. Turn off the TV and phone and simply have 'You' time. If you read for 20 minutes a day, on average, a 300 page book will be finished in 2 weeks. I have recently been getting up at 5am to purposely read, exercise and become more productive (Hello blog after 18 months!) thanks to a great book from Hal Elrod called The Miracle Morning.
Set a Target or Challenge
If you have an end in sight, you're more likely to start. If you decide that by the end of the week "I need to have read 100 pages", then the chances of getting there are MORE than if you didn't have a plan. Set a plan now. Right now, for how many books you want to read for the next month, 3 months or year. On top of that, have a look at WHAT you want to read. Ideas could include the latest Top 10 best sellers, the newest Waterstones or Foyles recommended, or go smaller and decide on 3 classics you've heard so much about. When you make plans and targets, you automatically give yourself a little more motivation. On the flip side of this though, don't be disheartened if you don't hit the target. The point is you've put in the effort to read more, and you are!
Read more than one book at a time
It can be daunting to tackle more than one book at a time, but I'd really recommend it. Sometimes it's a case of just not being in the mood for the book you have on the go right now. So switch it up and read 2 totally different genres, I also have different books on different mediums and in different areas of the house. The book on my bedside table is often different to the lounge. You can read whichever you are in the mood for the most.
One final thought. Embrace the DNF! DNF stands for Did Not Finish. If you're really not feeling the book you're reading, then stop and start another. There is no shame or failure in it and it will increase your reading, your happiness and your space on the shelf. Be sure to give the book away so it doesn't sit there staring at you!
I hope these tips help you to read more books in your life. If you know of someone stuck in a reading rut, share this with them!
Don't forget you can join my online book club right HERE.