HOW are we almost in March already?? Feels like yesterday I was thinking about my New Year’s resolutions and making an outline of all the things I want to achieve this year (yes, I’m that person.) Despite being a bookaholic, one of my aims is to read MORE, so whether you’re a seasoned reader or just looking for a way to begin, here are my top tips to help your reading journey in 2021!
1. Schedule reading into your day
Let’s get straight in there with the most common excuse I’ve heard for not reading more: “I just don’t have time.” What this really translates to is, “I don’t prioritise reading.” So, first things first, make time for it. It’s as simple as that. Whether it’s first thing in the morning with your breakfast, a quick 10 minutes whilst the baby naps or a more leisurely read in the evening, find a time that suits you and stick with it to create a good reading habit. Instead of reaching for your phone to mindlessly scroll through your social media accounts for the umpteenth time of the day, reach for a book instead and clock in with some real brain food. Did you know reading for just six minutes a day reduces stress by approximately two-thirds? Now that’s another super incentive to prioritise reading.
2. Get inspired
Not sure where to start and what you want to read? Hit the library for some inspiration! It’s probably the one place on earth you can absolutely judge a book by its cover and no one will judge you! I can’t resist a gorgeous cover with a pretty title and gilded pages; even better when it’s matched with an alluring synopsis. So go ahead and pick whatever looks most interesting to you. Instagram is also a major book treasure trove and I follow plenty of bookish accounts to find new releases, reviews of golden oldies and some hidden gems. Search #bookstagram and Bob’s your uncle.
3. Set goals and track your reading progress
If you want to achieve a goal, you need to write it down. So says science. And if reading is something you’re just getting into, be realistic and keep your reading goals modest. Begin with maybe one book a month or 5 pages daily. Sites like goodreads make tracking easy, but I much prefer getting a little more creative in my journal and make myself a “bookshelf tracker” (as seen in pic – I copied this pretty book nook style from an image on google!) Each time I finish a title, I get to fill a little book in – keeps me motivated and I love the sense of fulfillment at the end of the year!
4. Stop reading when you stop enjoying
Top tip here: To read more, you need to be engaged. It has taken me years to get out of the habit of finishing whatever I’ve started, no matter how dull and boring it gets, because of some strange literary rule I enforced – what complete time waste! Reading should be a fun and enjoyable experience; something you look forward to, so as soon as you find yourself uninterested and having to slog through, STOP. Leave the book alone and move on – even if it’s a classic that everyone else raves about!
5. Try out audiobooks
Confession: I’m not a fan of audiobooks; however, a lot of people are and attribute their reading of a gazillion books in a year to this method. Apps like audible are hugely popular and are great for multitasking and if you prefer listening to something whilst carrying on with the mundane – cooking, driving etc. Pretty much every title is now available as an audio so it’s worth checking out to up your reading score!
Hope you’ve found some encouragement and ideas to get you kickstarted. Any other tips for aspiring readers you’ve found useful?