Quite an ironic post from me considering I’m behind on my (albeit quite ambitious) Goodreads challenge for the year, but I’ve been asked for some advice on how to read more and it feels like the perfect time to get some tips together.
Autumn evenings are made for cosying up with a book, but it can still be a challenge to get through your reading list when there’s so many distractions! I totally get it, I love reading and I feel at peace when I’m working my way through a book, but with TV, TikTok and having the attention span of a toddler, I often go weeks without even picking up a book! Here’s a few ways I combat it…
Setting Reading Goals
I already mentioned Goodreads, the App is a great way to track your reading list, organise books by ‘shelves’ and find more reads to add to your pile. You can follow people (not just friends, but authors and bloggers too!) and find recommendations based on other books you’ve read.
I use it a lot to track my reading challenges; every year I set myself a target to read 30 books, but this year I upped it to 50. Not sure what I was thinking but we move.
Once I finish a book, I add it to my yearly shelf (ie. 2020, 2021 etc.) and mark it as read so I know how far along I am with my goal. It definitely adds a fun, competitive element to reading that I love!
Share What You’re Reading
I love, love, love seeing what books people are reading! Instagram, Twitter and obvs Goodreads are a great way to share what you’re reading – sometimes I’ll just post a picture of the cover of whatever I’m reading at the time, or upload a list of the books I’ve got on my ‘TBR’ pile or just post a screenshot of the books I’ve read this year. It’s so motivating to have conversations around what I’m loving, and I always come away with a bunch of recommendations of other books and authors I might like too.
Take Away The Stigma
If you’re putting off reading because you can only find the time to listen to Audiobooks or you can’t get behind the classics and instead like trashy physiological thrillers (or hell, even a bit of smutty fiction) that is totally fine. I don’t believe in gate-keeping when it comes to reading, as long as you’re getting enjoyment from it, that is enough. Think of it as time away from a screen, a way of taking time for yourself – be selfish when it comes to your reading time!
Don’t Feel Bad About Giving Up
I get asked about this a lot, and I do think it’s totally okay to patch a book if you’re not enjoying it! I don’t often give up on books, but recently I put down two in a row – one because the subject matter was a bit close to home, and another because I just wasn’t vibing with it. I think if you’re not enjoying a book and it’s actively stopping you from reading (either because you’re bored or just putting off reading it for another reason) then you may as well move on. You can always come back to the book if you feel like it later, I do this sometimes!
Get In The Habit Of Reading
I often set myself daily goals – hit 10k steps, go for a swim, read a chapter of my book. I find adding reading challenges to the list makes reading become an easy habit; something I automatically do each day. Rather than spend the last hour in bed before I go to sleep on TikTok, I make sure I read a chapter of my book. Often I read much more than just a chapter, and it’s an easy, mindful way to switch off before I snooze.
Find a way to add reading in to your everyday routine, whether it be first thing in the morning while you drink your tea, on the morning commute or on the sofa after dinner. You’ll feel a million times better for it!
Reading should be fun, a bit of escapism from the everyday. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t read as much as you should – once you take the pressure off, it’s a million times more fun.
What are your tips for reading more?