Wednesday, 16 January 2019

How To Read More


Read more is probably one of my most frequently set monthly goals. Because I love reading, always have, and I just don’t do it enough. It’s a story I’ve told time and time again. Reading was my passion, two English degrees killed that passion - don’t study what you love kids! - and, in the four years (!) since I graduated, I’ve desperately tried to claw it back, but try as I might I just couldn’t seem to get in the right mindset to read more and incorporate reading into my everyday life. For something that used to be completely effortless for me, it’s been really hard work. But finally, FINALLY, I’ve cracked it and am reading more than I have in years. Here’s how: 

Accountability

Having a book club with my best friend has been amazingly helpful to get both of us back into reading. It works really well as we love the same kinds of books - trashy crime thrillers mainly - and have a soft spot for pretty books. We also don’t trust people who say they don’t read and both of us organised our bookshelves by colour, something that is aesthetically pleasing, outrageously statisfying and completely useless! Anyway, having that accountability to another person is a great motivator to get reading. Plus spending an hour or two talking about books over hot chocolate and millionaire’s shortbread is a delightful use of time. It’s the best! 

Consciously choose to do it, and then do it

Firstly, I must apologies for that particularly wanky phrasing, I couldn’t think of a better way of framing it. Let me explain, I was listening to The High Low, my fave podcast, when Pandora Sykes was asked how she read so much and her response was brilliant. She basically said that people have the attention span to carry out whatever task they need to do, including reading, and that it just comes down to being aware of your distractions - phones,  music, social media etc -  so you can minimise them. I’m notorious for trying to read and listen to music at the same time and sometimes I can concentrate on what I’m reading, but more often than not I can’t. I’m also really terrible for taking out my kindle and then playing on my phone. It’s so easy to get distracted. So when I say choose to read I mean getting rid of all distractions - phone, music, food, whatever - so I can focus entirely on my book. It’s infuriating that it works but it does. 

Make time

I managed to read 22 books in the second half of last year purely by reading on my commute. Instead of spending my bus journey pointlessly scrolling through Instagram, I’d get a book out instead. Also when filling my hot water bottle. That’s an oddly specific time that’s probably not applicable to everyone. I really feel the cold, guys! But if you, like me, are a cross between a young grandma and a lizard and take a hot water bottle to bed with you too, then this is a great time to read. It takes roughly 10 minutes for me to fill and boil the kettle twice so my hot water bottle gets full. You can do a lot of reading in 10 minutes. Just sayin’. I think the most important thing to remember is that there are definitely pockets of dead time that aren’t being used effectively, you just need to find them. Reading before bed is also a great shout, for loads of reasons, it helps you sleep, it’s relaxing, and, my personal favourite, it’s cosy af!

Audiobooks

Personally, I prefer reading to audiobooks. However, that’s not to say I don’t love an audiobook every now and then. Because I do. I think they’re a great way to get through a lot of books in a short space of time. They’re basically a podcast but longer! They’re also great if you’re on a particularly busy tube, feeling lazy and/or reading more than one book at a time, which is how I tend to use them. They’re also good for when I’m at work and not really in the mood for either music or podcasts. Side note: I’m currently listening to Jog On by Bella Mackie, it’s excellent! and she has such a soothing voice. 

Hopefully these will help you read more if you’re struggling. Let me know if you have any book recommendations! Xxx



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