I jokingly posted a funny video about how reading is important earlier this week. However, I figured I might as well share a little bit about reading more seriously, just because it is something I am passionate about.
I’m an English major. So I’m constantly reading. But even in those parameters I try to branch out and read for pleasure too, not just to try to absorb information as quickly as possible.
This week, for example, I managed to continue reading one of my new favorite book series, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book in The Raven Cycle. But how did I manage that? Well, I’ll get down to that with a few easy tips on managing to get some reading time in.
1. Read what you like- if I was trying to make myself read a classic book, or something of a higher caliber, it never would have happened this week. I probably would have read a page or two and given up to go back to my Criminal Minds marathon. So reading an easy teen fiction fantasy book was a good choice.
2. Find a time that works and stick with it!– one of the best ways to keep reading is to get in the habit. For me it’s become a good pre-bedtime activity, helps me calm down and relax before I go to sleep better than television does. If I’m really interested in the book though, I like reading at the breakfast table while having my cereal and coffee.
3. Audiobooks– audiobooks are fantastic inventions I highly recommend. I love using them at the gym, or when cooking, or when driving. I survived my Shakespeare class last semester by listening to the plays usually while playing games on computer or phone, or even while drawing or coloring. It makes for a nice change of pace and gets that same literary joy in.
4. Every bit counts– Even a few minutes a day is a great start, especially if you’re a busy person like me. Take stock of small bits of reading too.
5. Libraries are magical places– use libraries to your advantage. Ask for recommendations from librarians, or do online searches. Seriously, go to the library. Maybe make it a weekly occurrence if you can, or biweekly, or monthly depending on your reading speed.
6. Reward yourself– Maybe a good way to do it is say you have to read twenty pages before you open your computer for the day. Maybe you want to use reading as a check on the to do list before you allow yourself to get distracted. Find methods that work for you.
7. Reward in itself– If you are starting to really enjoy reading for fun (which hopefully if you’re finding the right types of books and spending time regularly pursuing that you should!), then I recommend using books as a bit of a reward in themselves. I personally motivate myself to get homework done by saying after it’s finished I can watch an episode of TV, but lately it’s started being a reward of reading either added or instead of the screen time. And I’m finding I’m enjoying it and looking forward to getting alone time with a book. My roommate even had to hide my book yesterday because I was worried I might be tempted to ditch homework instead.
So voila, a few easy tips to get you going on improving your language skills, and writing skills, and all the other wonderful things that books can do for you.
How do you get yourself to read? What are some challenges to you personally in picking up a book? Share whatever thoughts you have! I always love to hear from readers.