Growing up, I almost always had a book in my hand. Whether it was reading a Disney book before bed when I was little, or having my head stuck in my first novel during primary school, I always loved reading. Sometimes I wish I could just forget about life’s reality and read all day, but that’s one of the greatest things about reading; you can pick up on your adventure right where you left off! Right after the fact that you have an adventure right in your hands that you can experience anywhere!
Ever since finishing up my schooling, I have been determined to read more for my own enjoyment, which I’ve been successfully able to do, particularly in the last two years.
The Benefits of a Great Book
I find that reading is a great distraction for when I need to get away from the stresses of my own life, and that I feel much more content and happy when I get a chance to read. Not to mention reading right before bed always helps me to sleep better.
So I thought I would compile a list of the best ways you can read more. (Of course different ways work for different people, but this is generally what I find works for me)
Set yourself a goal
Whether it’s how many books you want to read in a year, or how many pages you want to read in a specific time, I find setting myself a goal motivates me to read more frequently and feel content by completing a mini goal. A great website I use to track my books is Goodreads, which allows you to set a goal for the year, as well as track the pages/books you’ve read. Also give yourself regular breaks while reading. Readjusting your eyes and doing another activity for a while will allow you to feel more refreshed and make it easier to complete your goal. I like to read a certain number of pages, then take a break for a while to complete other tasks. By doing this multiple times a day, you will find you’ve read much more than you think.
Just remember to not let your goal keep you from enjoying your book!
Don’t force yourself
I once read somewhere a while ago to not push yourself to read when you don’t feel like it. If you’re not in the mood to read then you won’t be paying attention to what’s on the page. It’s obvious, but you will enjoy the book so much more if you’re actually interested in what you’re reading, plus you will find you will finish it at a much faster pace.
The same thing applies to what the book is. We’ve all head of not judging a book by it’s cover, which I think is so true and works in both ways, but if you’re not enjoying the book and have no interest in continuing it then don’t force yourself to read it, because this is going to ruin the enjoyment of reading. I will admit that I have done this myself in the past, and I think my OCD is to blame for this of having to finish what I’ve started.
This also goes for if you tired. The same with any activity, you will have a harder time concentrating if you need sleep.
You should be picking up a book because you need to know what happens next; read because you want to, not because you have to.
I watch people on the trains and wonder how they can read with headphones in?! I assume they’re blocking out the sound of other people, and each to their own, but I cannot read while listening to my own music. Although, I do struggle to take in what I’m reading when people are talking loudly in the seat in front of me.
Don’t try to read in an environment where you know you’ll get distracted, this will just make it harder for you to comprehend what’s happening in the book. I’m usually okay if my parents have their own music or TV show playing in the background, but if it’s something I’m interested in, or people speaking loudly, I know I can’t concentrate.
However, over time you will get better at blocking the world around you out and just focusing on your book. I try to read anywhere I have long periods of time, whether that’s on the train, or on long drives with my family.
Create a cozy environment
Probably the second best part of reading. There’s nothing nicer than sitting inside on a cold, raining day in front of the fire with a good book, or the complete opposite; sitting outside on a warm day with the sound of birds. When I’m ready to sit down and get a good chunk of my book read, I always have to set up a cozy environment. For example, if I’m going to read before bed I’ll get into a comfy pair of PJ’s, and turn on my lamp and fairy lights around my bed frame. I then light a few candles, (maybe have a mug of hot chocolate with some marshmallows if I feel like it) get under my doona, and settle in for an hour or two and get lost in my book.
What ever way you feel most relaxed, is the best place to open up a book.
Below is my cozy sanctuary I love to just chill out in before going to sleep.
Whether you want to read more, or you just want some new reading techniques, I hope you found these tips helpful 🙂
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes about reading.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one”