September 1, 2016

Five Things You Can Do to Read More Books

I was that kid who rushed to finish homework so she could read through an entire book series from the school library. I was that kid who loved when those Scholastic book fair pamphlets (anyone remember those?) were sent home in her take-home folder, so she could excitedly circle all the books that she hoped her mom would order her. I was that kid who brought books to summer camp. 

Clearly, I've always loved reading, but as I've gotten older, it's been harder for me to find the time to just relax with a good book. At the end of a long day of class, work, and schoolwork, all I really want to do much of the time is mindlessly scroll through Pinterest or binge watch Grey's Anatomy. I really want to kick this habit because whenever I do get around to reading, I remember how much I love it. So, I came up with a few tips to make keeping up with reading a little easier/more manageable. Update: check out what I read in 2016 here!

+ Carry a book with you.

You know those few extra minutes right before class starts? That five minutes that you spend on your phone, frantically texting to avoid, I don't know, actually talking to the person sitting next to you? Yeah, those five minutes. You could also be spending them reading. Five minutes before every class, if classes meet eight to ten times a week, adds up to 40-60 minutes of reading.

+ Set aside time specifically for reading and nothing else.

I recommend setting aside time in the evening for reading. Give yourself an hour or however long you need to get ready for bed and power down all your electronics. Put your laptop to sleep, keep your TV remote far away, put your phone on "do not disturb," and read for an hour (or longer, if you want!). Not only are you getting in reading time, but you're also giving your eyes and mind a break from a bright screen and the black hole that is social media right before you try to fall asleep for the night.  

+ Browse a bookstore.

I personally love wandering through bookstores in search of new reads. I can spend, and have spent, an hour or more walking the aisles and reading the back or inside covers of novels that look interesting. I've found some of the best books I've read by chance. Even if you don't buy any books, you'll surely stumble on a few that pique your interest and that you can add to a list for later. And that new book smell is totally literary and inspiring. 

+ Set a reading goal.

You don't have to set any huge goals. If reading one book a week with your schedule is unrealistic, don't make that your goal! Maybe a chapter every night, or a certain number of pages every week— whatever works.  

+ Take advantage of your school's library.

Free books. Hundreds, probably thousands, of free books. Ok, well, technically your tuition dollars make them free, but still. You're already paying for this resource, so why not take advantage?

What do you do to keep yourself reading?

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