With only a week left into the first month of 2018, it's time to check how well we've been doing with our New Year's resolutions. If your goal is to become a better communicator then chances are you're also looking for ways to incorporate more reading into your life.
We all agree that reading is fundamental, but no one really has time to read. Right? Well, we beg to differ. With a few adjustments to your daily routine, you can easily finish more books and reap all the benefits that reading has to offer. Here are some tips to get over your reading stumbling blocks:
1. Set a number of books you want to read.
If you attach a number to your goal of becoming a regular reader, the likelihood of accomplishing this resolution becomes bigger. For many people, counting down the number of books to read gives them a great sense of accomplishment. A great site and app for this is Goodreads
. You can pledge how many books you want to read in a year and each time you log in, you get to see whether you're on-track or lagging behind your goal.
2. Always carry a book with you.
Carry a book with you at all times, and you'll be surprised at how many pages you can easily devour while waiting at the doctor's office, having a pedicure, or sitting through Monday traffic.
If your favorite books tend to be physically heavier, consider investing in an e-reader. Another great alternative is to download an e-reader app into your phone so that you're never without anything to read.
3. Read books you actually like.
Ulysses by James Joyce is a behemoth that many consider to be the hallmark of English literature...but do you really want to read it? Do you have the time and energy for it?
Reading should be pleasurable. It should be fun and rewarding. Your reading list should be filled with titles that you're genuinely interested in, not titles that you think other people will be impressed with.
If you like Historical Fiction featuring contortionist vampires, don't hold yourself back and read, read, read!
4. Don't shy away from other genres.
Historical contortionist vampire books may be your cup of tea, but realize that there are so many other genres you might enjoy. Sampling a wider variety of books can help stimulate your appetite for reading.
Try browsing unfamiliar shelves at your local bookstore or library, and pick something that intrigues you. It may be the cover, the title, or the author's name. Just try something new every now and then so you don't get genre fatigue.
5. Don't be afraid to put a book down.
Sometimes a plot gets too convoluted, or the story gets too heavy that it's starting to bring down your mood. Other times, you simply can't move forward with the book you're reading. It's okay not to finish.
Put it back on the shelf. Maybe you'll get back to it later, maybe not. The important thing is to not make reading a chore. Next book, please!
6. Ration your book pages.
You might think that in order to read more one actually has to spend several hours in a day and finish a book as quickly as possible. Some readers, on the other hand, suggest limiting yourself to twenty pages a day. This way, your eyes don't get strained and you can easily accomplish this during your lunch break or morning commute. It also gives you something to look forward to every day.
Think of it as savoring a piece of Belgian chocolate after every meal, as opposed to gobbling up an entire chocolate bar in one sitting.
7. Read more than one book at once.
Now here's another suggestion to prevent reading fatigue. Try reading two very different books at once. Maybe one fiction and one non-fiction book? How about one psychological thriller and one cheerful celebrity memoir?
The trick is to have polar opposites to "cleanse your palate" when one book is starting to feel too heavy.
8. Join a book club.
Becoming part of a book club will make you more accountable in terms of your reading goals. If you want to be able to take part in the discussions, you'll make sure you've read the book, right?
You'll also want to speed up with your reading because you'll get a lot of book recommendations from your fellow bookworms, for sure.
9. Try audiobooks
If you drive regularly, or if you juggle a lot of tasks that require you to constantly use your hands then audiobooks will be your new best friend! Talented audiobook narrators allow you to experience stories in a more immersive way, even when you're on the freeway.
10. Create a reading nook.
To make reading something to really look forward to, clear a corner of your house and designate it as your reading nook. Preferably, it shouldn't be located in high-traffic areas of your house where family members constantly pass by and disturb you. It can be something as simple as a comfy chair by a window.
Whatever it is, make sure it's in a well-lit area and stocked with the essentials: a desk or side table, a mug with your beverage of choice, a note pad to jot down your favorite quotes, and bookmarks.
11. Impose a "No-Screen" Time.
The number one thing that robs us of precious reading time may not necessarily be our work or family responsibilities. More often than not, it's our compulsion to loiter on the Internet! That's right. Cute kittens on YouTube are what's keeping you away from books.
Before you settle into your reading nook, put away your gadgets in another part of the house. If you don't have a reading nook (yet), announce to your family and friends that you'll be adopting a "no-screen" time in your daily schedule. It can be in the morning as you tuck into breakfast, or in the evening just before bed. This means you won't be online on social media at certain times of the day, and will be reading instead. You might get some opposition in the beginning, but if you do it regularly your loved ones will eventually adjust to your schedule.
Do you have your own strategies for making reading a daily habit? Let us know!
Reading regularly is step one, reading effectively is step two. If you want to improve your reading comprehension or want to turn a reluctant reader into a bibliophile, get in touch with us. Elite has reading and writing programs for learners of all ages.