- Audiobooks are books too
Yes, they are! Book purists might disagree, but audio is just another way of consuming books. The fact is that there are times in the day where we are otherwise occupied but are able to listen to audio. Maybe when you’re commuting, or working at your computer…make use of that time! Audible has an affordable monthly subscription with a free book token each month. You could even listen to some of your favourite books reading by famous actors. Audio recordings can really bring a story to life. So don’t let book-snobs put you off - audiobooks are great!
2. Take a book with you everywhere
Life involves more waiting around that you might initially think - it just happens that we spend a lot of mindlessly looking at our phone, scrolling through Twitter or looking at Instagram. Use these moments, no matter how short, to get some reading done! Waiting for the kettle to boil? Read a page! Waiting in line at the post office or the doctors? You might finish a whole chapter!
3. Make yourself a cozy reading nook
Reading is a solitary, quiet activity. This is not always easy if you have a house full of other people. Why not get yourself a comfy armchair, a fluffy throw and a muted lamp in a cozy corner where you can read? You might not have anywhere at home, but there are quiet spots everywhere. What about a sunny bench at your local park? Or a comfy couch at your local coffee spot? Make it your regular “spot”, so you’ll know exactly where to go when you want to get some reading done.
4. Get a book subscription
Book subscription services like The Book Drop or Once Upon a Bookclub will usually send you a book a month along with some other treats. Once Upon a Bookclub is a “mystery” pick, where they provide clues on their website before. There are numerous different subscription boxes which cater to different genres, such as Historical fiction or YA novels. This a great way to look forward to reading - who doesn’t love getting a parcel in the mail? It’s also a great way to discover new authors or titles you might not have heard of.
5. Get a library card
This might seem obvious to some, but many people are still not taking advantage of their local library. Libraries are an amazing way to try out lots of books - after all, if you decide you don’t want to finish it, you can just take it back! Librarians are also super knowledgable and can recommend you books based on your tastes. Libraries often have free events such as book clubs, visiting speakers and so on. They also usually have a library of free audiobooks. If you like owning books as well, libraries often sell on older titles for very little. Libraries are often also a peaceful and relaxing place to read or study.
6. You don’t have to finish every book
Reading should not necessarily be about achieving reaching a reading goal. Reading should be enjoyable - not just about slogging through to the end. If you are reading something and you’re really not enjoying it, there is no shame in not finishing. You might return to it later, or it just might not be for you. But it doesn’t matter either way. There are so many possibilities of books to read, why would waste time reading things you don’t enjoy?
This doesn’t mean we should never persevere with a book - some books take longer to get into, but the pay-off is greater. It is true that some books may be written in a style or with language that we’re not familiar with. Therefore, occasionally persevering with a more difficult book can be really good for us to widen the range of books we like to read.
7. Follow book related accounts, authors and book reviewers on social media.
Following book themed accounts on social media will inspire you to read more. These accounts often have fun competitions and reading goals. You might even make friends with some fellow readers! Another great way to keep up with new books is to follow your favourite authors. Pre-orders really help authors to sell more books. You’ll also be able to keep up with when they are touring or speaking locally to you. So support your favourite writers! Book reviewers are also a great way to get super specific and niche recommendations. NY Times book reviewer Molly Young sends out a monthly newsletter with book recommendations. They are eclectic and varied and might inspire you to check out your local second-hand book shop as well!
8. If you’re struggling, set yourself a page / chapter goal
While you want to read for pleasure, it can still be helpful to set yourself little achievable reading goals. If you are struggling to say focused or even pick up a book, why not set yourself a certain number of pages or chapters a week? Or you could set yourself the goal of written at least 50 pages every time you pick up your book. This will help you get in the habit of reading steadily without interruptions. It might also help you to finish a book when you are struggling to read. The satisfaction of finishing a book will motivate you to want to read more!
9. Don’t let a day go by without reading
Along with getting in the habit of reading, is to read every single day - even if some days it is only a page or two. Why not read a few pages with your coffee when you first get up? Or a chapter at night before lights out? This will help you to stay engaged with the book you’re reading. The more you are invested in the story or plot, the more you will want to read. But they longer you leave it between reads, the less you will remember about the book.
10. Read with your moods
Sometimes we can go through “book deserts” where we don’t feel inspired to pick up a book, or we keep starting books and never finishing books. Sometimes this is because we are just not reading the type of books we’re in the mood for! Are you reading a book just because it was recommended to you by a friend, or maybe because it's on the best-sellers list? It’s true that we’re drawn to different books are different times. For example, in the autumn we might be drawn to more mysteries, collegiate stories, or darker fantasy fiction. In the summer, we might want a classic “beach read” - romances, humour books, essay collections…
Instead of slogging through a book that isn’t inspiring you, browse the library or your local book store for covers and titles that speak to you. Books can really set a mood!