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We recently went on vacation to Florida, and I read a whole book in less than a week. It had been a long time since I’d been able — or taken the time — to read so much so quickly, and I found that I had missed reading and wanted to keep doing it.
While it’s fun to read for leisure, there are lots of other reasons to do it, too. Most really successful people — whether writers, people in business or elsewhere — say that they read a lot, and but a lot they often mean hours a day.
Most people don’t have hours a day to read when they aren’t on vacation, but we probably all have a little time we could devote to getting into books more. Here are some things you can do to make reading more of a habit and read more books.
Read in the Evening
Try to add some reading time to the end of your day. It might be easier to add reading in the evening than reading in the morning, and it’s a pretty easy swap to put down your phone or iPad and pick up a book instead.
You might even sleep better reading on paper versus a screen right before bed, because bright screens can make it harder to sleep, suppress melatonin production and cause you to have lower quality sleep that makes you feel less rested and can actually cause major health problems.
Instead of checking Facebook or playing a game right before bed, read a few pages instead. It’s a great habit for more than one reason.
Depending on the size and weight of the book you’re reading, it’s pretty easy to add a book when you leave the house in the morning, or have a book with you when you’re out and about (try poetry, short stories or essays for something easier to read in small doses).
Then when you are waiting for an appointment or meeting to start, have some downtime at lunch or just need a quick break from the computer you can read a few pages. It’s always appropriate to take a book.
Track Your Progress
I don’t use GoodReads all the time, but it is nice to have a reading goal tracker and to be able to look back at the end of a week, month or year and see how much you’ve read.
Even if you don’t write reviews for everything (and that’s what has kept me from using it sometimes, because I feel like I should do more than a star rating for each book I read) you’ll still have a record of how much and how fast you are reading, which is fun.
So I can remember reading Perma Red in less than a week on the beach, or that it took me exactly 100 days to read The Tale of Genji. Having a concrete memory of what you’ve read is nice, and somehow encourages you to keep up the habit.
If having a book club, writing reviews on your blog or reading a book with a friend will keep you accountable to reading more, do that, too.
I’m definitely not reading as much as I did on the beach, but I’m reading more than I was before and am really enjoying it.
How do you make time for reading? I’d love to hear your thoughts.