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It’s been almost six months since I announced my quest to read more women authors.
It has not been going well.
In my defense, I started with a super-long book, The Tale of Genji, which took me exactly 100 days to read.
Then I sailed through — and totally loved, by the way — Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende. I don’t know why I haven’t read everything of hers. It’s like a dream. Amazing.
I wanted to read Wild next, because the movie was coming out. But I’m also trying not to buy books in this process if I can avoid it, and the library waiting list was 17 deep (and even had a waiting list for the ebook) so I started Middlemarch instead, because I happened to have a copy in my house.
And, much like Genji, it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected.
I started reading it in February and just passed the halfway point yesterday.
I don’t know why I just can’t get into this book, but I will persevere. I know it’s considered one of the best books in English ever written, so I think it will be worth it, but man, it’s been hard going.
Part of that is just time. If I only read two pages a night before I fall asleep it’s no wonder I can’t finish it.
So my goal for May is to get this book done. Here are some tips for how to read more books that I am using this month and that we can use any time when we want to read more.
How to Read More
Carry your book with you. Whether you use digital or paper books, having what you’re reading with you all the time means you’re more likely to read it through the day.
Use pockets of time. Because your book is with you, you can read it while waiting for appointments, while your kid is playing at the park, while you’re on hold with customer service, whatever. Yes it helps comprehension if you can read for longer periods at a time, but every little bit helps.
Kill your phone. The more you can stay off the Internet and read instead, the better. Yesterday I read for an hour or so while the girl played outside. I left my phone inside. If you can consciously cut back on times you would normally check email or surf Facebook, you’ll have a lot more time to read.
Schedule time for it. Read at lunch, before the kids wake up, before you go to bed. Watch less television and read instead. Read while the kids do their homework. Whatever. Make time for it and you’ll get it done.
Some people say that reading only books you like is a great way to read more, and I agree with that most of the time, but I really want to finish Middlemarch even though I haven’t been enjoying it. I’m hoping there’s something in there I’ve been missing.
Do you read? How do you make time for it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!