In the past few years, reading has come out of the shadows and more and more people have began speaking openly about the books they read. However, there are a lot of people that want to read but don’t have the time for it, and more still that cannot fathom how there are those of us that read 50+ books in a year.
So, here’s my gift to you for how you can add more reading into your regular routine.
1. Make Time For Reading
We make time for so many things in our schedule, so why not do the same for reading?
Pick a book over Netflix. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, scroll through a book! Set aside a certain amount of time a few days a week to read. Set a daily goal to read x amount of chapters.
For me, I read about an hour before bed each night (if my schedule allows) and when I wake up early or can’t sleep, I read instead of getting on social media. On weekends, I usually wake up around 7 a.m. and I read until 9 or 10 a.m. and then I’ll read about 2-3 hours in the evening.
*This is not to say that what works for me will work for you. Find something that works for your routine.*
Integrate Reading Into Your Work Schedule
Pick a couple of books each month that serve as professional development. Read them for 15-30 minutes a day or during lunch and on slower days. Reading can and should be a regular part of your work schedule. Through reading books, I’m able to learn better habits of productivity, being a better coworker, and new procedures to try at work.
2. Audiobooks Are Your Friend
Sometimes, audiobooks get a bad reputation. So, here’s a few things I’ve learned from listening to audiobooks:
When you’re listening to audiobooks, your brain doesn’t have to simultaneously decode the works, fill in nuance, and decipher tone. This frees up space for your brain to do more work in setting the scene. There’s no need to reread lines to try to figure out tone.
Audiobooks take out the guesswork with pronunciation. For me, personally, I make it a point to read books by people of different cultures. That being said, I don’t want to mispronounce a name, even if it’s in my head.
Audiobooks allow you to be more emotionally in tune with the book. You hear the emotion in their voice, you hear the inflections and change of tone throughout the audiobook, and there are strategic pauses that have a completely different effect than when you’re reading.
Audiobooks are my secret sauce for reading long books that involve lots of detail. [See: Black Leopard Red Wolf] Sometimes, there’s a book I might really want to read, but don’t have the time to dedicate to a 500+ pager. If I can’t finish a book within a week, it makes me feel like I’m forcing myself to read it and I end up enjoying it a lot less. That’s where audiobooks come in!
Lastly, audiobooks allow me to “read” while I’m working! I’m able to listen to audiobooks without zoning out (when I’m working with graphics or doing something that doesn’t involve writing or typing), so audiobooks help me get through more books on my tbr and help me build up my number of books read.
My favorite method of listening to audiobooks is Libby! Through this app, you can use your library card (or sign up for one if you don’t have one) and check out up to 10 ebooks and/or audiobooks at a time. It’s completely FREE and very easy to use.
3. Join a Book Club
Find a local or online book club to join! This is a good way to read books outside of your norm and to have fun discussions about books as well! Here are some of my favorite online book clubs:
- Well-Read Black Girl – WRBG is both and online and IRL book club that has chapters across the nation. Their selections focus on empowering the narratives of Black women.
- The Feminist Book Club – This book club is all about intersectional feminism. They feature books by women from different backgrounds and lifestyles and they have a subscription box (see below). But, you can just join the virtual book club.
- Goodreads hosts a LOT of book clubs. You can find a book club that fits your interests.
4. Subscribe to a Book Box!
The subscription box craze has reached every corner of your universe, I’m sure. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are subscription boxes for reading!
Here are some of my favorite subscription book boxes:
- Book of the Month – This subscription box is all about books! For $14.99, you can choose one of the top new releases of the month (you can also add additional picks to your box at a discount each month too).
- The Literacy Lounge – This subscription box was founded locally by a couple in Oklahoma City! Their box highlights black literature and includes additional items that stimulate relaxation.
- The Feminist Book Club Box – Yes, the book club also has a box! They feature items from dope female creators along with your books.
5. Challenge Yourself
Make a goal per month or per year for how many books you want to read! If it’s your first time, it’s better to start with a low goal (like 1 book a month) and see where you end up. Then, you have a better idea of how much to increase or decrease that number to stretch yourself the next year.
Goodreads has a built in Reading Challenge system that helps you easily keep track of what you’ve read and what you want to read next. You can follow me on Goodreads to see my progress or read my mini reviews.
So, tell me: What are you going to do to read more books?