I think almost every human I have ever met has made the statement - 'I wish I read more'.
I was a complete bookworm as a child. I don't remember a time when I didn't have a book on the go. I couldn't sleep unless I read first. I would spend hours nestled in a corner somewhere, absorbed in a story. I remember the thrill of visiting a book shop. That overwhelming impatience of wanting to return home so I could start my shiny new book that I was clutching tightly. Reading was my childhood.
I have no doubt that these early years of reading have benefited me immensely. It has made my own writing journey that bit easier and shaped the person I have become. I am so pleased that I have returned to reading over the last couple of years. Today, I wanted to share my tips on how to almost effortlessly bring more reading into your life -
1. Read what YOU want to read
This is probably my most important tip. Do not, under any circumstances, fill your bookshelves with anything other than books that you actually enjoy reading. It is tempting to have those typically aesthetic bookshelves that are packed with impressive titles. Those books that are classed as 'intellectual' or 'must-reads'. The thing is, the only books on your shelves that bring value are the ones that you will actually read. I'm all for pushing your boundaries and maybe trying something new now and again. Its just important to remember that there is no shame in deciding a book isn't for you. I've done this on multiple occasions (ahem numerous abandoned Dickens books). Curate a book collection that brings you joy and you will find yourself reaching for these books more and more.
2. Find your format
There are so many ways to enjoy books these days. Perhaps your a traditionalist and enjoy reading a physical book with that cosy crinkle of paper as you turn the pages. Ebooks are another great option. These can be a simpler way of storing books, which is especially useful if you are often on the move. Audible books seem to have massively increased in popularity in recent years. They provide a fantastic way to fit reading into our busy lives as they can be listened too pretty much anywhere. Use one or a combination of these formats to shoehorn reading in at every opportunity.
3. Mix is up
Now I am older, I've found that I particularly enjoy non-fiction. I adore learning, so books filled with theory on creating habits, tips on organising your life and living sustainably are my go to. I still mix these with a story or two, which I save for when I really feel the need to escape. I find mixing up genres keeps me engaged so this is another element to consider. No one says you just need to read one book at a time either. Riffle through as many as you want and enjoy every moment.
4. Budget books
One of the potential obstacles to reading is the unwillingness or inability to spend lots of money buying new books regularly. They are certainly a cost in my life! However, there are much cheaper ways of gathering up some must-read titles. Libraries seem to be often forgotten these days, but these are a fantastic way to borrow multiple books completely free. Charity shops and online second hand retailers are often stuffed full of books, as people tend to donate titles once they have read them. One of my favourite ways to get new books is to borrow from friends. These have the added bonus of often coming with thoughtful recommendations from someone you are likely to trust!
5. Fit it around your existing habits
It is well understood that if you want to build new habits, the best way to achieve this is to fit them around existing daily routines. This will look different for everyone. Perhaps you can fit some reading in on your daily commute, listen to an audio book whilst cooking or use it as a relaxing way to wind down before sleeping. Once its built in, you will find reading is fully engrained in your life.
I use all these techniques and have gone from barely finishing one book a month to effortlessly consuming a minimum of 3 different titles. Good luck with your new world explorations and comment below with your book recommendations, I'd love to hear them!