Reading for me is like exercising–the more I do it, the more I want to do it. And likewise the less I do it, the less I desire to.
In the busyness of every day life it's easy for reading to get put on the back-burner. Lately, however, I've been in a good rhythm of reading more regularly and I attribute this to five habits.
5 Habits to Reading More
- Compiling a list of books I want to read
- Now when I finish one book, I don't lose time looking around for what to read next. (My 2016 reading list will be shared soon!) I don't necessarily choose the order I'll read which book, but have in mind what will be next. I like the freedom to continually add new titles I hear about throughout the year, and also choose based on what I'm most enjoying at the moment.
- Obtaining the book
- As important as it is to know what I want to read next, actually having the book in-hand when I'm ready to start it is an obvious necessity. Sadly, Amazon Prime doesn't exist where we live (cue the tears). However, Book Depository provides a great option for ordering books, they just won't arrive in two days so you have to think ahead.
- If you're not utilizing your library's digital renting service, you are missing out! There is a wealth of books available immediately at the click of a button. Sometimes, depending on the popularity of the book, there is a waitlist (just as there would be for it in hardcopy) and you'll be notified by email when it's your turn. (Another important reason to plan ahead.)
- Having one eBook on my phone
- Desiring to channel my inner Rory Gilmore, I always have a book on hand. I 100% prefer to actually hold a hardcopy book in my hands as opposed to using the Kindle app on my phone. However, I find I read more if I always have one digital book on my phone. At times when I'd be tempted to just check Facebook or Instagram, I'll "open" my book instead. (It's also way easier as a nursing mom to read on my phone rather than attempting to hold a book.)
- As a personal preference, I've discovered that it's usually best if my digital book is a fiction book. I love to highlight and make notes when I read, but I typically don't do so when reading fiction. As fiction books normally provide a little more action and suspense than their non-fiction counterparts, I'm more likely to want to choose reading over social media.
- Aiming for at least one chapter per day
- A simple, very attainable goal. Rather than a certain number of books I want to read in a set period of time, I like this goal because it feels more manageable. Regardless of the length of any book, I'm motivated to stick with it because "it's just one chapter." I can always make time for that.
- It's just enough to get to me open the book and often turns in to more than one chapter.
- Actually writing "read" on my to-do list
- The list-maker in me thrives with tangible tasks. When I pencil "reading" into my planner, I highlight its importance and create space for it in my day. This also greatly increases the chance that I'll choose picking up a book over turning on Netflix or getting otherwise distracted.
When I'm diligent in reading it creates a cycle where I want to be more diligent and productive in other areas of my life–taking the time to learn, be creative and grow. I want to be a learner and I think being a reader goes hand-in-hand with that. As a mom I want to model a love of reading for my daughter, to show that it's fun and enriching.