How to Read More

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. 

My husband shared a helpful post about Tim Challies' 2016 Reading Challenge. I found this helpful for brainstorming categories of books to read, and think you will, too!

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 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

What motivates you to read more? What habits do you have that encourage you to do so?