here are many reasons why you would want to delve into the world of reading. Perhaps you’re a bookworm who fell out of the practice and want to be as devoted to books as your used to be. Perhaps books were never your thing, but you want to give them a try -- after all, don’t they make you smarter or something? And sometimes we have the readings we have to do -- to get you ahead in your education, career, or other self-interests.

Reading does take more effort to get into than for example video games and tv shows. It requires focus and time. But if you pick the right book and approach it the right way, the book will carry you away and you’ll forget all about it.

Finding the Time

Time for reading is the biggest obstacle. It’s difficult to find the time of day to sit down and pull out a book. What about those deadlines coming up? And you could be hanging out with friends right now, or eating, sleeping, or doing something fun. Part of the trick to reading more is finding enjoyment in reading, but we’ll get to that later. The current issue stands of how to find the time. Luckily you have more unutilized time than you might think.

Make a Habit

Perhaps your best bet for reading more is designating time for it in your everyday schedule. This is most effective when the goal doesn’t go overboard. Keep to the small goals that are realistic to you, and don’t intimidate or stress you out. Every morning when you wake up, give yourself half an hour to read as you sip your tea. Or -- the approach I prefer -- make the goal in page count. Twenty pages a day is feasible and will get you finishing several books in just a couple months.

The Awkward Times In-Between

There are many moments that you could be better utilizing. Have you noticed how much waiting we do every day? The wait for the bus, for a friend to meet up, for the water on your stove to boil, for a class or meeting to begin. You could spend this time on your phone, or listening to music and daze out. Or you could read. It doesn’t matter if you can only catch a page or two. This time is now being put towards something proactive, and the waiting suddenly doesn’t seem as long.

an adult man carrying a book with him on his way to work
Take your book with you, to work, school, wherever! And catch a few pages when you have the spare time.

Should You Really Be Spending Your Time On That?

If you want to be doing even more reading, you can analyze your daily schedule and decide if it’s as effective as it can be. Do you need that much time for all the things you do, or can your reading time overtake some of it? This applies most to your tv watching and phone browsing. For many Americans, we spend too much time stuck to our screens. Cut back and dedicate that time instead to reading.

Books Travel

Vacation is all about free time, which means more opportunity for some quality reading time. Bring a book or two along on your travels, so you have something to read on the plane, train, bus, or whatever mode of transportation you take that doesn’t involve you as the driver. If you are a driver however and want to keep the reading streak going, you can download your book on an app such as Audible, and the book will be read to you. It’s also nice to have a book to crack open once you’ve reached your relaxing destination, whether that’s on a beach, or in a cozy mountain house.

Reading is Fun

If reading is really rubbing you the wrong way, and no matter how many pages you flip, you just can’t get into it, the problem isn’t you. It’s the book you’ve chosen. Reading is best when you enjoy it, and the key to finding that enjoyment is picking up the right book. And even once you’ve found your genre, you may hit a dud that makes reading a living hell. What to do then?

What’s Your Genre?

There are millions of books out there, which is a generous pool to choose from. Don’t let this overwhelm you -- this means the book for you is out there. If you have no idea where to begin, take a minute to think about yourself. What are your interests? Do you like a good story, or do you want to learn something? Deciding between fiction and nonfiction is your first step. Of course you may enjoy both, which just means more choices for you.

Genre is the clue as to whether you’ll enjoy a book’s contents. For someone still discovering their taste in books, genres are helpful to letting you know what to expect. If you enjoy movies and tv, it might help to think about the genre of film you enjoy. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance. Documentaries would translate to biographies, essays, or memoirs. What genre is calling out to you?

You may also take a great interest in books about your hobbies and profession. As you become more well read, you’ll find yourself developing a more defined taste, and you may begin to branch out of your comfort zone of genre. There’s the sign that you’ve established a preference, which will make reading a hundred times more fun.

In This Game, Quitting is Winning

The following has happened to every reader: you open up a book that you’re sure you’ll enjoy, but as the pages go by, something is lacking. It could be how it’s written, the plot is too simple or complicated, or you can’t get over that hint of misoginism wafting through. When you’ve gotten far enough into the book where picking it up fills you will heavy dread, don’t pick it up anymore. It’s ok to quit a book halfway through. If you quit it now, you have more time to read something you actually enjoy.

Oh the Places You’ll Go

Reading doesn’t take place just in your bedroom. If the sun is shining and you need some fresh air, pack up your book and some snacks and go outside. Find a park bench or a grass lawn to get comfortable on. Even if the day isn’t so nice, you can still go out and find a library desk or a cafe sofa to lounge in and read in the comfort of the public.

an adult woman reads a book in her garden
Reading outside also makes you feel really good about yourself! Getting that fresh air while simultaneously filling your noggin with knowledge.

How to Find Your Next Favorite Book

Another fun part about reading: you’re always on the hunt for your next favorite book. Because there are so many choices out there, it can be difficult to find and decide between your next book. Luckily there are many who have been in this game for a long time, and they’ve made book hunting not only easy, but enjoyable. Welcome to bookstores and the internet.

Lists on the Internet

Going to the internet to find your next book is for readers who want the process to get done fast and efficiently. The internet is a wide and rich resource for finding your pick of books. There are many sites that recommend books based on genre, time period, author, and so on. On many of these sites, you can find a collective rating of the book and comments you can skim through -- hopefully they contain no spoilers. Finding a book has never been so simple.

The Bookstore

Bookstores have a completely opposite type of appeal to readers. Your trip to the bookstore will not be quick and may be fruitless (though I doubt it). Bookstores are about an experience: entering to see the stacks of books, smelling the ink on paper, feeling the spine and pages between your fingers. Now that is it’s own sort of paradise. Bookstores do help you out, organizing shelves based on genre. Once you find your shelf, it’s not uncommon to get a little lost.

stacks of books in a book store
Visiting a bookstore is a great way to stumble onto something exciting!

Unless you’re going to a large company of bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, it’s best if you come to a bookstore not having any specific book in mind. Bookstores help you find something new and intriguing. And the best bookstores have the older books that you can buy cheap.

A Community of Readers

There are a lot of readers out there. Many advocates of a certain genre, and hype for a series or a new book coming soon from a favored author. Reading yourself can be easier if you talk to others about what you read. Join a book club, or a discussion online. Hear what others have to say about the text, and you’ll have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the book. Embrace your bookworm.

Reading sometimes feels like a heavy commitment, with all those pages ahead of you. But with the right book and dedication of time, those pages will be flipping onto your side at disbelieving speeds. Who knew you were such a fast reader!

Apr 23, 2020

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