6 Easy Ways to Read More in 2018

Person holding a book in front of their face
Category: Reading
Tagged: reading, top tips

Despite the fact we are now well into the New Year and our ill-fated resolutions may be fully consigned to the history books, we thought it’d be good to bring together a few tips to help you read more in 2018.

 

Set yourself daily page targets

While I’m a bit sceptical about racing through books just for the sake of it, setting yourself daily page targets is a great way of getting into a solid reading habit. Give yourself an ambitious – but realistic – target so that you’re right in the sweetspot between suitably challenged and horribly overwhelmed. I’m lucky in that I can read most days on the bus in to work, but we can all make time to do a bit of reading every day; even ten minutes would be enough. And there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes after you have met (or exceeded) a target. 

Setting yourself daily page targets is a great way of getting into a solid reading habit

Read before bed

You know that period before bed when you’re not quite ready to allow yourself to fall asleep, so you spend a good 40 minutes on your phone, trawling through endless Twitter posts, Instagram pictures or YouTube videos despite the fact that you are exhausted and will probably berate yourself the following morning for failing to go to bed at a decent time? Well why not substitute a thousand distractions for one and start reading before you drift off? Science has found that reading at bedtime eases stress, contributing to better sleep. It’s a good way to switch off your mind before you start another day.

Make more of an effort to talk about the books you’re reading

In 2017 I read quite a few books. At the start of the year I thought I would test myself to see how many of them I remembered. I started strongly, reeling off titles and authors left, right and centre before hitting something of a wall and being forced to check through my email signatures or scanning through my bookshelf for all the ones I’d forgotten. It’s inevitable that some books won’t stay with us for very long after we’ve read them but making a conscious effort to talk about the books we read is a good way of forcing yourself to think about what you’ve actually read and ensuring its themes and content stay with you longer than the day after you finish it.

Join a book group

This one is closely related to the previous tip and another good way of ensuring you remember more about the books you are engaging with. One of the things I took from university was how valuable it is to dissect a book with other people. Other people whose viewpoints you may or may not share, whose insight may lead you to a better understanding of the texts or who lead you to similar authors and books you may enjoy just as much. So why not resolve to join a book group this year? You could even be one of those hyper cool trend setters and start your own. If nothing else it’s a great way to get out the house and meet some new people. It’s also another incentive to actually finish the book you're reading as nobody wants to be the person caught pink-faced after inventing characters or plot details.

Go to your local library

If you’re struggling for inspiration on what to read next or don’t even know where to start, why not pop along to your nearest library? Talk to your librarian to get some recommendations for what to read or get lost in the shelves yourself. Libraries can also be great places to sit down and concentrate on just one thing. It can be pretty tough finding a peaceful, noise-free environment in which you can lose yourself in a book, but reading rooms in libraries can offer you just that.  

Libraries can be great places to sit down and concentrate on just one thing

Read what you want to

Every reader knows it: there are just too many books out there. From new releases to newly discovered voices, classics we’ve always meant to get through, prize longlists or recommendations from friends and family, there’s always another a book to read. And don’t get me wrong, this is great; it’s exciting to discover new authors and their work. But at times it can feel as if the act of deciding on a book to read is more difficult than actually reading the book itself. So while making an effort to read the best new books is great, don’t feel badly about being selfish with you’re reading. Choose a book for you, not because everyone else is reading it, not because it has an average rating of 4.37 on Goodreads but just because you want to.

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