I call myself a decent writer but I’m a horrible reader. Since those two things are supposed to go hand in hand I tried to find ways to read more. To be a better writer, you have to read more to gain the benefits for your writing.
I’m a slow reader and it might take me months to read a single book or eventually I will find a new one and not move on with both of them because I have this “I have to finish what I started”-OCD-thing with books.
So here are some tips that worked for me:
A nice bookmark that you move page from page can spice up your book and make reading more pleasantly. I hate folding page corners to know where I stopped reading simply because books are something very “holy” to me. I know people buy them like sliced bread but folding a page corner is a no go for me, so I have a lot of nice bookmarks here or just use a tissue paper if I have no bookmark where I’m currently at. You can craft nice corner bookmarks, too!
A colorful jacket for your book is nice to not only hide what book you are reading (just because you might want to in public) but also it looks pretty and you are more likely to pick the book up into your hands.
A bookstand is a good idea, too! You have your hands free and not dread the weight of a thick and heavy book in your hand so your arms won’t get tired.
As I said books are kind of holy to me and I do never want to damage one I bought a little canvas bag especially made for books. You can put your books in them and put everything into your handbag without worrying that your read might get damaged or end with a cracked cover
Figure out what works for you
More than a year I was running around a certain eReader (I won’t name brands here simply because it’s not necessary) . I thought to myself that I would read far far more if I read on a screen.
The year drew to an end and my birthday and Christmas where close so I wished for an eReader as a birthday and Christmas gift. Since I felt I needed that eReader sooner I bought it while it was on discount and asked my parents for the money as a gift on those two holidays. (It’s still a shitload of money for me and my parents) but so far I haven’t regret it!
I was right! I read more on a screen than on printed paper. This is the downside being born as a digital native. I was born playing DOS-games and having very very limited internet through a 56k-modem.
But since I own that eReader I haven’t bought a single book on it and relied on free eBooks from the internet or free samples from certain online shops. Today I was done with it and re-bought a book that I was about to read on printed paper knowing that I just read more on a screen.
That’s what works for me. I heard many other people who can’t read on screens and like the weight and smell of a printed book in their hands.
Read everywhere, anytime
I mostly clung reading to the bed before sleep in the past few years but in the evening when I am really tired I most likely tend to lay off reading and just sleep.
In the evening when I have time on my hand I mostly have to decide if I write or read (it doesn’t always have to be in the evening but time flies quickly and the day is over). I tend to write just because I have to write to be a better writer.
When I still had a 40 minute train ride to university I immediately flipped open a book the minute I sat down on that train. Now that I moved closer to work and university I don’t have a long train ride anymore.
I see people waiting for the subway with books in hand. I see people on the subway with books in hand and I admire them. They just read everywhere no matter their surroundings and get done with books faster even thought it might just be a few pages every subway ride or waiting for the train or waiting for a friend. It doesn’t matter.
Read everywhere no matter where and what time.
Turn off distractions
This might be a no brainer for some but I want to add it to list anyway. Turn all electronic devices into flight mode so no ring or buzz might distract you.
As for me I like to read when I have nothing else cluttered up in my flat. I just do every household task that I have to do (simply because I have no one else to do them) in the morning hours, until I have to cook lunch and afterwards I am free (or have to go to university or work).
I just love the state when everything is done and it’s out of my mind. Speaking “out of mind”: If you simply find yourself to be too distracted to focus on one thing, try journaling. Write down what’s on your mind or the task that have to get done.
And with everything I mean everything. Good, bad, magazines, internet articles, classic literature, manuals. Everything!
Don’t feel bad if you find magazines better than printed books. You read anyway and it takes a lot of time read every single article in a magazine (except for those with lots of big pictures in it). Whether it’s fashion/make up magazines or spiritual ones (like me) or crafting magazines. You read, that’s all!
If you find yourself creating a certain likeness towards scientific books than go for it.
Put yourself in a nice surrounding
A nice surrounding is more like to make us productive. If it’s coffeeshop for you then go there. You don’t have to order the most expensive drink or cake there. You can also make yourself some fancy drink at home and go on the couch. Couch, blanked and a nice drink can also help to read more. Even if it is the middle of the day: Sit in/on your bed if this is the place you read most likely. For me my desk with my computer works best because I have to do all the things there. If my chair gets to uncomfortable I move to the couch.
De-clutter your place. It has a lot of benefits to tidy up your place and get rid of all the clutter that you actually don’t need.
My place is pretty simple because I simply don’t have the money to put in a lot of clutter and yet I feel like all the stuff I have is too much already. I like things clean, simple and airy. I like to put things into boxes so they are out of few.
You can give away the things you don’t need any more to charity or people you know. Trade with them if you want! Or sell those things to raise a bit of money.
I know scientists have proven that a cluttered and messy place leads to creativity. (I have absolutely no clue in what galaxy they proved that) I don’t. I can’t. I just simply can’t life in such a space, nor be creative at all! I take my creativity from everyday life, inspiration from media and simplicity.
Nourish your body well and drink lots of water: Your brain needs it!
But also nourish your mind by being present and surround yourself with the nice things of life. A nice flower bouquet or a scented candle. Take a walk outside and realize the singing birds and the smell of fresh air.
Be mindful and present.
What are your go-to-tips for reading more?