Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. —Joseph Addison
What do books offer to you most? I find the books a source of inspiration, imagination, adventure, knowledge and more. If you are like me, reading has become part of your daily routine.
But with all life’s distractions, it can be challenging to find the time to read. Here are some tips that have been helping me to find the time and continue acquiring knowledge.
1. Wherever You Go Carry a Book with You
It is not necessary to carry around a hardcover book with you. Thanks to technology, we can download a book on our smartphone or reading device. Selecting a book of your choice can be much more rewarding than checking your social media newsfeed.
Make sure you have a book at hand wherever you are. When I do my daily walk for 1/2 hour, I listen to an audiobook. When I am on the train or bus, and if the journey is long, I listen to the audiobook for 1/2 trip. As I still prefer hardcopy, I make sure I carry a book that is not too heavy.
Many people like to listen to books while driving. I do the same when I hire a car but nowadays I prefer to use public transport or get an Uber, I find it a lot more convenient.
2. Read Books in Different Areas
Something that has worked very well for me is to read books on different topics. I like to vary, and it helps me to keep my mind open and expand my knowledge.
3. Make a List of the Books You Read
Some time ago, I took a course on learning how to read faster. The curriculum recommended reading a book every week; this gave me the motivation to monitor the books I read. My list consists of different topics, and it is a good reference for me, and I could also provide recommendations.
It has given me a sense of accomplishment seeing that list grow. I also write down the date when I start a book and how long it takes me to read it. It all very much depends on the type of book. Some of the books are so well written that it is difficult to put them down.
4. Make Reading Part of Your Regular Routine
Creating a routine each day will soon make reading become a habit.
Schedule a daily time each morning and evenings to read at least for 1/2 hour. I never miss a day. If I have something to do early in the morning, I get up earlier to make sure I don’t miss my reading time.
A fantastic technique I follow when I am working on my business is to set a timer so that I get a break every 1/2 hr and 45 minutes. I have applied it to my reading, and it helps me to keep focused.
5. Organise Your Reading List in Advance
What kind of books do you prefer to read? Biographies, History, Novels, Business, Inspirational? Make a list of the books you intend to read.
Every time I read or listen to someone recommending a book, I make a note of it. I buy the book, or I get it from my local library. The point is to have the next book ready to start when you come to the end of your book. Having your next title lined up will help you not to break your reading habit.
6. Not enjoying a book? Let it Go
While it is applaudable to finish reading every single book you pick up, you might find that the book is not of your taste.
I value my time, and if I happen to read a book that is not of value to me, I put it down and move on to the next title. Even though I love reading, I prefer to read quality books.
When you’re passionate about what you’re reading, you’ll be much more likely to devote time to it.
7. Make your reading environment-friendly
Make your reading environment free from distractions.
I live close to the Swan River, and Sir James Mitchell Park in Perth and one of my favourite activities is to walk around the river and park. I have a particular spot where I sit down to read surrounded by nature which is something I appreciate a lot.
I also enjoy reading first thing in the morning and in the evenings, I find it very relaxing and enjoyable. When I am working, having a piece of non-lyrical music, such as classical music helps my mind to focus.
8. Make notes on your books
Underlining, highlighting or making notes provides several advantages.
When writing blogs, I read several books on the topic that I want to share, while I read, I mark the main points I want to emphasise.
Also whenever I review a book the second, I get a completely different perspective. Do it, it is fun.
9. Share What You Read
Sharing what you read reinforces what you learned.
I enjoy sharing information about my favourite topics. As I read, I expand my ability to contribute those insights and discuss them with other people.
It is invigorating to get opinions and recommendations from others regarding different books and their perspectives.
10. Find a Reliable Referral Source
Find a trusted source which provides recommendations for quality books. I read what my mentors and people I respect recommend. The books can range from non-fiction to fiction but I know that whatever they suggest are good books and they go in my list of books to read.
Walter Isaacson is one of my favourite authors. I like the way he writes, and I enjoy the books he has written. It is fun to choose one author and work through their collection. I find it a great way to add titles to my reading list.
11. You Can Save Buying Books
I find that shopping around for bargains is quite convenient. I check various websites and compare their prices. Sometimes the same books are on special. I also get used books, most of those books are in excellent conditions and at a very competitive price. And don’t forget to get your books from your local library, you can then decide which ones you want for your library collection.
I hope you found this article interesting and useful. The eleven tips have been quite helpful to me, but I also know that if we want to read more, we will find the time to do it. It is all about priorities and reading for me is one of them.
What about yourself? Do you have any other ideas and suggestions to help aspiring readers? Please share them; I’d love to hear from you.