If you've made a goal to read more intentionally in 2017, adding more actual reading time into your day is going to be a huge part of it. With our TBR lists growing ever longer and our lives getting busier, finding time to sit down with a book and read for more than five minutes has become harder and harder to come by. But the only way to reach our reading goals is to put aside some time to get our noses between the pages. Whether it’s getting friends and family on board with your literary goals, changing habits to insure that more of your precious time is utilized, or treating reading like brushing your teeth or exercising, or any other important daily routine, there are easy ways to get more time with books into your life.
We’ve shared five super easy tips below that will make you rethink your schedule, and reimagine reading as a leisure activity that you just can’t skip. Get a pen and paper, write these down, commit them to memory and then grab whatever book you’ve been neglecting for who knows how long and get to reading! After all, you definitely don’t have any time to waste.
1. Utilize Your Empty Time
Sit down at the end of your day and think about all that you've accomplished. For the most part, if you're lucky, you'll have gotten tons checked off of your to-do list. But if you try to think back on every hour, chances are there was tons of time that you didn't utilize to its full potential. Were you sitting through your half-hour commute in an early morning fog? Did you have your lunch while scrolling mindlessly through Twitter? Did you watch the same old shows on Netflix before falling asleep? Chances are you spend swaths of time doing something unproductive when you could have been reading. If you make it a habit of reading every time you get on the train, or every time you get in bed for the night, these times were start to become triggers, and pretty soon, habits. By the end of a week, you'll find you've had more reading time than ever before.
2. Create A Designated Reading Space
It's common knowledge that psychologists encourage the utilization of different spaces for each part of your day. You want to get work done? Have a table or desk space dedicated just to that. You want to get a good night's sleep? Your bed should probably be used for nighttime activities only, and not working through a super stressful work deadline. If we can have dedicated spaces for work and sleep, why not for reading? If you've got the room in your home, invest in a reading chair and only sit in it when you plan to read. Soon, that chair will become your call to reading action the moment you plop down into it...talk about the comfiest way to ban a reading slump for good.
3. Make Yourself Accountable To Others
Read a book a week with a friend and schedule in a non-negotiable coffee date to discuss it. Make a plan with your partner to read for an hour before bed instead of watching TV. Post your daily reading goals on a Bookstagram account or start a reading sprint on Twitter, and follow-up with your followers after every session. Write down what you read in a notebook or a planner. The more people know about your reading intentions and how important they are to you, the more people you will have supporting you and making sure you hit your marks. If you treat reading like any other wellness goal, you'll be more likely to stick to it.
4. Download An App To Track Your Reading
Websites and apps like Goodreads are great for tracking your reading progress over a week, month or year. But there are even more in depth programs, like the Bookout app, that let you get into the minutiae of your reading day. You can start tracking your reading time, in real time with daily sessions and get tons of insightful stats like total read time, total pages read, reading speed, time read per day and pages read per day. The app also generates some really cool infographics to go along with your stats. If you're going to be itching to reach for your phone anyway, a reading app is the perfect thing to click on.
5. Take Yourself On A Bookish Date
Make reading more exciting by planning for it like you would any outing. Get dressed and head to your favorite coffee shop or bookstore with the express purpose of doing nothing but reading. Being in a bookish atmosphere will always reignite your love of books and seeing a bunch of other bookworms with their noses buried deep in the pages will inspire you to get into your own reading. Making reading a special event will help you look forward to it more than ever, and reading in a more social atmosphere can take the sometimes lonely aspect of of sitting on your own with a book. Plus, there is the added bonus of coffee, pastries, and browsing the stacks to see what new reads you can take home with you.