July 27, 2012

Six Tips For Reading More Often

Me, 27 years ago.
If you follow Sorta Crunchy you may be feeling déjà vu right now. I wrote this as a guest post over there two weeks ago, but I'm running it here too for those of you who missed it. And, if you don't follow Sorta Crunchy, you should remedy that!

When Sarah Bessey recently said that she has “always read for oxygen”  – it resonated with me. Because books are oxygen for me too! I’ve read voraciously for as long as I can remember.

I loved to read while nursing my daughter Eleanor when she was teeny-tiny, but starting at age eight months or so, she’d quit nursing and try desperately to grab my book if she heard me turn a page. (I think this is the one point in my life where I would’ve liked a Kindle. Maybe if/when we have another baby I’ll actually buy one and keep it!)

But nowadays I seem to have found a pretty good rhythm for reading a lot, even while parenting a very active two-year-old and keeping up with my part-time working commitments. So far in 2012 I’ve read 85 books – which seems to astonish everyone I mention it to. I promise though, it’s possible to read (even with kids!) as long as you deliberately make reading a priority.

I'm raising a bookworm of my own!
Here are my 6 tips for reading more, even if you don’t think you have the time! 
  1. Audiobooks. I can’t reiterate enough how much I love audiobooks. If you have a long work commute, there’s an obvious place to get a lot of reading done. Or I listen to books on my phone (with headphones) while cleaning and cooking during Eleanor’s nap. If you don’t have napping kids, throw an audiobook on the stereo while doing a puzzle, or knitting.
  2. Have multiple books going. I read the most slowly when I’m only reading one book. Because sometimes I want something light, and sometimes I want to learn history, and it helps to have a book to fit my mood when I get a minute to read.
  3. Read more. I know this sounds counter intuitive – but the more you read, the faster you read. Reading more will help you read more. 
  4. Look for small reading moments. I’ve recently started reading while Eleanor takes her bath. I can sit on the bathroom floor for 15 minutes reading my book, and handing back the occasional ducky escapee. 
  5. Be willing to give up other habits. I used to watch a lot more tv, and frequently play board games. I have less free time than I did pre-kid, and so I made a conscious choice to keep reading a lot, and do those other things less. 
  6. Make a book date. Sometimes in the evening Noel and I will each grab a snack, and sit in bed reading together. It’s surprisingly companionable to snuggle together with books!
How often do you read? 
Do you have any reading tips that I missed?