One of the goals I set myself in 2018 was to read a book every week for learning and pleasure. I really enjoyed it -I’ve always loved reading but struggled to find the time, and when I succeeded I resolved to do the same thing in 2019. My lovely friend Kirsty (check out her amazing cancer recovery journey Hope.sprints on instagram)asked me a few weeks back how I manage this, and I thought it might be useful to share!
- Have a system. No surprises that I use my bullet journal to track this – I note books that I have read but also keep a “to read” list so that I have ready access to things that are already in my book pile and I am waiting to get to, or recommendations from friends and family or (actually an amazing source!) Pinterest.
- Read things you’ll enjoy and be willing to give up on a bad book. I forced myself through some really badly written self-help (looking at you, Jocko Willink) because I felt I’d already put so much of my allotted weekly reading time to the hundred or so turgid pages I’d waded through. Honestly, I hated this goal during the two weeks or so it took me to get through it and it completely wasn’t worth it. I avoided reading time and spent way too long on this. If you don’t like it – put it down and don’t pick it up again.
- Use your “dead time”. I have to commute on the London Underground and since I’ve been reading rather than on Instagram the time goes much faster and I feel better when I arrive. I’d really recommend getting the Kindle app for your smartphone if you’re on a crowded train – takes up less space than a paper book and very easy to pull out during other times you’re not doing much, whether that’s heating your lunch up or waiting for your coffee order. If you’re a car, bike or walking commuter, you might really enjoy Audible which allows you to listen via audiobook. Amazon also does a sync up service called Whispersync which allows you to switch between Kindle and Audible and keep your place.
- Have some TV free evenings. This is where so much of our free time goes. I love Netflix too, but every now and again a peaceful evening with a paperback is so enjoyable and relaxing. Make a ritual of it – light candles, make a nice pot of tea (or glass of wine), take your book into the bath with you.
- Make it affordable. Swap books with friends or colleagues, or if you’re more into e-reading, check out Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service where you can have up to ten books downloaded at one time for a subscription fee that works like a library membership. And also, get a library membership! They are such great and underused community resources.
I’d love to hear your ideas for reading more – let me know in the comments!