Twice in the past week, people have told me that they haven’t read one book this year.
Quite frankly this astounds me. What are people even doing with their time?
But also, we all know that reading is good for us. Science tells us so. Reading can protect your brain against Alzheimers disease, combat stress levels, make you a more empathetic person and more likely to vote.
Why then doesn’t everyone make more of an effort to read? We know that exercising regularly makes our bodies healthier so we make an effort to take the stairs, to park further away, to walk at lunch time, lift weights while we watch TV – all these little things that hopefully add up to big changes. I know that I make an effort to drink 75oz of water in a work day and it makes me feel physically so much better.
But making reading a priority doesn’t seem to carry the same weight.
Maybe it’s because sitting down and reading a book seems time consuming and not doable when the rest of our crazy lives are factored in. So here I offer you the “take the stairs” version of squeezing reading time in.
- Read things that you like. You don’t have to pretend to like Dickens if he’s not your jam. Reading is a personal thing – you only have to read Dickens when he’s assigned in school. Read comics. Graphic novels are totally legit reading material. If you only like Harlequin romance novels, have at ‘er. Read them all. Reading is reading.
- Bring your books/comics/magazines with you. If you have it with you, you will read it when you’re spending your time waiting. And you’d be amazed how much of your day is spent waiting. I’m early for everything (I hate being late but I’m also really bad at estimating how long it takes me to get somewhere. Result: at least 15 minutes early for everything) but it never bothers me because I always have a book with me. Spending 15 minutes reading is much better than spending 15 minutes looking at my phone, annoyed that I’m waiting.
- Read how you like. There are people that swear by e-readers and there are the purists that prefer paper and ink. It doesn’t actually matter how you read. Just read. E-reader, paperbacks, napkins, on your phone; just read.
- Take more baths. Who doesn’t like taking a bath? So relaxing. What’s better than a relaxing bath? Reading a great story in a relaxing bath.
- Join a book club. This may seem like a hardcore reader thing to do but it’s not. Rare are the book clubs that don’t devolve into a friendly group of peeps getting together to talk about all things. A book will be discussed and the pressure not to be the one that didn’t read the book will get you to start and finish at least one book. But there’s usually wine.
See? Not hard.
What are the little things that you do that make sure you get reading?