One question people always ask me is how I find the time to read so many books. For the last few years, I’ve read over 75 books every year––and this time around, I’m on track to read even more. I’ve always been a bookworm, but the truth is, I only started getting back into reading recently.
As a full-time university student with a job and countless other commitments, I never thought it was feasible to set aside time from my busy day to read.
I’m sure you’ve heard time and again that reading is good for you––and it’s true. According to one 2009 study by Sussex University, reading was found to decrease stress levels by as much as 68 per cent. The Huffington Post even reported that reading can lower chances of memory loss by 32 per cent, which are just some of the many benefits. I knew reading was important, but it wasn’t until I started changing my habits that I began to fall in love with it again.
Here are six ways to integrate reading back into your regular schedule.
Listening to audiobooks has been a complete game-changer for me. Audiobooks are a hands-free way to have an immersive reading experience and are great for when you are on the go. I love listening to audiobooks when I’m commuting, cleaning and getting ready in the morning. There are so many incredible options for audiobooks that are either read by the author or have a full-cast where multiple voice actors play different narratives in the book. Some of my favourites are The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (narrated by Emma Lowe), Memorial Drive written and read by author Natasha Tretheway and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (narrated by British actress Rosamund Pike).
For those of you who don’t keep up with reading lingo, DNF stands for “did not finish”. I would force myself to finish books that I wasn’t enjoying, which made me fall into a reading slump. Now, whenever I’m not enjoying a book, I set it down and pick something else instead.
Set manageable goals
Setting small reading goals is a great way to stay motivated. I use the app Storygraph which allows me to track my reading throughout the year. When I was starting, I aimed to read 12 books a year and worked my way up to 60!
Make time in your day
This might seem obvious but designating time has really helped me prioritize reading. You don’t have to dedicate hours each day; it could be a small commitment of 15 minutes when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed. At first, it was hard to schedule time to read, but once I got into the swing of things, I began looking forward to all the time I carved out for it. I often read while drinking my morning coffee and half an hour before going to bed. It all adds up, and before you know it, you will have finished an entire book!
Always have something to read with you
You never know when you will have a few minutes to read; keeping a book with you, whether a physical or digital copy, will come in handy! Pages you read throughout the day can add up.
Keep a list of books you’re excited about
One of my biggest dilemmas was always deciding what to read after I’ve finished a book. This inspired me to create a list of books on my phone that sounded interesting to me. Now, I have a list of about 500 recommendations that keeps me motivated!