How to read more, you ask? Let me share some of the tips, tricks and resources that have worked for me. Books make me happy and my joy is multiplied when I’m able to share this with you all and make someone else pick a forgotten habit or develop new one.
I always loved reading and was forever lost in the world of Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Umro Ayyar, Taleem-o-Tarbeeyat etc as a child. Later as a teenager and in my early 20s I was still a voracious reader and would carry a book with me everywhere I went. In my university days, I always had a book as a companion over dinner at the dining hall. There were always too many books to read and too little time.
When we were kids my parents would take us to the Ferozesons book store every first of the month so that we could all buy a book each. We were also lucky to have access to libraries and then there were the lovely old book stores!
However, as adult life and responsibilities grew, I found myself reading only parenting books and then parenting blogs. The phone replaced the books in my hand and my reading habit dwindled to almost non-existent.
I’m happy though that over the past couple of years I have picked up book reading again and I’m definitely a happier person because of that. Here are all the tricks, hacks and resources that have worked for me to read more.
1. Start with Books and Topics That you Love
If you’re picking reading after a long time start with topics that truly interest you to help build the habit. Some people like romance novels, others prefer history and still others autobiographies. Your interests might have evolved so try a few books to get back into your reading groove.
2. Reduce Screen Time
There is only so much time in the day and one thing I cut down was screen time. I hardly watch any TV shows now and instead read in the time my husband watches TV before we go to sleep. I find reading more rewarding compared to the shows—it’s a tradeoff I made.
Plus you will be amazed if you record the time we can spend just browsing social media. So catch yourself if you’re mindlessly going through Instagram and pick a book instead.
3. Audio Books
This is a game changer! By opening myself to “listening” to books, I have been able to complete so many more than I could have otherwise. Here are a few apps you can use:
- Libby by Overdrive: You need a library card to borrow books from this free app. Great collection.
- Audible: This amazon product has a monthly subscription and you get to keep the books for life. Amazon Prime gives you credit for one free book a month. The book options are amazing and available in lots of languages including English, Urdu etc.
- Free Audio books: This is a free app with a decent collection of classics. Not too many new books though.
I listen to audio books while driving (music while driving is another thing I have given up), cooking, doing chores around the house and while exercising. Sometimes I use a bluetooth earpiece and other times I listen to the book with my children while we are say driving. My daughter was most intrigued with the life Manal Al-Sharif as we were listening to “Dare to Drive” in the car.
4. Join/Start a Book Club
You can always join or start a book club to get book title ideas or inspiration from others. Find out about book clubs in your library, neighborhood or start your own!
5. Be a Little Selfish
I admit I get a little selfish with my book reading. I prioritize it because it makes me happy. It’s OK. You are modeling book reading to your children and that can not be bad.
6. Involve your Family
Include your family in the joy by discussing books you’re reading, setting aside a family book reading time and visiting book stores and libraries together.
7. Read a Variety of Topics
Books open a whole new world to us. Expand that world and indulge in it by reading a variety of books. By increasing your palate your interest will only increase and you will keep coming back for more!
8. Always Have the Next Book(s) ready
As you’re reading a book, always be on the lookout for the next one(s). I keep an active list of holds at my library whenever I hear a recommendation. I also have a separate list of books I want to buy next. Ask around what people are enjoying reading and keep growing your list!
Hope you enjoyed these tips and resources on how to read more.
Did they help you? What works for you?