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Sunday, 16 July 2017

How To Read More (Or At All)


I’ve been a bit of a bibliophile from a young age. I’d often be seen with a book in tow as a youngster and was heartbroken when my little sister destroyed my copy of The Wheels on the Bus. Fast forward a few years and I’m doing an English degree, where I get to read non-stop. Even with a long reading list for uni, I still somehow manage to find time to read my own books. It’s a habit that I formed at a very young age, and that I’ve taken full advantage of as I’ve gotten older.

However, I know that lots of people fall out of the habit of reading as they stumble into adulthood, which I find incredibly sad. All those wonderful stories out there just waiting to be read. I don’t just love reading because it’s relaxing or a bit of an escape. I also think that it can have a more impactful effect. It’s the only way I ever really get to see what life can be like for people other than myself. I’ll never know what it’s like to live in a war zone or go up to space, but with the help of books I can get a pretty good idea. I think, or at least I’m hoping, that reading enables me to be a more empathetic person; to understand others’ points of view and realise that everyone is fighting a battle of their own. If nothing else, I like to think it at least gives me a better chance of winning a pub quiz.

I know that for many, it’s not so much that they don’t want to read, but that they can’t find the time. Adult life is busy and stressful and I can quite frankly completely understand if you’d rather flop out and watch Love Island instead of settle down for a bit of Crime and Punishment. I thought I’d write a little list of easy ways you can incorporate reading in to your life, if on the off chance you fancied giving it a go.

1 // Read Things That You Actually Enjoy
I think the biggest thing that puts people off books is the pressure of reading a certain genre. There’s a bit of a stigma surrounding other types of literature, like romance or YA. To that I say, who cares? You’re reading for your own enjoyment, not other people’s approval. If someone gets judgy about what you read, then they’re probably a bit of a dickhead and best avoided anyway. Sometimes, classics are tediously dull. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Frankenstein is dismal. That’s not to say there aren’t some great classics out there, but don’t feel like you have to read them just because some old white guy decided you should.

2 // Put It Down
Another stigma associated with reading: once you’ve started a book you must finish it. If this were the case, I suspect I would’ve given up a long time ago. The thought of slogging through Ulysses puts me to sleep. If you don’t like it, put it down. Lock it up and throw away the key. There are millions of amazing books on this earth. Do not waste your precious time labouring over something you hate. Read something else.

3 // Listen to Books
If you’re struggling to find the time to read, audiobooks can be a great alternative. You can listen to them whilst cooking, driving, walking, cleaning, the possibilities are endless. Turn a boring activity into a slightly more enjoyable one. I love listening to audiobooks on my way to university. If it means I’m getting extra books in, it’s a winner. I particularly love listening to autobiographies on audiobook, as they’re often read by the authors.

4 // Give Yourself a Goal
If you fancy getting a bit more serious about your reading, try giving yourself a goal for the year. Having a solid goal can give you more focus. If you know that you’re aiming to read two books a month, for example, it might force you to get your bum into gear when you’re falling behind. I personally use Goodreads to keep track of what I'm reading and give myself a yearly goal. It gives me a great indication of how close I am to my target and keeps me excited to read new things. 

5 // Carry A Book With You At All Times
I like to carry some kind of book with me at all times, be that a kindle, an audiobook on my phone or an actual book. That way, whenever I’m waiting around somewhere I can whip it out and get some reading done. It has also saved me from a lot of boredom in the doctor’s office.




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1 comment

  1. I have loved getting stuck into books now that university is over for the summer and I totally agree that if you're not into the book, just start on the next one!
    www.amberatlanta.blogspot.co.uk

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