Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Read More in 2017

Bell on her TBR pile
Four days after New Years' and many of us have already given up on our resolutions. So, here is a better resolution to make this year!

Deciding to read more in 2017 is not like other New Year’s resolutions. It isn’t a chore or difficult to achieve because you get to read WHATEVER YOU WANT!

Forget whatever you’ve heard about being a well-rounded person by reading books you hate! That’s a different resolution.

Only like one genre? Read that.

Started a book and find yourself bored? Quit and read something else.

Reading a good book, but something else in your “To Be Read” (TBR) pile suddenly looks more interesting? Read that one instead and come back to the other later!

Resolving to Read More

With the internet on every device and click-bait titles vying for your attention, it is easy to become a passive reader: reading whatever is presented to you, usually in bite-sized pieces. This is like snacking, and, while just as time consuming, it lacks the substance of a true meal.

Resolving to become an active reader is what reading more in 2017 is about! Consciously choosing what to read and when, especially books over internet fluff.

Binge-Reading

Now, as a child, I would read everything I could get my hands on, often long into the night. I would read books in one long sitting. I still do that when I find a really good book. This is NOT the goal of reading more in 2017.

The goal of any New Year’s resolution is to form a healthy habit that integrates into your life in a balanced way.

Staying up until 2AM to read is not a healthy balance. Once in a while can be fun (if you can accept the consequences the next morning), but it is not a good habit.

How-to: Time

Reading does take a significant time commitment. However, it is also easy to break down.

1.  Replace a bad habit (or less optimal one) with reading

Try replacing the time usually devoted to a tv show or aimless internet browsing to reading. Think pro-actively about how you want to spend your time instead of allowing whatever looks interesting at the time dictate your day!

2. Build reading into your schedule

You’ve heard it before: the best way to form a habit is to build it into your schedule. Pick a time and stick to it reliably.

Personally, I can’t read before bed because it wakes me up instead of helping me wind down. However, it works really well for many other people. If you have 30 minutes in the middle of the day, read then! Whatever works with your schedule, keep it up!

During that time, relax! Don’t allow other tasks to encroach. There is always work that needs to be done, but reading is important, too! If you are having trouble justifying sitting and enjoying yourself, take some time to think about why reading is important to you and why you want it to be part of your life. A quick google search can give you numerous ideas!

3. Take it with you

My father-in-law has slowly been making his way through The Lord of the Rings only by reading in waiting rooms! Take a book along with you any time you go somewhere. When you find yourself sitting and waiting, pull it out and read a few pages. You’ll finish in no time!

E-books are a great way to carry reading material. Books can be cumbersome and heavy, and an e-book is a great solution to that problem.

Audiobooks are another way to take books with you. Listen while you commute, while you run, or while doing the dishes!

Other Helpful Tips:

1. Keep Books on Hand

You can’t read if you don’t have books!

2. Find a Referral Source

Keep a TBR list and keep it well stocked with books you think sound interesting.

Ask friends and family if they have books they recommend and check them out! Browse blogs like this one for ideas or try out a social network like GoodReads.

3. Keep a Log

I keep a journal of the books I’ve read that I can look back on for ideas on what to read next. It can also be very motivating to see what you’ve accomplished.

I even include books that I’ve started, but not finished. I think that they are important, too, and it is worth remembering why I didn’t like a book or chose not to continue.

4. Share with Others!

Talk to your friends and family about what you are reading and what you think of it! Find others who have also read the book and discuss it with them. Join a book club or find a reading partner. Return to your referral source and let them know what you thought of the book they recommended!

2017 Otherwise Fantastic Reading Challenge

I have drawn up a simple TBR List/Reading Log and included it as a complimentary PDF when you subscribe to my blog via email! You can use it to keep track of your reading by recording not only the title, author, and date you finish, but also a short “about” section to remind you which story went with which book title, a place to record your thoughts (liked it, loved it, hated it, etc.), and a place to note which referral source you heard about it from so you can return there and share those thoughts!

I am always happy to hear about what you guys are reading! Feel free to contact me via comments or email about your progress, and I hope you all resolve to read more this year!


Tells us about your reading goals this year!


Be sure to check out my 2016 Year in Review and my article on The Pros and Cons of Rereading!

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