I feel like many people can relate to being avid readers as children only to watch their time spent reading slowly taper off in the academic jungle of higher education and then real life. It’s quite sad actually; I’ve heard many young adults exclaim “yeah I used to read ALL the time, but I just don’t have time for it anymore.”
True story: I had that exact same thought my junior year in high school. After a bit of reflection, I thought to myself “this is bull I have time to read.” From that moment on I began to get creative in making time to read, and I finished more books in those few months (HARD books too, like summer-reading type books) than I had in years. So, if you would like some tips on how to incorporate reading back into your life, here you go:
1. Read Little Bits At A Time
Don’t worry about finishing a book quickly, and don’t get hung up on how fast you used to finish books as a kid. It doesn’t matter. Read a couple pages a day, here and there, and it all adds up to a finished book in the end
2. Keep A Book In Your Bag
Keep your book with you at all times and take every opportunity you can to open it up throughout the day. A couple minutes before class here, waiting for my friend to pick me up there, drinking my coffee at Starbucks, and anytime else you realize you have a few free minutes.
3. Replace Social Media (To A Degree)
Think of how much time you spend in a day scrolling through your phone (perhaps during the aforementioned times), YouTube binging, or on Netflix per day. Replacing that time is the easiest way to get some extra time back into your day. Instead of scrolling through your phone while you are waiting, read instead. It might be hard to break the habit at first, but it’s one worth breaking.
4. Check Out AudioBooks
Audiobooks are still books friends! Cash in on your long commute by listening to books on tape.
5. Pick Books You Like
This one seems kind of simple, but don’t force yourself to read things you aren’t interested in for the sake of reading or peer pressure. I’m not saying don’t be open to trying new books/authors/genres, but if you are 60 pages in and really not feeling it, don’t be afraid to put it down and try something else
6. Read Before Bed
Reading before sleeping is very relaxing to the brain. Plus, many people scroll through their phones before bed, and the blue light from electronics can actually make it harder for you to sleep. Even if you just read a couple of pages, that’s progress!
7. When You’re Busy Or Stressed, Re-Read Books
When I have a lot going on, I like to re-read a book I already know that I like (my go-to is Emma by Jane Austen). You are still reading, but you don’t have to expend as much energy or wait to get really into it. A good book during stressful times can be very comforting.
8. Read While Eating
Normally I never recommend eating and doing anything that resembles work, but I think eating and reading for pleasure go really well together. A book makes great company