The first question I ask after I meet someone new is, "Have you read anything good lately?" More often than not, the person will slump and complain about how they wish they had more time to read. I've felt that sentiment in droves this year, what with my academic and extracurricular responsibilities. Now that summer's here, though, I'm committed to reading more and rediscovering my love for different genres. Without further ado, here are some tips to get you reading more this summer, whether you want to complete one or 100 books!
1. Start with a genre you know you'll enjoy
It's great to use reading as a means of discovering new perspectives, but it's hard to jump into a book that doesn't immediately catch your attention. I always start the summer off with a familiar adventure or fantasy novel, as I find those genres gripping and easy-to-read. Reading a quick and fun adventure motivates me to pick up my next book and gets me into a good mindset for the summer. If you're making a long-term commitment to read more, starting off strong with a familiar novel is the way to go.
2. Set a realistic reading goal
Setting a summer reading goal is a means of keeping track of how many books you want to read versus how many books you've actually read. I use Goodreads to keep track of my reading goals, and there's no worse feeling than when the website informs me that I'm five books behind schedule. That said, it's important to be realistic when you're setting reading goals, as setting too high of a bar can be stressful or discouraging. Remember, quality always trumps quantity!
3. Bring a book wherever you go
No matter how much time you think you'll have to read, always carry a book with you. I hate lugging around a heavy backpack, so I normally read an ebook on my phone while I wait for a friend or take a lunch break. While a couple of pages here and there might not sound like much, every little bit adds up!
4. Listen to audiobooks
Yes, listening to audiobooks counts as reading! Whenever I feel too exhausted to pick up a physical book, I put my headphones in and listen to an audiobook. Listening to someone else parse through dense paragraphs doesn't require as much effort as doing it on your own, and it's a great way to integrate reading into long drives or road trips.
5. Don't be afraid to put down a book you're not enjoying
Have you ever tried to finish a book you're simply not enjoying? I've done this hundreds of times because the idea of not finishing something I started bothers me to no end. But what's the point of reading if you're just waiting for the book to end? Reading a book just to finish it is a waste of time, and it definitely will be slower than reading something more enjoyable.
6. Pay a visit to your local library
I'm a huge fan of libraries because I don't have the funds to fuel my reading obsession. While I do a lot of online browsing to search for books I might enjoy, there's nothing quite like popping into the library and exploring its shelves. I always feel motivated after seeing all the interesting books I have yet to read. Librarians are also a great source for reading recommendations, so it's easy to find your next favorite book.
7. Join a book club
Reading can often feel like a solitary activity, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you join an online or in-person book club, interacting with others about your favorite moments or most hated characters can add an element of excitement to your reading. I'm in a book club with one of my friends, and we read a certain number of pages of the same book every week. I always look forward to discussing my thoughts with her; book clubbing motivates me to read more quickly without sacrificing small details!
8. Set aside a specific time to read every day
Making a commitment to read more involves a concerted effort to integrate reading into your daily schedule. Whether you allocate 10 minutes or an hour to reading, it's important to set aside time to make some progress in your latest book. I spend 15 to 30 minutes reading before I sleep, depending on how tired I am at the end of the day.
9. Read multiple books at the same time
This tip isn't for everyone; I know some readers who refuse to read more than one book at a time. However, I find it useful to have different reading options because my mood changes easily. I crave different genres from day to day, so being able to pick up a romance novel when I'm not feeling excited about the biography I'm reading helps me to stay on track for my reading goals. I suggest trying this tip if you're also a fickle reader!