It’s a new year and you’ve made some resolutions, one of them being “read more” and you’ve joined a reading challenge but now what? It’s easy to say “just pick up a book and read” but that only works if you’re a seasoned reader.
Reading is a fun and numinous habit with many benefits and like any habit, it’s a process. Whether you like ebooks, audiobooks or the good ol’ paperback, here are some tips to help you get started:
- BE REALISTIC
So you’ve read that billionaires and many other successful people read x books a day or year and in order to “be successful” you need to read that many as well? Well, you wouldn’t start with a marathon just to get into running right?
Reading requires setting realistic goals that you can achieve slowly, start with a book a month or every two months until you get used to this new reading habit.
- MAKE A LIST
What kind of books do you want to read? Classics? Contemporary fiction? YA or a mix with South African writers or some bestsellers or even books by women? Making a list of books creates order and creates a sense of accountability.
- SET ASIDE A SUITABLE TIME
Look at your daily and weekly schedule and set some time aside dedicated to reading, this can be early in the morning, in the afternoon or just after you’ve tucked the kids into bed. This allows you to look forward to diving right into your book.
- READING TARGET
It’s important that you set a target of how much reading you want to get done during your “reading time”. It can be anything from a page to a chapter or even more, but again, be realistic about how much you want to get done to allow the information to sink in and for you to truly enjoy the book.
- NO DISTRACTIONS
Probably the most important part of reading is to ensure that your mind doesn’t wander. Find a space where you are calm and comfortable and won’t end up doing something else (or sleeping). Complete all nagging tasks beforehand and ditch the technology.
If you’re still unsure on what to read:
- join a book club (some have wine too🍷)
- read a literary journal (like The Coinage Book, *wink wink*)
- follow some book reviewers like @fictionalmissk101 (for YA)
- join goodreads and see what others are reading
- BONUS… DON’T BREAK THE BANK
In the current economic climate, it’s almost impossible to buy books, so if you “just want to read” rather than own the book, here are some ideas:
- visit your community library
- legal sites where you can download books to your device
- second-hand book shops (they have so many gems and some even buy back books that you brought from them for a third of the next purchase)
- join book-swap sites