Saturday, January 5, 2019

How to Read More in 2019


Oh January 1st. The time of year that we all think of what we are going to do better this year. And by January 5th, we're eating cupcakes in the supply closet at work. Ok, maybe that's just me!! I actually don't make New Year's resolutions for that very reason. I know that I'm not great on follow through. 


One thing I will do almost immediately in the new year is set my reading goal for the year. I don't really consider it a resolution, though I guess you could consider it one. It's a committed plan for the coming year to dedicate myself to reading. I thought it might help to share my tips for achieving that goal if it's one that you have adopted for yourself. 



Before you begin, decide what you'd like to achieve. I think having a set goal is so crucial but keep in mind the type of reader you are and set your goal accordingly. Don't set yourself up for failure. Reading is supposed to be fun!

You might be a fast reader or you might like to take your time. There's no shaming here if your goal is 12 or 200!  If you are reading, I'm excited! If reading more means a book per month, or a book per week or even committing to a daily page or time goal, the most important part is to read! 




I like to see what my goal is and be reminded of it throughout the year. While I set my goal in the number of books per year, yours might be different. Think about what visual aid might help you achieve your goal. Write it down. Mark a calendar. Set up a Goodreads challenge. If you decided on minutes per day, setting a daily calendar reminder on your phone might help. Everyone is different. Do what works for you.






Goodreads is a super simple way for me to keep track, not only of how many, but which books I've read. I'm a technical person and prefer not to keep up with paper. If you aren't, that's okay! If you want to number a list and mark them off as you go, that's okay too! It's all about keeping you moving forward!



This one is so significant. It's so incredibly easy to fall down the rabbit hole when it comes to distractions, especially social media. For example, I can't have the tv on when I blog. I just can't. I turn it on and what feels like ten seconds later, I've watched the entire episode of Outlander and have managed two sentences! Since I know this about myself, I try to set aside quiet time to blog. Reading is the same way. Figure out your distractions and how you are going to cope with them. The phone, Twitter, the tv...whatever is distracting you. If you are serious about reaching your goal, don't let those distractions keep you from it!



You don't have to dedicate an entire day to reading to reach your goals! Think about all the little times you have throughout your day that you could convert to reading time. All that time adds up! Waiting for doctor appointments, your commute, lunch break, kid's soccer practice... any time you can eek of your day for reading, do it!



There are those that believe that audiobooks don't count as reading. To those people, I say: phlllllt! 😝 Again, whatever works for you! I find that audiobooks are really convenient for times that I'm multitasking; getting ready in the morning, while I'm cooking, or cleaning! These are great times to get a little more time in when I can't dedicate my hands to holding a book. I used to only read hard copies but since becoming a book blogger, I've had to learn to love the ebook. My phone is always with me and that means reading is always at my fingertips. 




This is one of the hardest things for me. I feel like if I commit to a book, I need to see it through. Don't waste your time forcing yourself to read a book that isn't holding your attention. You may be 50 pages in or halfway through. If you are forcing yourself to read it, ditch it! Life is too short for uninteresting books! 




Do you know what the library is really good for? READING! Libraries have evolved as technology advances. My local library will allow me to search the web catalog, reserve books (even from other branches), pull them, and CALL me when they are available. Game changer! They also have audiobooks and ebooks available through the Libby app. Visit your local library and see what they offer that will make reaching your goal easier for you!




So there you are. Tips and tricks to get AND KEEP you reading the entire year!!



The most important thing to do?




Happy Reading!


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-Valerie