I have begun to read books again, not of the typical type, electronically with the Amazon Kindle App downloading it to my iPhone, iPad and MacBook to keep the books I’ve purchased and wish to read on.
Having finished The Hunger Games Trilogy, and about to embark on the 800+ pages of the Game of Thrones series, which requires much more of my attention span like The Lord of the Rings Series with the many characters and places in the novels.
While reading The Hunger Games, I learnt to implement reading into each day, I have a few tips to help you schedule reading into your life.
Use an App
I have chosen the Kindle App and have placed it on all of my electronic devices mentioned above. I can now read on my walk to work, sitting on the bus, waiting for friends to arrive at lunchtime, waiting for meetings to begin, etc. I have found if I am bored of my surroundings I will whip my iPhone out of my pocket and launch the Kindle App, even if its less than 5 mins of reading. Most reading apps have settings that save your page bookmark, change the size of the text, make your screen brighter or softer for reading easier, and can switch between portrait or landscape reading. There are many apps on the market, all are easy to use and its as simple as downloading one and signing up to their website with your credit card to purchase the books. Many books give you a free sample of the first few chapters, if you’re not into it, you can delete it and try the next book on your list.
Sign up to Goodreads.com and create Wish lists
Signing up to Goodreads, and creating a Wish list is fantastic, you can update it anywhere with an app, and all your reading information is kept in one place. Goodreads has other benefits of being able to track your reading, list previously read books & rate them, give reviews, connect with your friends, post updates to Facebook and twitter, see what your friends are reading, received recommendations based on the books in your library, set reading goals, and add books to you’re reading wish list. Goodreads has an App available for your mobile.
Take Photos of books you see in store that you wish to read
This is too easy. I walk around the book stores waiting for friends to arrive at the shops all the time, and if I pick up a book read the blurb on the back and think ‘That looks interesting’, I put the book back on the shelf and take a photo of it. Once at home, I can jump online and buy the sample or add it to my wish list on goodreads.
Schedule a daily reading time
The main reason it’s difficult to find time to read is because it’s one of the few times throughout the day where you can’t multitask. With something like television it’s easy to get up and walk away or reply to a few emails during commercial breaks. Reading requires more of your attention. Subsequently, the best way to work reading into your schedule is to find those times in the day when you can dedicate the attention needed to reading.
If you can, the easiest way to fit reading into your schedule is the most obvious: schedule in time to read. This is easier said than done, but it might be more possible than you think if you consider a few times of your day when you’re not doing much else. Even just 30 minutes a day, and if you can fit it into your schedule, that’s all the time you need to dedicate to reading a day. I have been putting aside from 9:30pm before I go to bed at 10pm for reading. Not only is my mind focused on the book I’m reading, it’s a great way to nod off (except for some of the bad dreams I’ve been having from the contents of the books I’m reading).
If a 30-minute block of time is out of the question, use your downtime throughout the day to read. If you get a 15-minute break at work that you usually spend leaning against the water cooler, read instead. The same goes for your lunch, the bathroom, the gym, or even during that awkward time when you’re waiting for a dinner to cook. Just make sure you always have the book you’re reading with you so you can take advantage of any free time you get throughout the day.
Set up a special reading area with no distractions
You can do all the scheduling you want, but if you don’t have a comfortable place to read without distractions it’s not going to do you any good. This place is different for everyone, but the idea is pretty simple. Find a place where you can get away from your phone, your family and any other distractions, and just read. This may be something like the lunch room at work, or it might be a specific chair in your house. The point is to find a place where you’re comfortable and can read in peace without thinking about checking your email or cleaning the house. I read in bed, with nothing but the nightlight turned on, This way I can either sit up in bed with my iPad or lay down on my side, head on the pillow reading off my iPhone.
Don’t read an entire series back to back
I’ve made this mistake many times. One to two books of a series in a row is fine, by the third book of The Hunger Games, I was beginning to tire of the back and forth love interests of Katniss being unable to choose, I had lost interest of taking down the Capitol and the efforts of rebellion all began to seem useless and not even worth my full attention reading. Even an important event of destroying The Ring in Lord of the Rings, can become something unimportant when it feels like the story has been going on forever, and ever, and ever. When I began to read the Harry Potter books, only 3 were out at the time, and being small children’s books these were a very easy read. Over the years of purchasing the remaining series, it was far more enjoyable to slowly read through the story over years before arriving at the final event.
Know When to Give Up On Books You Hate and Find Books You Love
Sometimes a book isn’t working out. In that case, it’s good to know when you close it up and move along to something you’ll actually enjoy. As someone who often has to rely on a lot of “best of” lists to discover new books, I’ve force myself through giant 800-page books just because they are critical acclaim or because a friend recommended them. In those cases, I repeatedly find excuses not to read just because I wasn’t into what I was reading. I’ve learnt to know when to put a book back and shelve a book for later, or never. Reading should be a pleasurable experience, and if it’s not, find something else to read.
Find your Niche
It’s also worth noting that finding your niche for books is probably the easiest way to make yourself take the time to read. This means something different to you than anyone else, but tracking down your favourite genres, non-fiction topics, graphic novels or general interests is a great way to make sure you actually enjoy your time reading. If you’re not sure what you like, the bookstore is your best place to start to find the topics you’re interested in. Just don’t feel any shame if your favourite genre ends up being a line of steamy romance novels or cheesy hardboiled detective fiction.
Mars on Life.