Reading has a multitude of benefits. Not only does it keep your mind sharp, but it increases your vocabulary and stretches your imagination and powers of empathy. Reading is one of the best ways to keep your brain fit and to get a sense of perspective about the limits of your problems—without reading and deeply engaging with other people’s experiences (and a three minute news article won’t do this) it’s easy to think of ourselves and our problems as the end-all. By losing yourself in a book, you can both escape briefly from your current dilemmas and return to them with greater wisdom and new ideas.
But how can you fit reading into your busy week? Here are five ways to get yourself to read more.
Make it convenient. When reading is something you have to go out of your way to do, you’re less likely to do it. Ask yourself what would make reading more convenient for your lifestyle. One idea would be to get an e-reader or app for your phone so you can download books instead of having to go to a bookstore. Another idea would be to look into audiobooks that you can listen to on your commute, or perhaps you can read on your lunch break.
Get a library card. Libraries are still relevant today. In fact, many libraries have ways to lend you ebooks on your e-reader or smartphone. Check with your local library for details. Either way, libraries are a fantastic way to get new books to read for free. You can also ask the librarian for inspiration and ideas if you don’t know what you want to read.
Create a personalized reading nook. Perhaps one of the things keeping you from reading is that there’s no comfortable place in your home to read, or insufficient light to read by. A reading nook is a spot dedicated for reading, that is cozy and inviting, a comfortable place where you can thoroughly enjoy your book. All you’ll need to start is a comfortable chair and a dedicated lamp (check to make sure it’s bright enough before purchasing). From there you can add artwork, bookshelves, pillows, or whatever you need to help you get into the reading mood. For ideas and inspiration, look up “reading nooks” online.
Use a website to keep track of your books. Websites such as Goodreads allow you to keep track of what books you’ve read, write reviews, and get personalized recommendations. These sites also allow you to chat with friends and other book lovers, and set reading goals for yourself, which are great motivational tools. If you aren’t a member of one of these sites already, sign up and look around. Chances are you already have some friends who are members, and they’d be happy to recommend some books to help you get started.
Find your passion. If you’re passionate about a certain subject, then there’s nothing better than a book to help you learn more. Even many hit TV shows, such as Game of Thrones, began life as books. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a book for it. If you read about what you’re already passionate about, you’re more likely to make reading a habit.
Even in a world where new technology reigns supreme, there’s nothing quite like a good book to stretch your mind and imagination. It’s never too late to become a bookworm. No matter how you go about motivating yourself, choosing to make books a part of your life will make it richer. Happy reading!