It’s a constant struggle – with almost every hour in the day taken up from eating, sleeping, or working, it’s a little difficult to find time to flick through some pages. There are so many distractions and responsibilities that feel like you’re being torn away from your TBR, but there are so many ways to get back on track.
Set yourself a challenge
This can be a small challenge, such as getting 50 pages read in a week, or a full blown year long target. Start small – aim for finishing a chapter each time you pick up a book – and you’ll be surprised just how much you’ll get into the swing. When you’ve set yourself a number it can be very difficult not to read more to get it completed as soon as you can, especially if you’re naturally competitive.
Be realistic with those challenges
There’s no point in setting yourself a goal of 100 books a week – there simply won’t be enough time. Maybe go for 100 over the year, but set yourself something for a weekly or monthly – or even daily – basis that you know is achievable. If you aim to read 20 pages per day, that’s still over 7,000 pages throughout the year.
Join a book club with deadlines
Much the same as giving yourself some motivation with a few challenges, if you’re in a group who has to have a book read before a set date it’ll give you the motivation you need to speed through your book pile. Even if you can’t find a physical book club in your area, there are plenty you can join online. Irish radio presenter Rick O Shea runs a book club each month on Facebook, and offers two books to get through for the month before having a full blown discussion. Plus, having a book club, or even a group of people reading the same book, gives you someone to rant/fangirl with.
Make the move to digital
Gone are the days when a book was only available in paper form. You can now pick up an e book or an audio book to help you clock up a few more words. E books are great for reading in a room where someone else is trying to sleep, but you want to keep ploughing on with your latest read – you can turn down the brightness as low as able, and read on without disturbing anyone.
If e books aren’t your thing, download some audio books and plug in anywhere – on the treadmill at the gym, or in the car on the way to work.
It’s no secret that social media and our online lives is taking away from reading time. It might be time to turn off your phone and instead, pick up a book.
Set your phone aside for a couple of minutes each day and get reading. What I like to do is put my phone on airplane mode, set a timer for 50 minutes and then put my phone at the other side of the room. This way, I’m getting through as much of my book as I can, and there’s no buzzing phone to take my train of thought away.
Don’t be afraid of quitting
If you’re really not enjoying the book you’re reading, abandon it. There’s no shame in admitting a book wasn’t for you. Besides, life is too short to read a bad book.
Get to bed a little earlier
When you think of bedtime you think shutting down and relaxing so you can get to sleep as quickly as possible. Your bed, though, can be the best place to get a little reading done – it’s your own space, and perfect for cosying up with some tea and your latest favourite. Try and get to bed a bit earlier one night per week – even half an hour makes a big difference when you’re finishing off a book you’ve been stuck on for ages.
Bring a book everywhere – EVERYWHERE
You’d be surprised just how often you can take out a book and get some pages turned. Coffee shops are the perfect time to sit back with a book, and you can even prop it up on the machines at the gym. While reading at work isn’t ideal, there’s no rules against reading on your lunch break or on the train there. You can even download the Kindle app to your phone so you’re truly never without something to read.