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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers


Save money, eat better, exercise more, travel and read more are common goals at this time of the year. If you’re reading less than you would like, you’re not alone! If you’ve fallen out of the habit, try our 12 simple ways to read more. No speed reading skills required!

1. Curate your own reading list

While there’s no shortage of books to read, develop your own reading list. Make a plan of the titles you would like to read, keep a list and reading journal. Be sure to save the details for easy reference, to avoid ‘I can’t remember the title, but the cover is blue’ moments. Be sure to compile a reading list you find interesting, not what you think you should read!

2. Actively schedule reading time

The only way to read more is to truly prioritise it on your to-do list. Reading can easily be side lined by the demands of everyday life, so create a daily habit by scheduling it. Find a time that suits, either early in the morning before everyone is awake, on a break during the day, commuting or in the evening, instead of watching television.

3. Limit distractions

Turn your television off and switch your phone to silent for a distraction free reading environment. Find a quiet reading spot; it could be a comfortable nook at home, a shady tree, a park bench or at the beach. Be fully present and read mindfully. When your mind wanders, gently return to the text without judgement.

4. Read for pleasure

Don’t waste time reading what you think you’re supposed to read or about subjects you have absolutely no interest in. Instead, choose topics that fascinate you or people you admire. Ultimately, you should only read books you enjoy and yes, that means putting down a book you are struggling through!

5. Accept that it’s OK to quit!

Don’t be afraid to put a book down. If you’re not enjoying it, quit and move onto another. Accept that you will not enjoy every single book you read and that’s OK. Adjust your mindset to spend less time reading books out of a sense of obligation and more time for reading good books.

6. Browse your favourite bookstore

Regularly visit your favourite bookstore and browse the shelves for recommendations and new titles that catch your attention. Attend local author events, launches and readings. It’s a great way to discover new writers.

7. Join a book club

Meeting regularly to discuss books will certainly make you accountable. Join an existing group or start one of your own. You will discover titles you may not have selected yourself and will develop friendships. If you aren’t already a member, also join your local library to access audio, digital and print books.

8. Ask for recommendations

If you don’t already discuss books with family and friends, start now. It’s an ideal way to discover an enjoyable read. Connect with fellow book lovers online and follow your favourite authors and bookstores on social media.

9. Read widely to discover more

Reading introduces us to new ideas, challenges the imagination and helps reduce stress. Read outside your comfort zone and you will learn more about the world around you. We all have our favourite authors and genres, but don’t limit yourself. If you usually read thrillers, try a biography or memoir. Enjoy history? Explore suspense, travel or romance.

10. Take a book everywhere you go, seriously!

Next time you find yourself waiting for an appointment, commuting or in between activities, open your book and read! Carrying a book everywhere isn’t always easy or convenient, so make technology work for you.

11. Embrace audiobooks

Listening to audiobooks is ideal while exercising, commuting or doing chores. Printed, digital or audio versions all count. If you find reading difficult, an audiobook will make a difference in your enjoyment.

12. Revisit childhood favourites

Books and special stories from our childhood often stick with us throughout life. Rediscovering childhood favourites can be comforting, relaxing and provide a dose of nostalgia. If you have children, help develop a lifelong love of reading by devoting quality time to reading to them.

By Andrea Molloy

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