BY RACHAEL BLAKEY
One of my most asked questions is “how do you read so much with two kids?” – and I never really know how to answer, I just make it my top priority. I try and do as many jobs around the house that need doing first thing in the morning, whilst both boys entertain themselves/have breakfast ect. So then when it comes to Oliver’s nap – I can read! Even if it is only 5 pages, little & often definitely works. BUT saying that, these are some little tips I have picked up in all the many years I have been reading, on ways to read more books.
1. BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR GOAL – I use Goodreads and every year you can set yourself a goal of how many books you’d like to read in the year and it tallies it up for you so you can keep track and I have definitely had to lower mine since having children. I used to easily read 100+ books a year but now I aim for 52 and if I go over, then yay! Whether it is one book a month or so many pages a day, if you get closer & closer to your goal, you can always increase it but seeing a huge daunting number – the pressure can have the opposite effect and you’ll end up not wanting to read anything.
2. IF YOU DISLIKE A BOOK, PUT IT DOWN – This is something I’ve only really started doing the past couple of years. I used to force myself to finish a book, even if I hated it. Which is just silly. There are too many books I want to read to waste my time on a shitter. Put it down. You can always go back to it if you just aren’t feeling it at the time OR if it really isn’t for you, pass it on to someone who might enjoy it!
3. MOOD READ – I used to set myself a very specific TBR (to be read) list and stick to it every month but sometimes I just wasn’t feeling any of the books I picked when it actually came to picking one. I have since found reading whatever I am in the mood for, I read a lot quicker because it’s exactly what I fancied.
4. USE YOUR TIME WISELY – So say your kid has a decent two hour nap, or you have a couple of hours in the evening. You could easily spend that time just watching whatever on TV or mindlessly scrolling your phone, but what I have recently started doing is reading for 30 minutes or 1 hour and THEN watching tv, it never works quite as well if you do it the other way round because you’ll be too into whatever you are watching.
5. ALWAYS HAVE A BOOK WITH YOU – I always, always, always have a book with me. Or my Kindle. Whichever. Whether it is on your work commute, waiting at the doctors or whilst cooking tea (audiobooks). This is my point earlier, grabbing 5 minutes here & there really adds up!
6. JOIN A BOOK CLUB – One of the best ways to read more is to read with other people! It’s so fun sharing your progress & thoughts with other people who are also reading the same thing! I love taking part in book clubs to the point where we have recently launched one on our That Mama Club Instagram.
7. KINDLE – I 10000% read quicker when I am reading on my kindle. I don’t know what it is but I can easily fly through a book in a day. I especially use my kindle at night time because I am upstairs with a sleeping baby so can’t have the lights on, which is when my kindle comes in useful with its backlight. I know some people are not a fan of electronic reading but honestly, it’s a game changer. Plus books can be a LOT cheaper. The kindle app is actually free to download onto your phone & tablet.
8. DISTRACTION FREE – It is SO easy to be easily distracted whilst reading, especially by your phone or the tv, I am a bugger for it. So I now move my phone to the other side of the sofa or bed, turn the screen over so I can’t see any notifications & I turn the tv off or have it on a really shit channel (I actually prefer reading to background noise) so you’ll not be as distracted.
9. SET A TIME LIMIT – I regularly host reading sprints via my book club, so basically you’ll set an alarm of 30 minutes or 1 hour and you’ll do nothing but read for that amount of time. I find it SO useful to get a good amount of pages read.
10. COMMIT – I always read before I go to sleep. I turn the TV off when I start to feel a little tired and pick up my book. This can go one of two ways – I can either fall asleep much easier OR I get so into the book that I read until the early hours. To be honest I am happy with either. Commit yourself to reading during a certain activity so on your commute, before bed or whilst you’re cooking. Make that your designated reading time.
11. SHARE WHAT YOU READ – I share all my reads on my Instagram stories and save them to a highlight! It’s a great way to discover new reads because people will recommend things similar to what you’ve read. I love sharing the books I have been reading.
12. READ MORE THAN ONE BOOK AT A TIME – I can sometimes do this, depending what mood I am in but I know some people can read 3/4/5 books at a time, which is a great way to read more!
13. FOLLOW BOOKSTAGRAM & BOOKTUBE – This is a dedicated community on Instagram & YouTube who solely share books – what they’re reading, book reviews, hauls ect. It is amazing and addictive.
14. TRY BEFORE YOU READ – Before committing to a full book, why not try the first chapter of a few books and see what takes your fancy! One chapter could turn into a whole book!
There you have it, 14 super easy ways to read more books! Let us know if you try any of these tips.