If you follow me on twitter, you probably knew about how I've been binge-reading lately. Binge-reading? That's good, isn't it? Yes, of course. The thing is, I haven't been reading a lot for years; the last time I activated my bookworm mode was, what...3-4 years ago? I was a quick and focused reader when I was still in high school. Fast forward to college, I haven't been able to do that. This year, I'm willing to change that and make reading as part of my daily routine. I, too, have several tips on how to stay focused when it comes to doing it.
First of all, let us acknowledge that reading takes a lot of effort. If you happen to pick a wrong book and want to stop halfway, it's fine to do it. I used to force myself to finish a book even if it was such a bad read. Now, I don't want to waste my energy and time to read a book I cannot tolerate. If you tolerate a bad read and refuse to or have never abandoned any book then kudos for you, my friend!
Anyway, below are some tips and tricks that have been working for me so far.
Carry your reading material with you
Of course, this may not be suitable for every occasion because obviously, you're not going to bring a book or your Kindle / iPad if you attend a wedding invitation, for example. But you know what I mean; as much as possible, try to sneak your book into your bag so you can find the time to take it out and read it on the spot unless your book is a hardcover with the size of an encylopedia which will weigh down your handbag. In that case, it's probably best to read a digital copy instead. I personally prefer paperback but sometimes, we can't always purchase physical copies when we're short on budget, right?
Snatch some time to read
If you travel to your office or school by bus, train or whatever the public transport is, there's a chance for you to snatch some time to read a few pages or better yet, even a chapter. I know it's not always the same for everybody but look closely, there must be certain situations where you can snatch a few minutes and use that chance to read, even if it's only ten pages or less. Whether it's 30 minutes of waiting by the train or bus station, you can always flip a few pages and try to add some progress.
Read before bed
This is probably the safest and best way to actually add some progress to your reading. If the previous point does not work for you because you're busy 24/7 during the day, try to incorporate some reading before going to bed. Also, set a goal for the number of pages you should read before bed or per day. For instance, I always tell myself to read at least a chapter or two before bed and more if possible.
Track your progress
I don't know about you but I get so pumped up whenever I keep track of my reading progress. There's a sense of fulfillment when I've finished a book. Whenever I see my reading progress via Goodreads, I have this sense of "x pages left into finishing this book!" and that makes me want to read more so I can move on to grab a new book because after all, a new book gives you that mysterious adventure feeling.
Set time for your priority
I think this is obvious. Prioritize the thing or things that you want to deal with first. If you want to read more (and probably faster), include the book in your daily plan. Reduce Netflix, reduce social media, reduce the internet; instead, find a comfortable spot, sit down and read. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't watch Netflix. Instead, try to spend 30-40 minutes dedicated to reading before doing other things. It's also called managing your time.
Pick a second book and take turns
Alright, hear me out here: ever got that feeling of sticking to one book and halfway you grew tired of it? You don't want to abandon the book because you actually like the story and you're curious about its ending but there's no denying that you feel bored and tired and overall blah. My trick is to pick a second book, one that's a lot easier and simpler to refresh my mind. For example, when I was reading a 600 pages book with a fairly difficult writing style, I picked a second book that is way easier and simpler to read and with faster pacing as well. The key is to stimulate your mind and keep it inspired.
Well then, that's it for (some) reading tips and tricks. Although all of these work for me, some may not fit you or your situation. The key here is to be dedicated and possibly set a schedule for yourself. Personally, I'm still trying to make this into a habit and hopefully, I will continue to do this in the long run. I also find that downsizing the use of internet helps tremendously. Internet is the culprit, you guys!
What are your tips and tricks to read more? What is the one thing that makes you read less?