5 Ways to Read More

Originally published January 2015

Wish you had more time to read? There is a way. Besides quitting your job.

You can resolve to read more this year. Here are 5 ways to make it happen. Easily.

First, commit. Browse the bookstore and find three titles that get your attention. Go ahead and buy, download, or write them down and head to the library. Start with one, and if you find it’s not grabbing you like you thought it would, abandon it and pick up another. The point is to keep going and not get frustrated just because you picked up a book that ended up a bust.

Second, put down the phone. The next time you find yourself sitting on the couch playing Candy Crush (at which you will inevitably be cursing after five minutes), put down the device and pick up the page. Read a chapter with the promise you’ll check your email afterward.

Third, embrace the nerd in you. Carry a book everywhere. The El stop, your car, soccer practice, Little League … If you squeeze in just five minutes while waiting for the kids at the bus stop, another five while stirring the spaghetti sauce, and five minutes before bed, you’ll get in at least a chapter a day.

Fourth, get over the guilt. It’s OK to take a few minutes every day to stick your nose in a book. You’re not being anti-social, you’re being intellectual. If you don’t read once in a while, what the heck are you going to talk about at the next book club meeting? And remember, your reading activity sets the bar for your kids (or your significant other) … if you want to raise readers, you need to read in front of them—not just to them.

Fifth, and finally, talk about what you are reading. Some of the best books I’ve read have come from suggestions from friends. AND, talking about books can be a great ice breaker when you find yourself facing strangers and having to make conversation.

Bonus advice: Books are everything and anything. Just like TV and the movies and art and music, there’s something for everyone, you just need to find your groove. Keep trying ’til you find it.

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