So You Want to Become a Reader

5 tips to up your book intake this year.

Hello again! Loooong time, no blogging. Well, that isn’t totally true. I’ve been posting on my other blog Sweden and Me. But, mostly, rather than writing, I’ve been reading.

I love to read. I’ve always loved to read. But over the last year, in 2020, I dove headfirst into reading again with a new fervor and ferocity. In the chaotic storm of 2020 reading was my life raft, keeping me afloat as the waves crashed down. I couldn’t get enough of it. My New Year’s Resolution in 2020 was to read 60 books in the year. That’s five books a month. 1.15 books a week. I ended December 31st, 2020 at 75 books. So far, I’ve finished seven books this year. If you want to know how I did it, here’s how.

My top tips to read more this year:

  1. Just Start – There is no perfect time to become a reader. Actually, scratch that. There is definitely a perfect time to become a reader. Right now. Pick up a book and dive in. And 2021 couldn’t be a better time to start because we are all still just sitting at home. We’ve watched all of Netflix, completed a million puzzles, and have tried and failed to become a chess pro. Now it is time to become a reader. Set a goal and go for it! Reading three, six, twelve, or one hundred books this year is totally achievable, but only if you start now.
  2. Give Audio Books a Chance – Some people say listening isn’t reading, but I couldn’t disagree more. I think reading is about taking in words, stories, facts, and ideas. And some times listening to a book is the best way to take it in. There is such magic in having a trained voice actor whisk you away to a difference place and time. The experience can be immersive in its own beautiful way. My favorite audio book is American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. The narrator Yareli Arizmendi is incredible. What I love most about audio books is that they give me the chance to read when I otherwise could not. I first discovered audio books when I had a 45-minute commute to work and it made the time pass so much more peacefully. Now I love listening to audio books as I do my skincare fresh from the shower, as I cook, clean, walk, stretch, you name it.
  3. Have a Book for Every Mood – Sometimes I am in the mood to read, but just not that book. Maybe I want to go to sleep soon and need something that isn’t too riveting. Sometimes I want to be transported out of my living room (which I truly do live in now) and into a whole other world. Often I want to learn something new. In order to fulfill all of these needs that strike, I often read three to five books at a time. These are always different types of books though. I typically have one fiction book, one non-fiction book, one audio book, one self-development book, and one memoir or biography going at any time. This way I am ready for any reading mood that might strike and don’t have to worry about confusing the content. Oh, and I also love having a “cozy” book hanging around the house. Something tried and true that I can pick up whenever I need a pick-me-up.
  4. Always Have a Book with You – You will be amazed at how many opportunities you have to read in a day. Waiting at the DMV? Read. On hold with UPSP Customer Service? Read. On a bus, train, plane? Read! If you have a book with you, you will be ready to read when the time presents itself. And if carrying a book around isn’t appealing to you, consider audio or e-books (we are giving them a chance, remember?). It is amazing to see how much 10 minutes of reading here and there adds up to.
  5. Remove Barriers – Reading, like any hobby, often requires some financial investment. Buying books can get expensive and requires some storage space around the house (or friends you can pass them off to). So if that is what is stopping you from getting your reading on, look into ways you can remove barriers. Can you borrow books from a friend? Or, my personal favorite, visit your local library? With quarantine, many libraries have joined Libby throughout the world. It is a great way to borrow books (both audio and e-books) from your local library without having to leave your house. Audible is also a very affordable way to own audio books and a great way to remove the time cost associated with sitting down to read (hello, multitasking!). Maybe you just don’t know what to read. Try services like Book of the Month, Feminist Book Club, or BlackLit and have a book picked for you based on your preferences and sent right to your door. Need some accountability? Join a book club. I’m part of three and they push me to read new and different genres, authors, etc.

And, a bonus tip: Befriend readers. We are passionate about books! We love talking about them and sharing our favorite reads. Being friends with readers, or even just following book-stagrams might just be the inspiration you need (but I’m guessing you already know that as you are reading this now).

If you are curious to see what I read in 2020, take a look at my Goodreads. And now it is your turn. Close the computer, put your phone on airplane mode, and dive into a good book. Happy reading!

So what are you going to read? Let me know in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “So You Want to Become a Reader

  1. I agree with the tip to have a book for every mood! I don’t have quite as many going at the same time as you, but I like to read a fiction and non-fiction at the same time so it’s easy to switch depending on my mood 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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