Have you considered taking steps to proactively increase your reading?
A mentor of mine was fond of pointing out that you’re either growing or your dying. For him, a key indicator of where you stood in that regard was your response when asked to name the last book you started and finished reading.
Half of American adults read less than 5 books in the past year, according to the Pew Research Center. When it comes to literature, consumption has fallen to a 30 year low. The National Endowment for the Arts says only 43% of adults read even a single novel, story, poem, or play in 2015.
Maybe you want to read more, but one thing or another keeps getting in the way. If you’re going to boost your record, it’s important to do more than wait around for vacations or sick days to catch up.
Try following this recipe to increase your reading and consume bigger portions of the written word.
There are books on every subject. Start with something you love, whether it’s quantum physics or old movies.
Are you feeling guilty about the bestseller that’s been sitting on your nightstand since last Christmas? Keep a variety of fresh reading material around to stimulate your curiosity.
If you’re bored with one title, move on. Stay engaged by reading only what you care about.
Does a local shop have a section for staff recommendations? Create your own suggestions to share with family and friends.
How about sharing the books while you’re at it? Reading will be more pleasurable when you can look forward to discussing your reactions with others. You may learn more about yourself and your loved ones.
Sites like Amazon and Goodreads make it easy to voice your opinions about any author and their works. You may find that you read more carefully when you know you’re going to report on what you think.
Reading doesn’t have to be solitary. Look on Meetup for a book club near you or start one of your own.
If it’s difficult to carve out a full free hour, read when you can. That could include the time you spend on hold or standing in line for groceries.
Put a paperback or magazine in your tote bag, so you can take it along with you wherever you go, or keep your e-reader handy. Stash some books in your office, car, and kitchen.
How many bookshelves do you have at home? Having your books visible and accessible will make you want to read more.
While it pays to incorporate reading into your daily routine, you can also take advantage of opportunities to dive deeper into great works. When you’re recovering from surgery or taking an international flight, you can use the time to brush up on Russian poetry or Greek art.
On the other hand, if you’re swamped, you can still squeeze in some essays and short stories. Do what works for you.
E-readers and traditional books both have their advocates. Experiment with whatever options are most comfortable for you. You may even find that you like both approaches, depending on the subject matter or time of day.
How long has it been since you visited your local library? Unlike most hobbies, reading can be totally free of charge.
An Intrinsic Coach® and enthusiastic student of personal development, I've been actively writing on a range of related topics for over 10 years. The range of topics I share has varied over time, but I try to pick ones that will hopefully strike a chord with you. You may or may not always enjoy everything I write, but if you appreciate the effort please make a point to share it with someone else.
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