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Something I hear said all the time is "I wish I could read more" or "I wish I had time to read". Shall I let you in on a little secret? YOU DO! We make time for all sorts of things...the gym, food, shopping, EastEnders.....so it's just a question of making time for reading. 5 or so years ago I was a big bookworm (so much so that "bookworm" or "bw" was Nick's first nickname for me), but then I fell into the world of blogging and reading real life books fell by the wayside. Social media is an undeniably addictive thing, so if you find yourself stuck in the trap of checking for constant online updates I'm here to tell you that you can escape!
Start slowly | If you can't remember the last time you picked up a book, you're probably best off with baby steps. Start again by reading a book by your favourite author, or in a genre you love. Make starting to read again as enjoyable as possible so you feel motivated to keep going.
Branch out | My passion for reading grows every time I discover a new genre or topic that I hadn't read about before. Circus-themed books are my weakness at the moment and once I've found a genre I didn't know about, I'm always excited to go out and find more books in a similar vein. Once you've got the reading bug back, start exploring and reading books outside of your comfort zone. By all means don't trudge through a book that you're finding difficult to get along with, but by broadening your horizons you might just find that you want to read more and more.
Utilise every bit of time | This one goes back to that social media point I made earlier. Just yesterday I was waiting for something to boil on the hob so I put on YouTube for background noise. Then I realised there was absolutely no need for me to stand there waiting - it was a spare 5 minutes I could read with! Now, if my hands aren't busy and I'm using YouTube as noise to go alongside whatever I'm doing, I switch it off and read for a bit instead.
Join a book club | Hopefully you've seen some of our Blogger Bookclub posts. I'm really enjoying mixing with people with different tastes, taking it in turns to choose a book to read (branching out, like I said before!) and catching up at the end to see what everyone else thought of it. Obviously this is a book club in its loosest form, but having a set book to read each month is a really easy way to make sure you put in the effort to get through it. Or you could go the whole hog and join proper reading groups with set questions and discussions....although they're a little too much for me!
Use a Kindle | As much as I love the feel and smell of a new book (not to mention the excitement I get from whiling away time in bookshops!), the Kindle definitely has it's advantages. Sometimes the thought of reading a huge book can be a bit daunting....a Kindle solves that problem by just giving you a percentage of the way through you are. For some reason I find that much nicer to know than seeing how many pages are left! I can also read my Kindle when I'm finding it hard to sleep at night but don't want to turn the light on and wake Nick. Not to mention the obvious benefits of cheaper books, the huge variety available and the fact that you can store so many on something so tiny. And I promise I'm not sponsored by Amazon!
Set goals | If I'm reading a particularly slow book, I set myself the goal of reading one chapter a night. At least. That way you're always making progress, and more often than not I find it's the gentle nudge I needed to get me into the story and before I know it I'm hooked and whizzing through.
Is there anything you think I've missed?