A quarter of the year has passed and I’m already halfway done with my Goodreads Reading Challenge. At the beginning of the year I set the challenge to thirty books with the intention to read bigger books. I dubbed the year ‘the year of the chonk’. But so far I’ve only read four chonkers. I’m not going to talk about the books I’ve read in this post, but more about my changed reading habit.
Committing to reading more
Setting a challenge for yourself might not be enough to get you to read more. It’s trying to turn reading into a habit than you can’t break away from. My planner has a small section to track habits and I added reading to that list. I see it every time I open my planner and seeing the habit tracker slowly filling up feels good.
My friend Anna and her husband agreed to read half an hour in bed before lights out. I do this often too, except my husband will watch a video or two instead of reading. I think it helps me sleep better, a nice way to end the day with something relaxing. I’m not bothered by the influx of impulses from social media or a game. For other people it works better to read in the morning, just after waking up or during breakfast. Whatever works for you. But by setting a time for reading, it’s easier to turn it into a habit.
Agreeing to several book tours also helped me to read more. I’m better at keeping deadlines set by others or with work for others. So agreeing to a book tour meant I had to read the book within a short period of time. I couldn’t put it off, like I do with any non-committed reading. I had to do it, or I would’ve disappointed the author and the host (and myself).
Read for fun
This might seem like an open door, but I’m still seeing a lot of people talking about DNF’ing. You don’t have to like every book and it’s perfectly fine to not finish reading one. Your time is precious so spend it on something you enjoy. I see this a lot with people reading ARCs and I notice that with myself too. I feel obligated to read and like the book I received from the publisher or author. But I don’t. Not anymore. I don’t request books unless I’m really excited to read them. There’s less pressure and so far, less disappointment.
I’m picking up books I’ve had my on my owned TBR forever and I’m now finally giving them a chance. It’s way overdue with some of them, but I’m really excited again. Just that excitement alone is enough to keep me reading. Diving deep into new and exciting worlds is what made me fall in love with reading in the first place.
Going back to favourites is another good way to read more too. I reread a lot and going back to one of my favourites when my brain couldn’t do words was a good decision. It didn’t break up my reading habit as much, and it may have helped me with recovery too.
Just changing these two things (and maybe put away your phone more) can help you to read more. Did you notice how I didn’t say anything about reading time or reading speed? Or even reading differently? That’s because it’s all up to you. If reading two books this year is reading more, that’s okay. If you want to read a book a day, that’s fine too. But check in with yourself, not others, about your reading habit. In the end, it’s all about you and your enjoyment.