Reading has so many benefits for our lives: it increases our creativity, expose us to new ideas, changes our vision of the world, help us to write and communicate better, etc. However, it seems hard work making time for reading, even for the more avid readers. I always have believed that what matters is not how many books you read per year, because that number means really nothing, but how much time you spend reading daily. For that reason, in this post, I want to give you 5 tips that have helped me increase my reading time.
I saw this idea from a Youtuber called Haley Pham. The video she made is titled "swapping my phone screen time for reading…" and I've seen she is not the only one who has made this. So, in that video, we see that she spend normally between 4 to 6 hours a day on the phone. Once measured the screen time, Haley tries to read on the next days for the same amount of hours.
I also measure my screen time and detect that I spend approximately the same amount as this YouTuber, but some days I can be on my phone for as long as 9 hours, which is madness. So, here is what I've done to deal with my phone addiction and dedicate more time to reading.
Of course, you can't see the magnitude of your problem if you don't measure it. Maybe you think that your screen time is not that much, but believe me that your can surprise yourself. For this purpose, I use Bubble timer, which has a very useful free version.
Maybe you want to do an extreme swapping, but I recommend going slowly. If your screen time usually is 6 hours, try to reduce at least the third part and dedicated 2 hours per day to reading. Then you can keep increasing that time.
In this category, I include social media, games, etc. I'm no telling you to give up social media if you don't want to, but don't have the apps all the time on your phone, only install them when you have a great reason to use them. If you don't find anything distracting on your mobile you're more likely to grab a book.
So there are so many situations when you need to wait and instead of scrolling on your phone you can take advantage of that waste of time and read. For example, on a line for buying something, at the salon, or at a medical appointment.
I don't recommend reading while you're on a bus or in a car. That damage your vision health. I know that the temptation is huge, and sometimes we need to travel for hours. But, think it this way, if you want to have more years for reading when you're old, you better take care of your eyes now.
If you want to read more put your books visible, especially the book you are planning to read. A great place is your bedside table. When the night comes, you can have your book handy instead of your phone.
I have several other posts where I talked about this. An eReader, helps you to read more for many reasons, but one of them is because is an open invitation to read any time you see it. And, pay close attention, is not an invitation to read something, but an invitation to read anything. If you are like me, who reads multiple books at a time, you'll know that not any moment is perfect for some books. Before I have my eReader I usually see one of the books I was reading and don't grab it, only because I was not in the mood for that specific kind of text.
It also happened to me that I don't get to see the books I was reading because they were one above the other on my bedside table. With my Kindle, that is not a problem anymore, because I have a Home screen where I can visualize all the books I'm reading at a time.
Put two or three reminders every day for reading. Try to set these reminders when you're more likely to read. For example, I know that 10 a.m. is not usually a great time for me to read because is my time to study, write and work.
One great idea is putting in your reminders inspirational or funny phrases that motivate you more for reading.
I study literature, so my class is my book club. And now that I'm finishing I've been asked to stay at the University as a literature professor, so I will have time to share my readings with others. I sometimes read with my husband, as well.
Reading with someone else, or at the same time, as well as being in an environment where people like and care about books, gives you the motivation to make time for reading.
I hope these tips have like you, if so, let me know in the comments and consider subscribing.