3 Ways to Read (Books) More Often
If you’re looking to read more often, you’re going to have to defeat the distractions of the digital age.
Your device is staring at you—even as we speak. It’s been programmed to keep you hooked.
Yet the fact that you clicked on this post demonstrates that you have a deep desire to extend your reading beyond the endless scroll of your social media accounts.
You want to read books. You want to be transported into satisfying narratives that unfold over hundreds of pages. You want to feel the accomplishment of plowing through a book. You want to turn that last page with a heavy sigh. (Personally, I know that I can almost hear “end-credits” music when I finish reading an exceptional book.)
Now, if you want to inform the world on social media (or in real life, gasp!) that you “just finished a great book,” it’s time to get started. Try out some of these tips, and you’ll be flipping the pages to your heart’s content:
Keep A Book at the Kitchen Table
Do you tend to flip through your phone as you’re noshing on a snack… or even as you’re consuming a sizeable meal?
Consider what you would like to consume while you’re eating.
Does your phone allow you to have an experience while you’re eating? Likely not.
Yet a book will give you an experience of its very own. You can zoom off into a fantasy-land. Climb into another era of history. Imagine existing as another person. Pore over something that makes you think. Laugh or weep over something that makes you feel.
Note: I don’t recommend reading a book when you’re sitting at the table with another person (unless you both agree to engage in a “tandem eating/reading” experience). I also don’t recommend keeping a library book too close to your soup; allot yourself a safe zone of drip space.
When You Want to Read a Book, Turn OFF Your Phone
Your phone? Off?
That’s right. Because before long, that puppy is going to draw you back in unless you put it to bed for the night (or the hour).
Carve out devoted reading time and put your phone in another room, in a place where it’s not easily accessible.
In a situation in which you want to read a book, but you’re waiting for an important phone call, just set your ringer on high, switch off your other notifications, and feel confident that there’s no need to look at your phone, because you’re going to hear that thing ring when it’s ready.
Bring a Book to Fill Up Your Wait Time
No matter where people are waiting, I tend to observe a similar pattern.
- 90% of people are scrolling through their phones.
- 5% of people are drinking a beverage.
- 3% of people are falling asleep.
- 1% of people are reading.
- 1% are trying to make conversation with someone nearby.
Of course, these numbers are completely unscientific. But take a look around and see if you agree. It’s a sad fact that toting around a book seems to be almost counter-cultural these days.
But you can be that rebel. Whip out that book and people will observe that you have “a life of the mind.”
When I’m read in public spaces, I like to accentuate the fact that I’m reading. I try to draw the book to people’s attention by holding it up rather prominently. I make myself look fully immersed in the book—which I usually am, fo’ real—so that others nearby will be inspired to pick up a book to read, one day soon.
Am I a dreamer? Maybe. But someone has to start the revolution. And you can join me.