One of my yearly goals that frequently reoccurs is to make time to read. Or simply to read more. So when I saw a link to an article about tips to “help you spend more time reading and finish books faster” (Source: 11 tips and tricks to make yourself read more), it seemed like a great potential resource. But when I read it, I couldn’t stop laughing at the suggestions. Maybe if you were a non-reader, but as a reader looking to carve out more time, they seemed hilarious to me.
1. Never leave home without a book — it says this is inconvenient if you don’t have a bag or purse to carry it in. Really? *I’m* a reader…half of my travel accessories are built around being big enough to carry both paper books and e-readers. I have small bags, medium bags, large bags. When I travel, I have large bags with enough room in them to carry my smaller bags for traveling around with once I get there. What reader doesn’t either have a bag if they are still a Luddite only reading paper or an ebook app (or five) on their digital devices?
2. Track your reading progress — Under the heading of “what gets measured, gets done”, here’s the thing … every second you spend TRACKING is a second you are not READING. Hello???? I want to read, not learn an app. However, tracking is important for shaming others who don’t read. If you don’t have the stats, you can’t humiliate others near as well.
3. Join a book club — book clubs are many things. But an incentive to read is rarely one of the most consistent. Reading is something YOU DO BY YOURSELF. You READ to READ, not so you can leverage it for more social interactions that will take you away from READING. On the other hand, if you’re low on your monthly quota of rich snacks, snooty acquaintances, and cheap wine, a book club might be for you!
4. Only read what you’re into — I’m sorry, that’s not how readers are wired. I read stuff I love. I read stuff I hate. I read stuff written on bathroom walls, graffiti on public buildings, the tags on mattresses, labels on cereal boxes, the name of the manufacturer of eye test charts when I’m waiting in the optometrist’s office. Read what I’m *into*? I’m INTO EVERYTHING — I’m a READER.
5. Knock out a few pages wherever and whenever you can — oh, you sly dog you. Books are like heroin or cocaine. You don’t get to just have a taste to take the edge off, you devour, you dive, you lose yourself in them until social relationships crumble around you because you were reading, lost track of time, and accidentally showed up 3 hours late to a wedding. Your own.
6. Read while you exercise — One of my favorites. I absolutely will read when I exercise. Or, more likely, I’ll exercise when I’m done reading. Which is when I finish reading every book ever written. Twice.
7. Read before bed — Really? Does this ever work out for anyone? I’m a READER, not a sleeper. This is how you ended up missing work the day after Harry Potter #4, 5, 6, and 7 came out. Cuz you were READING the night before, in bed, and stayed up for HOURS.
8. Get in tight with a book nerd — Here’s the thing. Book nerds have no friends. Well, not organic friends anyway. They have lots of paper friends. That’s why they’re BOOK NERDS — they don’t like PEOPLE! Kind of hard to make friends with people who see you as an impediment to their continued reading.
9. Don’t read a bunch of things at one time — See point 4. I read EVERYTHING at once. If I accidentally leave a book at home, I’m on to the next book. I’m a reading ‘ho, I’ll become mentally intimate with anything with lines of text. Sometimes several partners a day. And when I’m done, I toss them aside like yesterday’s business, and I’m on to the next one! Sure, once in awhile, I’ll reminisce about my favorites, savour a particular experience, but the high fades like store-bought love often does, and I’m jones-ing for the next contact.
10. Find or make a quiet place — Quiet? Who needs quiet? I need a BOOK, after that the world disappears. Walls could crumble, buildings could fall, and I’d still be wondering what the Queen of Hearts is going to say or do next.
11. Couple it with something you love — Great idea. How do I couple reading with reading?
Maybe, after all, that article wasn’t meant for the likes of me…