Compared to some, I am not a huge reader. I look at my friends Anne or Keren, and my reading list looks like nothing. But compared to many others, I read a lot. And I am really happy with how far I’ve come since my early days of reading. I haven’t always read a lot.
I have learned a lot from reading. It keeps me inspired and full of ideas. It helps keep my mind sharp and not stuck in the issues of 4, 2, and 1 year-olds. Now that I’ve tasted the joys of lots of reading, I’m not going back.
When Stefan was a baby, I read a lot. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a great way of keeping track of it then, so I don’t know exactly how much. But I was always reading. I read enough parenting books to make your head spin–and confuse you, too. I read a lot of Christian living type books and really that was about it.
After I had Olivia, reading sort of stopped. Olivia was my cry-all-the-time baby, and I felt like life froze for those first few months she was a baby. In hindsight, I realize reading –not stopping reading–would have probably helped my sanity. Live and learn.
The last two years I have been able to pick up my reading, but it really has just been in the last year that I have figured out the one thing that helps me read more. Apparently, it takes me awhile to figure these things out. If I’d only asked an avid reader earlier I would have known.
Read multiple books at a time.
Before, when I would have only one book going on at a time, I would often leave it for days, and sometimes weeks, completely untouched.
If it was a book I was having a hard time getting through, or didn’t especially love, it could take me forever (and I do mean forever) to read.
After I started observing what more proficient readers were doing, I realized this single most important thing: they always had several books going.
Having multiple books going at a time helps me vary the genres I read in. For instance, I have been trying to read more history so I started a pretty huge book. Obviously it is going to take me a significant amount of time to wade through the 700-some pages. But I am only reading a few pages a day so I keep making progress. I am actually really enjoying it, but I think that is precisely because I am taking it in small doses. I would never get through it if that was all I was reading.
In the meantime, I am still reading lots of other stuff that is either lighter fair or of different genres, which keep things interesting.
I always have something to read. If I’m dog-tired at night but still want to read for a few minutes, I read something a little easier on the brain. If I am fresh and full of energy, I read something that requires a little more thinking.
Having something going of varying genres and styles keeps things interesting and keeps me knocking out books. I am no more surprised than anyone when I go to write my reading posts. I read this much? Nice!
At any given time I may have up to five books going. This means I regularly have a book I’m finishing and a fresh book I’m just starting. This in itself helps me read more. There is something motivating both in the accomplishment of finishing a book, and in the freshness of opening up a new book. Since both those things are happening regularly, it keeps me reading more.
I am not a great reader. But this single tip has helped me increase how much I read more than anything else.
Do you have a tip to share that helps you read more?