If you are looking back on this year with disappointment at your reading accomplishments, it might be a good time to put a few new year’s resolutions into place. Jotting down a list now, may help you avoid a future reading slump.
These ideas may help increase your reading time, and renew your vigor for reading.
Here’s to setting up a new year filled with many enjoyable reading moments, as well as personal growth through maximum book engagement.
- Start the year off with a ‘To Be Read List’ but do not simply list the books you want to read; create a realistic timeline by which you want to complete reading each book. It never hurts to have a plan. Remember to also allow yourself some free time to slot in books which crop up during the year. There are always those new releases which you cannot resist, or recommendations from friends which come along just when you need them.
- Include the cost of books in your budget. It is quite disheartening to pass up a book because you cannot afford it. Allow a reasonable amount of money for books in your budget every month. In this way you will not feel guilty when purchasing books. Also, do not be shy to shop in secondhand bookstores, charity shops and flea markets. These shops carry treasures at a bargain. Loaning books from friends can also save, but remember to return them on time and in the condition in which you borrowed it.
- Avoid distractions, especially social media. Whilst it might sound obvious that social media is a time-waster, we all know we are guilty of it. Every time you find yourself wasting time browsing through social media, looking at the same memes and videos, stop yourself and pick up your book instead. Time spent reading is far more constructive than time spent on social media.
- Benefit from your reading by further reading. You can increase your vocabulary by looking up unknown words in a dictionary instead of passing over them whilst reading. You can increase your general knowledge of the world by looking up places, people, artworks, historical events and philosophies that are mentioned in your story. Do not allow yourself to be a lazy reader.
- Attend literary festivals if you have the means to. You will broaden your scope of knowledge, meet fellow book lovers and have the opportunity to learn something new. Not to mention, these festivals are alive with excitement and enthusiasm, which are contagious.
- Join a book club to create a social circle with people whom you have common interests and similar reading goals. Book clubs also help to push you out of your comfort zone to try new authors and genres.
- Make an effort to get in touch with your favorite authors. Most authors are accessible by email or have Facebook pages. You could also attend their book signings. Engaging with your favorite authors will bring a whole new level of excitement to your reading.
- Support your local library to stop them from becoming extinct. Libraries are fast becoming a thing of the past, as many readers these days purchase e-books and audio books. It is sad to think that our kids may never know the joys and fascinations that lie within library walls. Let us try to keep these important wonderlands available by supporting them now.
- Write reviews after each book. I often find that I come across books which I have read in the past but cannot remember their storylines. If your memory is as bad as mine, it might be worthwhile to write a short book review after each book you finish. This will ingrain the memory into your mind and help the story to stay with you for many years, if not forever. You could also try to publish these reviews in newspapers or online blogs to give yourself a feel-good sense of accomplishment.
- Encourage others to read. Sharing the joy of reading is very rewarding. Some simple ideas of what you could do are: Gift friends and family with books for their birthdays and spend time reading to kids at an orphanage or old folks in a hospital. You may also want to consider donating old books, if you are willing to part with them. Of course, if you are collector as I am, you may not want to part with the treasures on your bookshelf and that is okay too. This does not mean you cannot donate books. You could instead pop into a secondhand bookshop and purchase a book for someone who is underprivileged. Another helpful tip to encourage others to read is by using your social media platforms to promote reading through sharing bookish quotes and sharing book recommendations. If you have more time to commit to this cause, you could start up a storytelling program for young kids in your community. To quote an unknown source, “A child who reads becomes an adult who thinks.”
I hope you find these tips to be practical and realistic as you aim to reach your reading goals in the new year.
Let us use this next year to set the world on fire with our passion for all things bookish!