“Reading is my favorite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.” —Anne Brontë
It’s a new year, a new decade, which means there are a plethora of new books to read. Just as you are taking the time to read this article, it is time that in 2020, you read those books you started but eventually put down and never picked up again. Start with one book at a time in the ‘To Be Read’ pile you have accumulated for the past two years or take that trip to your local library or bookstore to find that book that speaks to you. Reading needs to be implemented more, not only in the classrooms but at home.
Looking at statistical information from a survey conducted in 2019, according to Pew Research, “roughly a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form. For instance, adults with a high school diploma or less are far more likely than those with a bachelor’s or advanced degree to report not reading books in any format in the 12 months before the survey (44% vs. 8%). Adults with lower levels of educational attainment are also among the least likely to own smartphones, a device that saw a substantial increase in usage for reading e-books from 2011 to 2016. (College-educated adults are more likely to own these devices and use them to read e-books.) Today, 27% of adults say they have not read any books in the past year, up from 19% in 2011.” Now, I know what some of you may be thinking “reading isn’t for me,” but there is a book for everyone, and there are multiple ways to give time to reading and making the activity fun.
For starters, you want to set a reasonable reading goal. Try with one book a month, twelve being the total for the year. You should know yourself and the pacing at which you read, so you know how many books you will be able to complete from start to finish. If you’re not an avid reader, then don’t commit yourself to read more books than you can handle. When you’re not over-committing, you’ll find that the reading experience is less stressful and more enjoyable. You also want to read books that you will actually enjoy. Find book genres that may correlate with your favorite movie genres to help you get a sense of the books you would be more than interested in. Or, if you have a favorite author, find a few of their books that you have not gotten around to reading and do so. Keep in mind that you don’t have to have a tangible book, meaning, use technology to your advantage. Some may prefer a physical book, but, you can read one on your iPad or Kindle while traveling. Even listening to an audiobook through Audible or iBook works. Overall, using technology gives you more opportunities to digest even more books throughout the year.
The only way you can take advantage of short minutes is if you always have a book on hand. When you are waiting at the doctor’s office, wasting a couple of minutes before a meeting/conference call, or have a gap in between classes; instead of letting this time go unused, pick-up a book and start reading. There is always an opportunity to read. Joining a book club will motivate you to read more. You’ll get top-notch recommendations and a community to discuss and share your thoughts. Some of your best reads can be recommended by those in your book club. The most important thing you want to know when it comes to reading is to stock up but buy books on sale. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on impulsive purchases, build-up an inventory of books; it’s one of the best motivations to read more because once you finish a book, you can view your inventory and decide what you want to read next. You do not have to spend a whole lot of money either; now you can easily browse used books or sale items on Amazon or ThriftBooks. It’s a cost-effective way to build a little library of your own.