Do you set goals to read more, and yet days and weeks go by without your reading very much or not reading at all? That is how my life used to go. However, one year everything changed. I decided that reading was important and have been reading more ever since. You can read more about the benefits of reading here.
1. Read books that will help you grow as a person.
The best book to read is the Bible, and there are other books that can help us to live more like the Bible teaches. Jesus taught in parables, through stories!
No, I do not mean read only non-fiction books, although non-fiction books can be helpful. There are numerous fiction books and classics that teach through a story.
2. Schedule reading time.
When you have an important appointment, you put it on the calendar, right? You may even put it on your phone calendar with a reminder or two. While reading may seem like a luxury, I like to see it as a necessity because it helps to keep my mind sharp and helps me to learn and become a better person (see the first point).
3. Replace some of your screen time with reading time.
Social media and television can take up multiple hours of your day. How do I know? Because if I am not careful, they will take up hours of my day too! The next time you want to pick up your phone to scroll social media without any purpose to connect with a person or post something uplifting, read a book instead!
4. Read multiple books at a time.
While this may not work for everyone, reading multiple books can help you read something that interests you at the moment. If a good story does not interest you, perhaps you would like to read about a missionary’s life or about a country that has always fascinated you. I am currently reading a book about letter writing, but I read it only when it interests me. I do not need to have a goal to finish the book in a week or even in a month.
5. Set reading goals.
This may seem odd to you, but if you would like to spend more time reading, set a goal! If you have been reading for years and years, your goal may be a lofty one. However, if you are struggling to read even for a short time every day, set a goal to read for five minutes–and schedule it. 🙂 Your reading goals can be to read a book a week, a book a month, or to read for a certain number of minutes a day. Do what works for you. Just because your friend reads eight-five books by the end of May, it does not mean you need to do the same.
6. Read before bed.
Looking at a screen can keep you awake at night, while reading a physical book can help you wind down and have a good night’s rest. Reading an hour before bed is ideal, but even if you read for a few minutes or read a few pages, it can help. The key here is winding down. You may not want to read a mystery or a book about a war, since that could have the opposite effect and keep you up quite late.
7. Read while you wait.
If you are on hold during a phone call, you can read. Also, read while you are waiting to pick up someone or while you are waiting before an appointment. Again, instead of pulling out your phone
8. Remove social media apps from your phone.
I am not sure about you, but most of the time when I pick up my phone, it’s to check social media. There is nothing awful about social media, but it can easily become a distraction. Why not read on your phone instead of mindlessly scrolling on social media? I promise you won’t miss the drama and gossip. 🙂
9. Re-read books that have made an impact on your life.
Sometimes we think we must always read books, but I truly think if a book has helped you or taught you something, it is worth reading multiple times. Often it is easier to re-read a favorite book than to wonderful what to read next.
Here is a bonus tip:
10. Have a stack or list of books you would like to read.
If you benefited from one book an author wrote, you may benefit from the others he wrote. You may may make a list of books to read at the beginning of a year or a month. If you do this, do not feel obligated to read those books. If another book comes up that you would prefer to read, read that instead. I have often been amazed at how God has led me to read the right book at the right time.
What about you? How do you make sure to make time to read? I’d love to hear in the comments. I read all the comments and respond to most of them as well. 🙂