Take these 2 steps to read more
At one point or another we all had the good and quite noble resolution to read more. And there usually are quite a lot of good reasons why we acutally wish to read more.
When we are younger, there are just people around us that we should read more because Lily and Colin are reading so much more than we do. Because we otherwise would miss out so such great stories. They tell us to read "Harry Potter" or "Lord of the rings" or some other epic mutli part story. Or you are actually somewhat forced to read because you might have to read whan of the true classics of all time like Shakespear or Goethe or Schiller. This usually happens when it is mandatory in school.
Usually when you get older most people who might have read quite a lot as a child read less and less because .... just life, I guess. Then most of us only pick up a book when we are going on holiday or when we are sick in bed....oh wait...there is Netflix nowadays.
But today there seems to be a trend that gets bigger and bigger. A lot of people have the desire to read more. And besides that there are many people recommending to read more. In most cases this means reading mainly non-fiction books. Read to learn from the brightest and smartest people in the world. The ones that built empires. The ones that maxamized their potential by never giving up against all odds. And the ones that make us first feel like we have not yet acocmplisehd anything or even wasted valubale years of our so short lives. But then also the ones that lift us up and tell us that it is never to late to take action, that the best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago but the second best time is right now. Right this second.
So I started reading. Again. As a child I started quite a lot of books and never finished most of them. Mainly the only books I did read were the ones I had to read for school. And let me tell you, I actually enjoy it. I enjoy taking time and learning from others but also reading great stories. When I say great stories I don't mean "Harry Potter" or "The song of fire and ice", even though they truly are great stories. I rather mean non-fictional and quite true stories of brave people who, in the chase of living up to what they felt like is their potential, achieved great things, build amazing companies or did remarkable research. But even though, I truly enjoy reading those stories, I had the tendency to only read on my holidays. And even then, I usually did not, because I usually travel to see new countries and new cultures that I want to dive into. So even on my holidays I would not take the time to read.
But over the last couple of years, though, I manged to read more and more every year. And last year I read over 20 books. Which is quite impressive for me. I know that even for people who don't read at all or read maybe one to three books a year "over 20" does not sound impressive enough. And yes, it is not the clickbite title "How to read a book a week". But let us be honest. Most people read those articles or watch those videos and think "This is quite impressive. How do they do that?" or "I wish, I would have the time to do that as well" or "Wow! I would never be able to read that much". And people would be right with those frustrations expressing thoughts. Because the title is overwhelming. It is so far away from where most of us start.
But let me asure you. Reading 20 books in one year is quite easy. It is way easier than you think. The key here is consistency. It is reading a bit every day or at least most days. It is listening to audiobooks on your way to work, on your weekend walks, on your morning or afternoon runs, on your monthly bike ride, on your way to the grocery store or waiting in line at the grocery store.
Step 1 - Add reading to your night time routine
Read every night before going to bed. Use this time as your wind down time. It is the time you are already ready for bed.
Snuggle up on your couch, get a cup of tea and read. I usually set a timer for around 20-30 minutes. In those 20-30 minutes I read a non-fiction book. Either one that falls into the "self-development" category or an auto-biography of some sort. I use a Kindle so I can highlight the parts that resonate with me the most. That way I can later recall them very easily. 20 to 30 minutes might not seem much. And it is not. Therefore, it is quite easy to incorporate this into your night routine. After this reading session, I usually go to bed and open another book. This time, it is fiction. I tend to go for books that are entertaining but not to thrilling or exciting. Books that don't make me stay up all night. That is not what I want since I need a decent amount of sleep. It is book that lets me relax and calm down. A book that makes me get sleepy. So after about 20 minutes I get so tired that I put the book down, close my eyes and fall alseep. By doing this, I read around 40 to 50 minutes a day. This is actually quite a lot of reading you can do in this short amount of time. And you will be impressed by how fast you finish book after book.
Step 2 - Start listening to audiobooks whenever you can
Subscribe to Audible. Or some other service. But with an Audible subscription you can listen to one audiobook per month for free. They have a huge catalogue of books to choose from and many titles read in several different languages. When you are now asking yourself when you would ever find the time to also listen audion books, here are some suggestions:
- On walks 🚶
- on my way to the grocery store 🛍️
- in my car 🚗
- on my run 🏃♀️
- on my bike ride 🚴♀️
- while cleaning up my apartment 🧹
- while knitting 🧶 / puzzling 🧩 / sowing 🧵 / gaming 🎮 (nothing that I do, but who am I)
By now, I replaced listening to audiobooks with listening to music for the most part. It feels to me more productive and gives me the opportunity to learn while relaxing.
That's it. Those two steps were all it took for me to read more.
I hope, my quick insight on how I manage to read more, will help you on your journey to read more and cross at least one thing off of your New Year's resolution list this year.
Let me know how it goes and what remarkble pieces of literature you come across.