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How can I read more?
What's your excuse?
Why don't you read more already?
"Look at the size of it! It's a tome of a book, I'd never finish it!"
"I'm too easily distracted!"
"I don't have the time to read!"
So, what's your excuse? If you ask me, no excuse is good enough, there is no reason why you can't pick up a book today and have it finished by the end of the week - maybe even sooner!
Why read? Why read more?
Not only does it expand our vocabulary, strengthen our knowledge base and give us something to talk about over a coffee, reading transports us to days gone by, days still to come, to far off places, through walls to worlds that exist within our own, deep under the sea and far out into space.
Why stop at fiction when there's a plethora of fact out there just waiting for you to feast your eager eyes upon? From the mechanics of the solar system to the men aboard the first shuttle launch, let yourself be inspired by the stories of your heroes and heroins, your celebrity idols, peace makers and world shakers around the globe from every passing era. There's a whole world out there for you to discover and it's only a book cover away!
Find time for more reading!
Take a look at your day, from the minute you wake up to the minute you go back to sleep - how many times do you sit idle? Your fingers aimlessly clicking refresh on your Facebook or Twitter. Do you find yourself staring blankly out the window during the commute? How do you spend television ad breaks or waiting for the kettle to boil?
All these little pockets of time are so valuable - so why waste them? Even if you only get 2 - 3 pages read during a television ad break, or an entire chapter before you alight the bus to work - your carving a dent in the page count, eating up the tales and look - you're reading! Sitting down for hours on end with a good book and decent cup of tea isn't for everyone, especially with those constant on the go lifestyles we seem to be leading - so when you find yourself not doing anything just pick up your book, a few minutes here and there throughout the day really does make all the difference!
Look out for these perfect little pockets of time;
- Your computer starting up
- Waiting for your train/bus/tube to arrive
- Just before you go to bed
- When you wake up before your alarm
- Whilst dinner is cooking
When you try to read - what distracts you? A tweet? An email? That must have TV special promotion? Do your eyes dance across the page and lose focus? Are the kids hanging around your ankles? Or has a colleague just sat down across from you and asked the infamous, 'what are you reading?'
Distractions can be so...distracting! So your ultimate goal here is to avoid them! Of course I'm not suggesting we lock the kids in another room or ignore our colleagues but this might require a little effort.
Switch off - televisions, mobile phones, iPads and laptops, just switch them off - or at least lower the volume! This is especially important if you're getting in a few pages during television show advert breaks!
New surroundings - try reading in different rooms of the house that are less distracting, your bedroom, dining room, even the laundry room is worth a try! Move around the house and see what works best for you. Why not try stepping outside? This is a great idea for reading on your lunch breaks in work, finding a quite spot somewhere outside doesn't just help you escape the office, your book will help you escape the world for an hour! Bliss!
Line at a time - one of the greatest speed reading tips is to read one line at a time, covering up the preceding lines with a sheet of paper or an ID badge, whatever you have to hand will suffice. Reading like this causes your eyes to focus solely on the line you have uncovered and unable to dart else where on the page.
Where to start reading more?
For someone who reads very little a book store can be a daunting page. Covers stare at you from their shelves, titles trigger your interest but the blurb loses it. You bypass the plainer covers and head towards shiny multi coloured hardbacks with fancy 3D detailing or an embossed calligraphy font. Spine after spine you draw your fingers along,but where do you stop? What book comes home with you?
Here's a few little tricks to help get you started!
- Watched any good films recently that where originally books? Check them out, most of the time the books are MUCH better than the films. Also, if you really liked the film, check out other books by the original author!
- 'Customers who bought this also bought...' I love this little section on Amazon! Have a look for books you have already read and enjoyed to see what Amazons little widget recommends.
- What about a book club? It doesn't have to be one that requires your physical presence and that you bring a platter but look on-line at the likes of Richard & Judy or Oprah for ideas. There are also some great reading blogs that host virtual book clubs, meetings and read-a-longs
- Ask a friend! That colleague who asked what you where reading on your lunch break - ask them have they read anything good recently! Chance are if they're interested in what you're reading then they're a bit of a reader too!
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