Want to read more? 22 tips to make 2022 your most bookish year
1. Make a TBR list: Have fun with this! It can be as long or as short as you want. I like to put everything from nostalgic children's books to bucket list reads like Moby Dick (which I still haven't read even though it's been on my list for 10 years). But I recommend starring ones that you REALLY want to read, so you have a manageable selection among your larger list.
2. Pick one book: Just start! Pick a book that you want to read. If you love memoirs, read a memoir. Love romance novels? So do we! Don't pressure yourself to read something just because it's popular on TikTok or it's a classic that you feel you're supposed to have already read. Read something you think you'll genuinely enjoy.
3. Bring a book with you wherever you go: Embrace your inner Rory Gilmore and bring books on trains, planes, lines, etc! You may be surprised at how often you can squeeze in a lovely unexpected reading sesh.
4. Participate in a reading challenge: Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge is one of my favorites. Or get creative and set your own challenge.
5. Reflect on the benefits of reading: I find it's easier to stay motivated with a goal when I know the benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits of reading, according to Harvard studies:
- Reading may add years to your life (!!!). Research showed that "people who read books regularly had a 20% lower risk of dying over the next 12 years compared with people who weren't readers or who read periodicals."
- It helps preserve your memory.
- Reading can enhance empathy.
6. Give yourself reminders: Set an alarm on your phone to read a few pages a day. Or put a sticky note somewhere you look at every day. Currently, I have a post-it on my nightstand with a quote from Virginia Woolf: “Once she knows how to read there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself.” (See more lovely reading quotes.)
7. Make it easy: Put your book somewhere easily accessible like your nightstand or your purse. That way, you know exactly where it is when you're ready to read.
8. Track your progress: Goodreads has an awesome book log. I prefer to use a physical journal.
9. Find a friend: Join a book club (like Gloria, our founder!) or get a group text/Slack group for a community where you can get book recommendations or share your bookish thoughts. Also, we LOVE hearing about what you're reading on our Page Petal IG and TikTok!
10. Listen to audio books: Driving? Walking? Doing a light workout? Listen to an audio book. If you're hesitant, check out this blog.
11. Add joy to your reading experience: This looks different for all of us. We love beautiful flower-pressed bookmarks (of course!). But find something that makes your reading experience a little more joyful. Maybe that's investing in a comfy blanket you love wrapping yourself in or a durable mug that accompanies you while you read.
12. Make a reading playlist: If silence makes you more focused, forget about this one. But if you're like me, background sound makes everything better whether I'm washing dishes, getting work done, or reading.
13. Spend a few minutes (or more) with your book after you finish it: You likely just spent hours of your life with this book, there's no need to put it back on the shelf and move on as soon as you finish it. Consider skimming through it briefly and write down a few quotes that stood out. Reflect on what you liked or didn't like. How do you feel now that it's over? Even just taking 10 minutes to sit with the book after you finish it can enrich the experience and make it more fulfilling.
14. Reduce distractions: There's no doubt about it: distractions are everywhere... usually in the palm of our hands with a touch screen and apps. Silence the notifications, put the phone in a different room, and swap your book with your phone when you can.
15. Read books that eventually became movies/TV shows: OK, my younger self is judging my current self for this one. IMO, it's a joy of life watching a movie or show that's based on the book. Is the book better? Usually. But it's still incredibly fun. Then, listen to the soundtrack to make it all come full circle.
16. Consider reading more than one book at a time: My former co-worker says reading multiple books has transformed her reading experience. Her #1 tip: read books that are very different in style and length (for example, a graphic memoir and historical fiction).
17. Try re-reading: Loved a book once? Give it a read again! Just like we often watch movies multiple times or TV series over and over again, some books are definitely worth an additional read. (Read more on why I love re-reading.)
18. Visit your library and local bookstores: Wander a library and bookshop and soak up all the reading inspiration. Can't decide which book to select? Read the first few pages before purchasing it or checking it out. Or ask the librarian or book seller for recommendations.
19. Attach reading to other things you like: Whether you're a student, parent, or just a busy human with a demanding schedule, it's not easy to make time for yourself. But if you're a book lover (or want to be one), then try attaching reading to other things that make you happy so you can maximize your "you time." Here are some ideas:
- If you like to be outside, bring a book to the park.
- Do you love baths? Read while you soak!
- Bring a book to your favorite cafe/restaurant.
- Read a few pages while you drink your morning coffee or evening tea.
- Is your favorite place your bed? (Me too.) Bring your book and read for a few minutes under the covers!
20. Reflect on how reading makes you feel: Does it make you feel more confident? Empowered? Relaxed? Does it inspire you? Jot it down and use that as a touchstone for your experience.
21. Remember your "why": Why do you want to read more? Whatever it is, don't forget to come to this, reminding yourself of your goal and purpose.
22. Celebrate the wins! Did you finish a book? Go treat yourself to something you love. Maybe it's a latte or a new hardcover you've had your eye on. The more you celebrate your reading habit, the more your brain will feel motivated to keep doing it.
Need some book recommendations? Check out this list from our Page Petal community!