People often ask me how I find time to read so many books (amongst other things), and they usually conclude their question with – “I don’t have time.” In this article, I will share how I read 60 books in 10 months.
While I agree it can be difficult to create time to read a book for leisure, particularly when you have a full-time job, children, a spouse and other responsibilities to worry about, I also believe that you make time for what is important to you.
As a mom, I convinced myself for years that I could not justify setting aside a few hours a week to read a good book and indulge in some quality me-time. I bought into that lie for so long that I eventually started feeling less like myself. My life was centred around the kids. There is nothing wrong with putting your kids first, but when you start losing yourself, it is time to re-evaluate!
A couple of years ago, I decided to be intentional about reading more books. I have listed below 4 tips that could help you achieve a similar goal:
A friend introduced me to Goodreads and I haven’t looked back since. I use the app to track books I want to read, books I have read and books I am reading. You can also participate in a reading challenge where you set the number of books you want to read in a year. In 2017, my target was to read 10 books by the end of the year. however, I only managed to read 2 books. As the years went by, it got better. In 2018, I read 24 books, 32 books in 2019 and finally, as at today, I have read 60 books in 2020. Start with one book, the more you read, the more you will enjoy the process and the numbers will slowly build up.
It is okay to listen to audiobooks:
You may be struggling with “audiobook guilt”. Please don’t! I too enjoyed sitting down uninterrupted with a good book in my hands, flipping through the pages and sipping on something hot or cold. However, my life at the time would not afford me this luxury. I needed to find an alternative to get the juicy details of books into my head. Although I still read paper books, I consume the content of most books by listening to them. I have to admit that some audiobooks can be a struggle to listen to if the narrator does not bring the story to life – but those books are far and in-between.
For those of you based in the States or Canada, make use of your local library, download the Libby app and start borrowing audiobooks from the library for free. It does not cost you a dime (well, other than your phone data).
Join an active book club:
There are several benefits of joining a book club. There is an African saying that goes like this – “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This saying is apt for active book clubs. Most book clubs pick a book its members will read together over a set period of time, usually 4 – 8 weeks, after which the club will discuss the book together. I am a member of 4 book clubs, 2 of which I started myself and I love every one of them. Joining a book club will make the reading process more enjoyable.
Read new books:
Before marriage and the kids, my favourite authors at the time were – Francine Pascal, Danielle Steel, Sidney Sheldon, John Grisham and James Patterson. I was not open to reading a book written by an author not included in the above list. One day, someone challenged this by saying I was doing myself a disservice by limiting my exposure in this way. I will always be grateful to this person because my reading experience has become more colourful and enjoyable since I opened up to new authors. It was by doing this that I discovered the legendary works of Jeffrey Archer. Since this discovery, I have stopped limiting myself in this way.
I hope you find these tips useful. Reading and getting lost in the plot of books has been my saving grace during the ongoing pandemic. In my next post, I will recommend a list of books to help you on your new reading journey, so stay tuned!
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