Last year I read only ten books. Ten. You can see them up above. 2015 was my lowest read year in the last five, and I had no interest in reading so few books this year. Don’t get me wrong, though it was a low read year, I still think that the quality of what I read was good. I just hadn’t read enough. Why was that?, I often asked myself. Had I been too narrow-minded with my choices? Had I been bored? I still haven’t exactly pinned down the reason for the “great reading slump of 2015,” but I promised myself that 2016 would be a better reading year, and I set three goals to make it happen.
- I would read outside of my comfort zone, exploring new genres.
- I would read longer books.
- I wanted to read MORE books then I had in any previous year.
Here I am, roughly five months into the year, and I have already surpassed the number of books read from last year. I’m currently at twelve, and am showing no signs of slowing down. There have been many things that have helped, and I can’ believe I hadn’t incorporated them into my reading life sooner. Here are a few small easy changes that I incorporated into my routine:
- I actually put down books that don’t catch my interest. If I’m not hooked by page 50, I put it down and walk a way, and I don’t feel bad about it. This is big for me. I’ve realized that just because a book gets rave reviews, or comes highly recommended, does not mean it’s for me. And, that’s OK!
- I now read more than one book at the same time. I know that this is hard for people. It used to be impossible for me, or at least I thought it was. But, I realized that different books were more suited to different reading environments. A long, intense read may be more suited to the uninterrupted quiet of that 30-minutes before bed, allowing total focus. Whereas, had I tried to read that same book on a commute, it would have been a total fail. Books with short chapters, and lighter content I’ve found to be perfect reads for a quick, often loud, commute. Recognizing this, has actually allowed me to log more reading time throughout the day.
- No book shaming, and no embarrassment over what I actually enjoy reading. Here’s the thing, I think I’ve always been a book snob. And, it’s definitely limited what I let myself read. I always felt kind of bad reading “chick lit,” or popular mass market titles, for example. You know what? That was completely and totally ridiculous of me. Why would I feel bad about reading anything, as long as I enjoyed it?
There have been many more major changes that I’ve made that have also helped along the way, and I’ll explore those more in later posts. But for now, I just want to say that I’m loving reading right now more than I have in a long time, and I’m on track to have my best read year yet.
Here’s what I’ve read so far this year:
Happy reading everyone!