It’s no secret that the Elite Words team is obsessed with reading. Writing and reading are a match made in heaven. It’s hard to be a good writer without being a good reader. But reading isn’t everyone’s favourite activity and that’s okay!
We couldn’t say enough about how great reading is. However, if it’s not your favourite thing, we’re not pressuring you to start making it so. This blog post is for those who wish they read more, who often put a reading goal in their new year’s resolutions but never achieve it, and for people who just want to try something new. We will teach you the tips and tricks to reading more. You’ll have shelves full of books in no time!
Find your why
When it comes to achieving any goal, it’s important you understand your why. You need to have a purpose behind your actions. Otherwise, it can be difficult to be motivated to follow through with them.
- Why do I want to do this?
- What do I hope I will learn and achieve?
- How will this make me a better person and add greater meaning to my life?
Once you recognise why you want to do something, it’s a lot easier to take the right steps to achieve your goals. As much as you may like to achieve something, if there’s no real purpose behind your actions, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
A study conducted by Pew Research found that 26% of people who read a book in the past 12 months cited the most enjoyable aspect of it was learning, gaining knowledge, and discovering information. It was also found that 15% of people who read said it was to escape reality. 12% said they liked the entertainment value of reading, 12% said they found it relaxing, and 6% said they liked the variety of topics they could access.
People read for a variety of reasons. It’s up to you to decide why you want to read so that there’s a basis for your actions. Reflect on yourself, set some goals, and start reading!
Don’t make your goals too big
Have you ever created a goal and decided that you must go ‘all in’ because anything less than that isn’t good enough? This is not the recipe for an achievable goal. If you haven’t read a book in its entirety for the past five years, setting a goal of reading 100 books in a year isn’t feasible.
Set your goals according to your past actions. If you haven’t read a book in a while, aiming to read one book a month or one book every two months would be a more achievable place to start. If you’re an avid reader but want to read more, reading a book each week may be more in line with your goals and abilities.
No goal is too little. If your aim is to simply read more, reading one book more than you did the year before means you would have achieved your goal. Don’t overthink. Simply reflect on your past actions and plan accordingly. You’ll never achieve anything if your goals are too far-reaching to start with.
Find what you enjoy and then read it all
Reading isn’t supposed to be a chore (unless you’re a student). Reading is supposed to be an enjoyable and relaxing hobby you can do to take your mind off life and other commitments. You shouldn’t start reading by opting for what you know you won’t like. While we strongly believe reading can offer benefits beyond entertainment (it can be for education, to understand literary acclaim, or connect with a historical event), start by reading what you know you like if you’re just starting out!
From fantasy to historical fiction, there are many genres. This means that there’s bound to be a style of book for everyone. If you haven’t read for a while, you may not know what your favourite genre is. That’s okay! There’s a beauty in discovering what you enjoy reading. Think of it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your interests.
To find what you like to read, expose yourself to a variety of reading material. You could also go to your closest bookstore and talk to the staff about their personal reading favourites and what they’d recommend others to read. People who work in bookshops often love to read. They’re experts in finding new, amazing books as well as matching great novels to your interests. Look online, chat in store, and ask what other people’s favourite books are if you want to find a new great read.
Change your mindset and create fun goals
Reading can sometimes feel like a chore. This can probably be attributed to years of being forced to read books that you had no interest in while in high school. Guess what? You’re an adult now. You can decide what you do and don’t do. The secret to reading more lies in changing your mindset.
Stop thinking of reading like it’s homework. Instead, consider it something you ‘get’ to do. This will help you look forward to reading and make you grateful for having the opportunity to read. When we want to achieve a new goal, we need to break old habits. If you change your mindset to one of positivity, overcoming old patterns becomes much easier.
Setting yourself easy goals once you pick up a book is one way to read more. Telling yourself that you only have to read ten pages and then can have a break will ensure that you continue to make progress in your book and also build a positive habit out of it. Reading ten pages a day will mean that you’ll be able to read at least one book a month without even realising it!
Read because you want to
Everyone at Elite Words loves to read. While we may be biased, we believe it is one of the best pastimes! You don’t have to read 100 books a year to be a reader. All you need to do is pick up a book and begin reading.
If you’re looking for reading recommendations or even help with writing something that others can read, contact us today! We’re here to help.