Found yourself in a reading slump? Can’t seem to motivate yourself out of it? That’s okay! Where there is a will, there is a way and I am here to provide some suggestions to pull yourself out of your slump.
I know, I get it, the lure of Netflix/TV is just too tempting. Sit there, zone out, enjoy all the action from the latest Game of Thrones episode, binge watch episode after episode of New Girl. I’ve been there, I mean haven’t we all? I’m not even suggesting it is a bad thing. Nothing wrong with a little couch comfort and relationship with your TV. But saaaaay you want to get a little extra reading in, give the Netflix a break for a bit, look below for a few of my suggestions to get your reading juices flowing.
Make an achievable goal.
There is nothing worse than setting yourself up to fail, bold statements like “I’m going to read three books a week” sound inspiring but more often end up a little too daunting and end up discouraging you more than anything. Instead, break it down. Small steps. Achievable goals. Aim for reading a chapter a night or even not every night, maybe week nights? Every second night? Make it work for you. Maybe you are a slow reader? Give yourself a time limit. Twenty minutes, half an hour is quite reasonable. Make sure you stick to it too.
Set aside a specific time.
Make reading a habit. Read before you go to bed each night. In fact this idea works on several levels. We should all know by now that the blue lights emitted by computer/tablet/mobile phone screens are detrimental to your sleep as they trick your brain into thinking it is daytime and end up delaying your body clock (Trust me, I’m a Sleep Technician). A great way to combat this is to have some screen free time before bedtime. Reading is a great way to do this, which in turn helps to relax your mind creating a environment conducive to sleep. Two birds with one stone! A good nights sleep and some reading. Who could say no to that? Alternatively, if you are a morning person set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than normal so you can snuggle in bed, read for a while. Start your day in a relaxed, positive way setting yourself up for a great day!
Carry a book every where you go.
Get some incidental reading going. Ladies, make sure your handbag is big enough to carry a book in at all times. It is surprising how much reading you can get done on the fly. When you’re meeting someone for coffee and waiting for them to arrive, read your book (or do as I do, turn up early just so you can read your book). When waiting at appointments, rather than scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, get some reading in while you can. Have a screen-free lunch break once a week or fortnight and bring your book along.
Plan a book date with yourself.
One of my favourite things to do is to take myself out to my favourite cafes, treat myself to a coffee and maybe some brunch and take my book along. Nothing like putting yourself in situation where you need to read to actually get down to it and focus. Conversely, set yourself up at home in your bed, your favourite reading chair or even your bath (but beware the curse of wet book spines). Give yourself a night in with your book. Open a good bottle of wine or make yourself your favourite pot of tea. Don’t forget the snacks either. Light a scented candle and give yourself some quality time not only to read but for you.
Try an audiobook.
My last piece of advice if all else fails is give an audiobook a go. I was sceptical myself at first but found myself enjoying the experience more than I anticipated. Particularly if you are someone with a decent commute to work, I definitely suggest giving it a shot. I even found it helped make me a calmer driver. Road rage, be gone!
Thanks to my friend Amy, who suggested I write this post. I found it quite enjoyable to write and I hope it has been helpful to someone out there. Have any suggestions yourself to beat the reading slump? Would love to hear your thoughts! x