In the age of social media and on-demand television, books can take an involuntary back seat. To help bring the written word to the forefront of your to-do pile, here are some ways to create more time for the age-old pastime of reading.
Always carry a book
Carrying a book with you means you can use every spare moment to squeeze in another page. Waiting for a friend? Delays at the doctor? Standing in a queue? All ideal opportunities to pick up a book. Try these Vintage Minis or Pocket Penguins for great reads in pint-sized packages.
Download ebooks to your smartphone or tablet
With the ability to adjust font size and screen brightness, reading on your smartphone or tablet is easy and a great way to have your favourite books at your disposal, wherever you happen to be. As an added benefit, you have access to thousands of titles in one place as well as the ability to download sample chapters, so you can try-before-you-buy.
Try short stories or novellas
If you’re finding bigger books overwhelming or hard to get through, consider a collection of short stories or even a novella. If you love thrilling crime, try James Patterson’s Bookshots or Lee Child’s No Middle Name. If it’s the classics you crave, you might enjoy George Orwell’s Animal Farm or The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, and if you’re looking for something contemporary try Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey, Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women or Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks.
For more recommendations, check out our list of compelling novellas.
Find your future reads
Sometimes the biggest struggle is deciding what book to read next. Perhaps you’re experiencing that post-great-book foggy bliss, or maybe the last book you read wasn’t quite up to scratch and you’re unsure what to move on to. A way to combat between-book limbo is to start a to-be-read list. Keep it on your phone, computer, or in a notebook – somewhere close at hand and ready to refer to. Or write the books down on separate pieces of paper, fold them up, pop them in a jar, and the next time you’re at a loss, shake the jar and pick one out at random. To keep things interesting, you might come up with a reading pattern, i.e. going from non-fiction to fiction, new release to classic, or Australian to international. However you do it, being prepared will mean less time wasted deciding, more time spent reading.
For more ideas to inspire a fresh approach to the way you read, click here.
Join a book club
There’s nothing like a looming book club gathering to motivate you to finish a book. We’ve got tips for starting a book club if you need help getting your group up-and-running, or you can browse our selection of book club notes to stimulate lively discussion.
Turn it into an activity
Reading is not a couch-only affair. Take your book out somewhere with you; pick a park bench, a spot on the grass, or settle in at a comfy café. Why not extend the invitation to a close friend? Ask them to bring a book too and make it a reading date.
Make it a habit
Creating a habit takes repetition. Connect reading to something you do at the same time every day to cement it into your routine. Pick up your book while you’re waiting for your eggs to boil or on public transport while you commute; while you’re standing in line for your morning coffee or eating lunch. If bedtime is 10.30pm, why not get into bed at 10pm and read for half an hour instead? The more you read, the more you’ll want to, and these habits will become part of your daily routine in no time at all.
Spend more time in your local bookshop
When you’re trying to be more active, spending extra time at the gym or outside is an obvious place to start. Likewise, if you’re trying to read more, spending time surrounded by books is only going to inspire you to do so. Don’t forget that booksellers are a valuable source of literary knowledge, so if you can’t decide, let them know what you enjoy and they’ll happily point you towards your next great read.