We know what you’re thinking, there is no way these three things could possibly improve “your” reading life. Or you’re probably thinking there is no ‘one size fits all’ scenario when it comes reading. Superlatives aside, we’re all in different stages of our relationship with reading. So whether you’re a voracious reader and you read close to one hundred books a year, or you’re struggling to read one book per month, or you haven’t read in years and you have this New Years resolution to start reading again – I’ve seen time and time again how these three things can improve ones reading life.
1. TRACK THE BOOKS YOU WANT TO READ
There are so many books out there that I know you’ve been eyeing to read one day. Books you see online, on social media, books you’ve been recommend and just interesting books you’ve seen at the library or the bookstore.
The habit most readers fall into, myself included, is to simply jot these titles down in your notes, your journal, or even on a post it. If you’re online you might add to cart and save for later, add to your TBR list on Goodreads, Library Thing or another online platform.
This isn’t a bad strategy, I have a TBR list of books I want to read and a list of books I want buy. The problem I encounter is trying to remember how these books got on the list in the first place. Initially, when I first hear about a new book, Im so excited I cant see any possibility that I’ll ever forget about THIS book. But I often forget because sometimes its months (even years) later before I’ll actually get to it.
So in addition to writing down the title and the author, I now add three extra lines of information: when did I add this title to my list (date), who recommended it (name/ social media account/ website) and why do I want to read it or why am I adding it to my list.
The three W’s
- When – date you add title to your list
- Who – recommended it to me
- Why – do I want to read it
These three bits of information can help you remember the reason these books are on your list and even get you excited about them all over again. I find it extremely helpful when I’m browsing my journal because I am trying to decide what to read next.
2. TRACK THE BOOKS YOU HAVE READ
There are so many different ways to track your reading and in a separate article we highlight 5 Ways To Track Your Reading. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter how you do it – it only matters that you do because your reading journal doesn’t lie.
Its one thing to track the books you want to read, but when you track the books you’ve read this will help you to examine your reading habits. Over time you will discover if you’re achieving your reading goals, it helps you to remember the books you have read, you’ll see the kind of reader you are or becoming, it shows you the books you’ve enjoyed, the ones you didn’t care for, and in time, you’ll figure out what kinds of books work exactly for you!
3. STOP READING BOOKS THAT AREN’T WORKING FOR YOU
There are two sides to this debate – how will you truly know if you don’t finish it, and why force yourself to finish something that isn’t working for you just for the sake of finishing? The reality is, deciding whether a book is worth reading is a personal choice. But I have found time and time again, that readers who give themselves permission to set aside those books that aren’t working for them – are much more happier in their reading lives and they tend to read more books overall.
I have persisted reading books I’ve considered difficult. I’ve set aside books that aren’t working for me right now only to revisit them later and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them. Sometimes I’ve made poor choices, I’ll get sucked into the hype only to discover it was a complete dud (Im sure we’ve all been there).
Just remember, its ok to stop reading books that’s aren’t working for you because you’ll never get that time back. Instead, you can use that time to take a chance on new book and you’ll be able to read the right book at just the right time for you.
Readers, tracking the books you want to read along with those you’ve read, takes seconds of your time and deciding to abandon a book that isn’t working for you may just be the ticket. At the end of the day, reading is not a competitive sport – our priority is to help you enjoying your reading life no matter what form it may take!
Have you improved your reading life? Are you planning to try something new? Please share with us in the comments or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org