I love a good book. That’s a sentence that’s been accurate about me for the past 22 years of my life, yet I’ve noticed that reading is something that I’m either doing a lot of or none at all. When I’m home for break with not much going on, I’ll stay up until 4 am to finish a book. When I have 2 tests and a paper due next week, I have a hard time justifying reading something that’s not for class.
With that being said, I know I love to read, and I know reading makes me a better me! I learn about new people and places and feel so comforted when I relate to words written on a page.
I think that books teach us so much about each other and ourselves, and for me, I have started justifying reading (even during the stressful weeks) because I truly think it is time well spent. I feel proud and accomplished and just plain happy when I am in the midst of a good story, so why should I deprive myself of this simple joy when things get busy?
I know many of my friends feel the same way about “not having time to read” or not even being able to remember the last time they read a book for fun. At the same time, I feel like reading probably meant something to you at some point in your life. I feel like many of us grew up reading with our parents or frequenting the school library. I hope thinking about the Junie B. Jones and Series of Unfortunate Events days gives you the same nostalgic feeling it gives me. I truly hope you think you’re never too old for Harry Potter!
I hope that if you can look back on a book that you’ve read and have a happy feeling, you will consider revisiting your passion for reading this year.
So, how can you do that with the 101 things going on in your life?? Good question! Now that I’ve shared my mushy feelings about being a low-key book nerd, I want to share with you some tips and tricks for becoming a big reader in 2019!
Set a goal!
A challenge I had for myself in 2018 was to read at least a book a month. This year, my goal is 19 books in 2019! If that sounds terrible to you, say 5. Say 10. Say 1! These are personal goals, and I truly feel like something is better than nothing.
- Get a Goodreads account! You can make virtual lists of books you’ve read, want to read, etc.! You can rate each book and compare it to books your friends have read. There are suggestions and discussions posted by others. I truly love Goodreads!
- Stack the books up in your room as you finish them! If you’re a visual person, this is a super satisfying way to track your progress.
- Make a list! I keep mine in my planner where I’ll never lose it and can keep updating throughout the year.
Start Somewhere! Anywhere!
My favorite place in the world to read is at the airport! You’ve got nowhere else to be, and you’ve got hours to kill.
Bring a book to your next dentist appointment to read in the waiting room.
Do you have a break between classes? Bring a book and read outside on a nice sunny day.
Read before you go to bed each night. It’s a good way to clear your head after a busy day.
Tips for Deciding the BIG Question… What to Read!
- Head to a bookstore or Target! Look around and see what catches your eye! Read a couple pages. Judge a book by its cover if you think it’d look excellent on your bedside table– the inside could be just as great! (Side note: It is SO satisfying passing a shelf at the store and noticing you’ve read one of the books on the shelf. Small victories, people!)
- Don’t be afraid of being “basic”– popular books are popular for a reason. Read some reviews on Goodreads or recommendations from Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Consider this blog post an invitation to check out my Goodreads account and literally read every book that I rated 4 or 5 stars. No one is trying to hide Gone Girl from you– I WANT you to read it! Popular but incredible!
- Ask a friend to borrow a book they love.
- Go to the library. This is actually something I’m planning on doing more this semester. It’s a really good place to ask for recommendations, save some money, and be non committal with your selections since you can simply check that book back in if you hate it.
- Get a subscription for Book of the Month, and each month you’ll get to pick a book to be delivered to your door! There are 5 options each month in various genres, and they’re typically new releases so you’ll feel very on-trend with your picks.
- Don’t be afraid to stick to one genre or to be completely all over the place with your selections. I would say my typical go-to genres are psychological thrillers or autobiographies by my favorite girls (I’m talking about you Amy Poehler. You too, Oprah.)
Love Your Literary Life, My Dudes!
At the end of the day, I think that reading is so wonderful that I wanted to share this with you. If you have magical memories from childhood of how fun reading once was, I highly suggest picking up a book and seeing if you can find that same excitement today!
To end this post, here’s a link to my Goodreads account and some sweet sweet quotes that really speak to my inner bookworm. Happy reading!!
“When you read about the lives of other people… you are part of their lives for that moment. You inhabit their lives and you feel what they’re feeling and that is compassion.” ―Amy Tan
“The stories we love best do live in us forever.” ― J.K. Rowling