I hope that your holidays were special, relaxing, and everything you needed to get ready for a brand new year. I’ve seen so many “decade in review” posts the last few days…I’m not even going to try…my memory is terrible. What I know is that I am looking forward to a NEW year and a NEW decade and I think it’s best to keep looking ahead and not look back!
I’ve also seen a lot of folks who are thinking about and sharing their reading plans for the new year – maybe they want to read 60 books this year or they want to read a book set in each state or they want to read books about folks not like them…I love all of this. Most of the folks I know who are making reading plans/resolutions consider themselves readers.
What are your reading plans for the new year?
My plans are the same as always – read, read, read and encourage others to do the same. I realize that I am not a typical reader (I do teach children’s literature and I am a librarian, after all – reading is part of what I do…it’s my life) and sometimes it is difficult for me to understand why others simply do not make the time to read. However, I think that’s what you have to do…you have to make the time. You are truly not too busy to read a little each day. If you are a teacher or a parent, I think it is critical that you do so.
So, how to sneak in a few minutes each day to read. How do I do it?
- I listen to audiobooks. I have a subscription to Audible, but you could always check out the options available to you at your public library. I listen to books while I am in the shower (waterproof speaker!); while I am getting ready for the day in the morning and while I am getting ready for bed at night; I listen while I am making dinner; and when I am in the car without the preschooler. All of those little moments add up! Next plan is to purchase bluetooth earbuds so that I can listen other times throughout the day (walks across campus, in the grocery store, etc.)
- I read while my kid watches TV. Yes, I let my kid watch television and I sometimes even let her play on a device. While she is doing that, I read. Not always…sure, this is also when I am doing laundry, making dinner, or trying to send an email or any number of the other things that need to be done, but sometimes…I sit and read. You should too. This is usually when I get magazine reading done or go through stacks of picture books. Added benefit is that often, the preschooler’s eyes will glance over to me and she’ll want to read too.
- I read a few pages before bed each night. This is really only a FEW pages. I am tired when I get to bed at night and I know you are too. Find something to read that you can handle a few pages at a time. I find that this is a great time for graphic novels. Graphic Novels, by the way, are not only for children.
- I always have stacks of books from the library around. This is important. Let’s say you decide to try some of these ideas, but then you don’t really have any books around. First step is to find your nearest public library and figure out a day each week to go and browse. Your kids can play in the children’s area and you can gather a stack of books.
Other ideas you could try…
- Purchase something like a Kindle and download all the books you can. I do not like using an ereader, but maybe that’s what will work for you. You really don’t even need to buy a Kindle, download an ereader app on your phone and instead of scrolling through social media…read something.
- Let’s say you are not a reader and you never talk about books with friends. Post something on FB to your friends about what they like to read. Maybe you’ll hear about something that just sounds so interesting, you’ve got to read it. You could then have some sort of book club with your friends. Knowing that you are meeting up with folks who have read the same book might be the inspiration you need to read.
- Wake up about 15 minutes earlier than you do now and make it a habit to turn on your lamp and read first thing in the morning. I bet what you do now is grab your phone and check out your feeds…resist that urge and pick up a book instead. Actually, why don’t you think about every time you pick up your phone and scroll through feeds…is that time you could be reading?
- Think about books you loved as a kid and start with those. Were you hooked on Spring Valley High or Babysitter’s Club? Maybe you just need to train your brain to read and become engaged with print again…after you do that, you’ll be ready to move on to other things.
Finding things to read –
Maybe the problem is, you haven’t found the thing that really interests you. So, here’s what you do – go to the public library and browse. Do you like to cook? Find the cookbooks. Do you like true crime? See what you can find in that genre. Do you like to binge watch any particular shows? See if they are based on a book and read the book. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already watched the series and you think you know what will happen. Try it anyway. Go to the nearest book store and browse. Do judge a book by its cover. Pick things up and read the first few paragraphs. Into sports? Go to the sports books – you don’t have to read long novels to be a reader – check out some non-fiction, biographies, photography books. Do you own a business or perhaps want to grow professionally somehow? Check out the business books; self help books – there is something for you on those shelves. You just have to find it.
Here are some places on the internet to visit for ideas/suggestions of what to read –
Book Riot https://bookriot.com/
Epic Reads https://www.epicreads.com/
What Should I Read Next? https://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/
There is a whole world out there, readers. I know you can find something you would be interested in reading, if you would just give it a try.
Happy New Year, readers!