You'd think lockdown life would be conducive to getting more reading done, but for some reason many people have found themselves reading less instead of more. It really is a mystery as to why. Not only do we seem to have more time on our hands, but reading also helps reduce stress and boost brain function—both of which are necessary for surviving 2020.
If you've found yourself in the same boat as me and want to get back on track, don't worry, it's not that hard! Here are 5 excellent ways to help you reboot your daily reading habit:
1. Try a new format
We all tend to have this stereotyped image of true bookworms as people who only read physical books. But how you read should never be as important as actually doing it, so why not try out a new format? If you're someone who prefers physical books, try reading on your e-reader or phone to see if it keeps you engaged. Or, for a fresh new approach, switch to audiobooks and see how you like them. Remember, you can go back to your favored format any time you like, but by trying something new you're making reading seem new and exciting too!
2. Try the Rule of 50
Life is too short to be wasted on books we don't like, even in quarantine. Instead of forcing yourself to slog through a book you hate, or calling it quits right away, commit to reading 50 pages of the book. 50 pages is enough for you to determine if the book is going to pick up, hold your interest, or is simply not for you. At this point, you can choose to set the book aside without a single iota of guilt—or keep reading if you find yourself enjoying it!
3. Try not to set goals
We were all pretty optimistic at the start of the year about our reading goals, but if 2020 has taught me anything, it's that it's okay to let those goals go sometimes. At this point in the year, with my reading list falling woefully short of the number I'd set way back in January, I'm making the decision to stop keeping count. I hope you'll do the same, and instead of lamenting about failing at your reading goals, just enjoy reading with no strings—personal or otherwise—attached.
4. Try starting small
If you're looking to get back into a daily reading habit, the best way is to start by dipping a toe. In other words, start small with 2 pages every day, or 5-10 minutes of reading. It's kind of like going back to the gym after a really long holiday (or lockdown). You wouldn't hit the heaviest weights, or expect your body to be able to jump into high intensity cardio right away, would you? The same applies to reading. Ease in, and you'll find yourself eventually able to read more and more every day!
5. Try to make it fun
At the end of the day, reading should be an enjoyable activity, not a chore! Maybe you've fallen out of love with reading in the last year, or you've never enjoyed it as an adult because of the mandatory reading from your school years. Whatever the case, reading can be something to look forward to when you pair it with something else you enjoy. Relish that daily cuppa? Read a few pages every morning while savoring your coffee or tea. Miss socializing? Find a friend to read with you, and plan weekly cocktail nights on Zoom where you chat about the book (and everything else under the sun).
Have you been reading more or less in lockdown? Any tips for maintaining a daily reading habit?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!