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How to Read More | Indie Journey

Readers and Writers can agree on one thing: there's never enough time to read as much as we'd like. Entertainment, education, escapism there's so many reasons to dive into a good book. But what about when life demands your attention elsewhere? How do you keep up with your ever-growing TBR?

What we can do is find ways to shift things around in our lives to fit reading in more often. Here's what I do, and what I recommend to anyone else struggling to fit more pages into their day:

1. Always have a book. I don't have an e-reader... yet. I do always have my phone, with three e-reader apps. Whenever there's the slightest wait, I open up a book. In line at the post office? I'm reading. Waiting three cars deep at the drive through? I'm reading. Eating a messy lunch I don't want to splatter on real pages? I'm reading.

2. Avoid Doom-Scrolls and Binges. If you, like me, live with others who are more prone to screens than books, have a discussion about reading a few nights a week instead. Either read separately at the same time, or read a book aloud together. Tip: If using e-reader apps on your phone, put it on Do Not Disturb and use an app blocker to prevent app-switching.

3. Adopt Regularly-Scheduled Breaks. Schedule reading time into your day or week. Dedicate ten minutes of your lunch break, or an hour before breakfast. Set reminders and organize your other daily tasks to make room for the reading to happen. Hobbies are important!

4. Embrace DNF. I once held a proud record of finishing every book I ever started. Then I picked up books I didn't relate to as well, didn't like as much, and dread halted my progress. There are more books than one could read in several lifetimes. Why waste your time on something you aren't enjoying? I read voraciously, obsessively when I'm into a story; my pace crawls when I force myself to continue. Quit early on books you aren't enjoying fully!

5. Use the library! I adore my library and the library app which lets me borrow e-books and audiobooks. I'll borrow physical books, but when I need that next read at 2am on the weekend? The app is there. When I want to rent 5 books and see which one fits the mood without leaving my couch? The app is there. Libraries are also cheaper, and you aren't committing shelf space to a title until you're sure you love it. I'm able to find dozens more books in a month than I would ever buy or borrow from friends.

There we have it, five ways to read more. Do you agree, or disagree? Let me know in the comments!

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