I wish I could read more
When I was 10 years old I would read in bed for an hour every night before I went to sleep. Now, as a 40- something year old, I am lucky if I read for an hour a month. It turns out I am not alone. One of the top five resolutions every year that people make is to “read more books.”
Often we read a lot as children but as we get older we gradually lose the reading habit. “I am too busy.” “I am too tired when I get home from work.” “I keep forgetting to go to the library.” These are all excuses we tell ourselves.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body
Reading isn’t just entertainment. It has a host of benefits.
- Mental stimulation. Staying mentally stimulated can help reduce the chances of Alzheimers and dementia.
- Stress reduction. Reading a good story can take you away from the stresses and strains of real-life.
- Gain knowledge. Books can teach you new information that can help you in your job and your life.
- Increased vocabulary. Reading is a brilliant way to learn new words and increase your vocabulary.
- Improved memory. Your memory is a “use it or lose it” skill. When you read a novel you have to remember many intricate details about the plot and characters. This helps strengthen your memory muscle.
- Better focus. We live in a world with many distractions. Our phones have notifications. Computers have pop-ups. Television has adverts. With a book there is nothing to distract you. Reading will help you improve your focus.
- Better writing skills. Reading a good book exposes you to good writing. Through seeing examples of good writing and grammar your writing will improve.
How to make reading a habit
- Schedule time to read. Schedule time in your day to read in the same way you schedule time to exercise. Set an alarm for one hour before you normally go to bed to turn off any electronics and start reading. This will also help you sleep better.
- Always carry a book. Add “book” to the list of things you always take out with you. You will be amazed at how many times during the day you are waiting for something and can get a few pages of a book in.
- Read to a child. This counts as reading too. Find a child and read to them. They will love the quality time and you get to read.
- Have a library day. Make one day of the week your “library day” where you get to return old books, pick out new books and spend an hour just sitting reading.
- Make a log. “If you read it, write it.” Keep track of the books you have read. Perhaps even set yourself a reading goal so you have a “reason” to read. You can even use a website like “Good Reads.”
Pick the suggestion that works best for you and start reading! Here are some recommendations on great books to read about habits.