I’ve discovered that one of the sure signs of entering adulthood is designating ‘zones’ for everything in my life; my work zone, my eating zone, etc. Much like my writing zone, however, my reading zone doesn’t exist in any physical plain. Or, at least, where I am doesn’t matter. It’s my state of mind that counts.
If you’re like me, you have trouble disengaging from social media, putting down your phone and steering clear of the internet. These few tips might help you put down the tech and get in the right head space to pick up a book. It’s harder than it seems sometimes, even for book lovers. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to read, but there are. We just need to make changes. We need to make time for books.
Part of what hinders me in reaching my monthly reading goals is viewing the book as a whole rather than in parts. I mean, it’s pretty much sorted for us; it’s split into chapters for god’s sake. Don’t leave your reading until one point in the day; instead, try and read in increments throughout the day. Whether it’s a few pages or a chapter at a time, make reading an all-day activity.
Turn off your data
From my experience, it doesn’t matter if I’ve put my devices on the other side of the room, if my data is on, my phone will bing or buzz with a message or notification, and that’s it. Whatever spell the book I’m reading has cast on me will be broken. Take away the internet element, and most of our devices hold very little interest for us. I do this very thing when I’m writing, and if I didn’t I’d barely write a word. I’m notorious for getting distracted, so if you’re like me, disconnect.
Don’t force yourself
You may have quite a few books on your TBR that were recommended to you that you’re not super crazy about reading. You might feel you have to as it’s one of those books “you just have to read”. While reading outside of your comfort zone can be a great experience and introduce you to books you may never have picked up otherwise, it can also be a chore. Don’t slog through a book you have no interest in just because. Instead, pick something you’re genuinely excited to read.
Play thematic music
Playing music that fits the genre of the book can really help you engage with the story. For instance, the perfect music for reading The Lord of the Rings is, in my opinion, anything by Enya. Of course, it helps that she was a major player in the movie’s soundtrack, but the beauty of her music helps to ground me in the story. This really helps aspiring writers as well!
Slow and steady wins the race
Try not to pay attention to how many pages you’ve read as you’re reading. I find I do this a lot when I’m reading on iBooks. I can’t help it, I’ll often glance down to see what page number I’m on. And often, because of the small size of the screen on my phone, it feels like I have a LOT more pages ahead of me than I do, which can be discouraging if the book is a bit dull. Read at your own pace and you’ll enjoy the book much more.
What are your tips for getting in the reading mood? Do you get cosy under a duvet? Do you read outside? Let me know in the comments!