Believe it or not, owning a bookshop does not mean I get to read books all day. In fact, most of my days are spent looking for inventory, handling orders, working on the shop socials, bookkeeping. . .you know, like work work. It's totally normal for readers of any kind to find themselves too busy or overwhelmed to sit down and read. Not to mention, we all have times where you simply aren't in the mood to do much more than watch Netflix. That's all OK because life is a wild myriad of shifts we all have to learn to adapt to.
That said, I've learned a thing or two about hopping back on the reading horse whenever you find yourself in a bit of a reading rut. The tips below will help you find small ways you can fit reading into your schedule AND reignite your passion for it. Hopefully this list will give you the inspiration you need to read more books and remind you that reading is first and foremost as fun as you want it to be.
1. Trust Somebody Else As a bookshop owner, I know what it's like to be overwhelmed by having too many choices of what to read. Sometimes, having someone else suggest something for you is the way to go. Ask a friend, a family member, or your local independent bookshop what they recommend -- you might just find something perfect for you (and avoid the dreaded decision fatigue).
2. Maybe It's Time To Listen A recent study from the University of California Berkeley's Gallant Labs have shown that listening to audiobooks activates the same parts of your brain that reading a physical book does. If you're struggling to find the time in your day to flip through the pages of a book, try an audiobook. You can listen to books while working out, cooking, taking care of the kids, driving -- sometimes taking the time to listen can accomplish more than you'd think.
3. Join A Community The reading community is a robust, diverse and varied world of readers and chances are you can find a group that's just right for you. Try joining a bookclub, like the famed Facebook group 'Black Girls Read Too' that's focused on the sort of community you typically enjoy being a part of. Chances are you'll find plenty of books you'll enjoy or find great recommendations for reads in genres that you've never tried before, but are interested in. Having a community of fellow readers to regularly discuss what you're reading is a gentle and fun way of practicing accountability towards your goal of reading more.
4. Read What You Like Life's too short to spend time not reading what you want to read. Are you a YA fan? Like graphic novels? Only the most syrupy sweet romances? There's no shame in reading what thrills you instead of trying to keep up with what's new or what everyone else seems to be raving about. Books have no expiration date, so enjoy what you enjoy and do so proudly!
5. Treat It Like Self Care
Reading has been shown to reduce stress, help you sleep better at night, improve cognitive connectivity and processing, and increase empathy. . .which is a lot of words that ultimately mean that reading totally counts as self care! Try incorporating reading to your self-care practice by working it into your morning breakfast or nightly bedtime routine. But most importantly, it's important to remember the real trick to reading more is to remind yourself it's something you want to do, just for you.