It’s summertime, finally!
I have a lot of goals for myself. Maybe too much. But one goal that I’m focusing on the most is reading more.
This past semester at college, I read maybe 3 books? It was bad. Like, really bad. I was embarrassed to log on to bookstagram. Of course, I was in college and was working part-time while also managing great friendships, but still. A lot of my free time went to watching TV, cleaning, doing laundry, eating at dining halls, and doing things that weren’t reading.
This summer, even though I’m still working and have a lot of things on my plate, I plan to read 20 books. It may not seem like a lot to some, but to me, it’s a lot--it’ll surely be a challenge.
But, I’ve already read 3, so maybe I’m doing something right!
Reading is great, and that’s why I love it so much. It’s a great way to unwind while also feeling somewhat productive. I don’t know about you, but after watching TV for an hour or two, I start to feel a little gross. And surely, I can’t be the only person who’d love to read more this summer!
So, whether you’re a busy bee like me, or just want to build a reading habit, here are a few ways to help you read more this summer!
Read books that you want to read
Oftentimes, I read books that people recommend to me or that are on the best-seller list, trusting that those other people know what they’re talking about. I also read books just to support the authors who wrote them.
This is usually (not always) a mistake.
Earlier this summer, I read a book called The Little Paris Bookshop, which was a bestseller and was placed up front at Barnes & Noble. While it was a sweet book full of French charm and was written beautifully, it sort of bored me, and I didn’t feel like reading anymore afterward. Upon finishing, I took a breath of fresh air because I was finished!
Never again will I read a book for its aesthetic appeal!
Plan a day to go to the bookstore or library for a few hours and just read. Find a book or two that you really find interesting, and avoid the “What’s Hot” isle. Find a book that truly resonates with you. I suggest sitting at a table and reading the first chapter of 5 books that stuck out to you the most, then take home the best two!
My favorite book series of all time is the Unaltered Series, which no one has ever heard of and I found because the first book was only $.99 on Amazon.
Don’t read what other people are reading--read what makes you happy!
Read only 20 pages a day
If you haven’t read in some time and don’t really know how to pick back up, just read 20 pages a day, either at night before bed, on your lunch break, or in the morning with your coffee. An average book is about 250 pages, so you’d be finishing one book within 2 weeks or less! That’s about 6 books in one summer!
Don’t push yourself, ease into it. Enjoy the journey (and the book)!
Start a bookstagram
Since starting my bookstagram, I’ve been so inspired to begin reading. A few weeks ago, after taking a little break from instagram, I began revamping my feed and getting more involved in the community, and suddenly, all I wanted to do was read, after seeing all of the summer TBR’s and everyone’s pretty book accounts.
Don’t worry about getting your followers up. Just post updates of your reading progress and connect with fellow book lovers. Try taking nice photos of your current reads, too--you’ll feel more inspired to carry a book with you!
Buddy-read with someone, or start/join a book club
I’m not in any book clubs this summer, but I do have friends who want to read more too, and they suggested buddy-reading. I’m actually buddy-reading Tuesdays With Morrie right now!
Being part of a physical group that reads is really nice because it holds you accountable to read more.
So, join a group, or find that one other friend you have that has a slight interest in reading, and read together!
Make reading fun
Oftentimes, I see people reading books for the sole purpose of reading them, not enjoying them. Reading is something personal, relaxing, not something that should be rushed or boring.
Dim the lights, turn on some background music, light a candle, make some coffee or tea, and get lost in your book! Don’t rush through it, just read it.
If it’s boring? Stop reading! And make sure to just have fun. Otherwise, what's the point in reading anything at all?
I hope these tips helped somewhat! And I hope you do read a lot this summer!
Also, five books on my summer TBR, just for some ideas, are:
The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han
Borne by Jeff Vandermeer
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
The Defective by Ryan Jones
The Martian By Andy Weir
What is your summer TBR? I'd love to see what everyone is reading, so comment below!