No matter how much we may enjoy reading, some of us struggle to physically sit down and read a book without getting distracted. Many people find that silence is too discomforting, but then get distracted easily if they put music or the TV on in the background. Then there is the issue of the mobile phone: the classic procrastination device. I’m very fortunate that I am able to sit down, switch off, and read for hours at a time. But I do occasionally struggle to read, so I thought I would share some advice on how you can make the most of this really relaxing activity and participate in it more!
With everything going on in the world right now, a lot of us have more spare time on our hands than we originally would have, which gives us an excellent opportunity to read more. If you aren’t much of a reader, but would like to be, then take this time as a great chance to give it a try, without worrying that it will be cutting into time usually allocated to other things.
Firstly, if you find that your phone is too much of a distraction, leave it in another room. Just don’t take it to wherever you are planning on sitting down to read. That way it’s out of sight, out of mind. Or, if you really want to take it with you, then try utilising an app like Forest, which allows you to grow your own forest each time you stay off your phone for a set amount of time, and penalises you if you go on it during your set time.
Next, if you are someone who prefers to have sound on in the background, but then always ends up getting distracted by it, try putting on some audio that doesn’t have words. I know that Lo-Fi is really popular right now and can help you relax as well as offering you some audio-relief. However, my personal favourite is to play a video from the ASMR Rooms YouTube channel! It’s a series of beautiful, hour long audio tapes that are designed to sound like different fictional locations, such as The Burrow from Harry Potter, or inside of Howl’s Moving Castle, or Rivendell from Middle Earth. They also have very subtle visuals within the screen picture, that help set the atmosphere, but also aren’t too distracting.
Who said that reading has to be limited to sitting down and physically reading? Audiobooks are often an overlooked branch of media, but they are beginning to increase in popularity. You can get a month free on Audible, and a free book if you fancy giving it a try, or there are lots of classics available for free on YouTube. I also love using the Oodles Book app, because it’s free and has a huge selection of both audiobooks and eBooks. This can be a really great way of reading if you have a busy schedule where you are constantly moving around, as you can listen to it whilst doing chores or on your daily walk!
Finally, I discovered that what motivates me to read more than anything is having a Goodreads account and partaking in the yearly Goodreads goal. If you didn’t already know, Goodreads is a free social cataloging website dedicated wholly to books. Every year you can set a goal of how many books you want to complete. Millions of people take part and at the end of the year, Goodreads will calculate your yearly page count, your percentage of books per genre and so forth. I personally find it really rewarding and motivating each time I tick another book off towards my challenge. It is not a case of who reads the most, and you can change your goal at any time, but being able to see a physical representation of your progress which can be super motivating!
Try and make it your goal to read something this month: even if it’s just one book, a graphic novel, or audiobook. Reading can be so rewarding, and a fantastic form of escapism, especially during these uncertain times. Stay safe, and happy reading!