“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” –Fran Lebowitz

There’s no question that reading enriches our lives. It is the optimal source for information. Living very busy lives filled with work, family, travel, etc. can make it difficult to unwind with a good book or almost impossible to become immersed in an escapist novel. There is so much information everywhere so, whether you prefer to get your news from the television, smartphone, podcasts, and/or audiobooks, there’s something to be said for an old-fashioned book (no E-reader) with dog-eared pages and notes in the margins. 

Tips for Reading More 

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” –Cicero

  • Set aside a half hour a day to start.
  • Have a stack of books to read on your bedside table. Make a list of books, authors, and topics of interest.
  • Read before bed. This will help you to doze off; a book is so much better than a screen.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself; you don’t have to have read all the classics.
  • Encourage reading in your home. Set aside time for your spouse and children to gather in the den for some quiet relaxation and reflection. Put down your phones, turn off the television, fill the coffee table with books and see what happens.
  • Skip around. Skip entire chapters if you’re losing interest. You’re not going to be tested on the material!
  • Read several books at once. This way, you’re more likely to find something you really enjoy.
  • A comfy reading nook requires good light and a big, overstuffed chair with a throw blanket, an ottoman, and don’t forget your favorite snack. This is a great incentive to read more!
  • Carry a small paperback in your handbag, tote, or backpack. While you’re on public transportation, waiting in the queue, or simply waiting, refrain from answering those texts and emails and read. 
  • Don’t make outlandish goals. Maybe don’t start with “War and Peace.” 
  • Any reading is good reading! Don’t let people tell you that one book is more worthy than another or that “guilty pleasure” reading is silly. That’s ridiculous! 
  • Magazines and tabloids count!
  • Try a new genre. 
  • The more you read, the more you want to read. It’s like exercising a muscle. It becomes habitual.
  • Go to the library. 
  • Visit rare and used bookstores. There’s nothing more charming than old books, and it’s so important to support small business.

Benefits of Being a Book Worm

“Reading brings us unknown friends.” –Honoré de Balzac

We live in a technology-fueled world, so the analog era is sometimes thought upon with nostalgia and longing. I’m not saying we should go back to using quill pens with a pot of ink but writing longhand, sending letters and postcards instead of texts and emails, and reading a book or magazine is so enjoyable and therapeutic. It’s calming and meditative to slow down, take a breath, and put down those screens. 

  • You’ll sleep better if you engage in less screen time before bed. Put your phone or tablet away (and turn off the television) at the very least thirty minutes before bed. You may even have better dreams (depending on what you’re reading). No news right before bedtime, either!
  • Of course, your concentration will improve. You’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll absorb all sorts of new, wonderful information. 
  • Think of starting a book club and, when you finish with a book, give it to a friend to lighten your load. There’s no greater gift than a good book, and this will help to cut down on clutter (even though shelves spilling over with books is a wonderful, cozy sight). Sharing ideas and stories is probably the highlight of a friendship so find a book you love and give the gift of literature. 

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