In addition to working a lot, running a lot, parenting a lot and doing laundry a lot, I like to read… A LOT. I could go into the details of what kinds of books I like to read (trashy romance/fiction and narrative nonfiction), and I’m sure I’ll get into it at some point, along with WHY I love to read. If you are really curious, you can find me on Goodreads.
What I really want to get into is HOW I read. All of the above-mentioned activities are certainly time consuming, but I still aim to crank out a book a week. Let’s dive into how I get it done, shall we?
Quality need not apply. I like quick reads with overly dramatic story lines that hook me and keep me hooked. I like books that make me want to spend the two free hours I have after my son goes to bed and not want to do anything else – like talk to my husband. These books are not Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace, but they are easy to read and offer nice escapism for a bit.
Technology works. Some people like the good ol’ hardcover book – and I do think it still has a time and a place. That said, if we’re talking about efficiency, the Kindle is where it’s at. I use my Kindle Paperwhite at home mostly, which conveniently syncs up to the Kindle app on my phone. I’ll typically read on the app on the L and if I’m standing in the Starbucks line. Usually if I have a spare five minutes where I’d otherwise be staring into space, I’m reading. Also, if I’m lazy and my actual Kindle is all the way over there, I can still read on my phone or iPad! #lazynessrules
Library pressure. Did you know you can get Kindle books from your local library? No? I sure do! You know why? Because I have three books checked out, five (the max) on hold and another three on my wishlist, which is just my staging area to put books on hold when I have a free slot. It’s a very serious process. When you get a Kindle from the library, you have a set period of time to read it before it disappears (Chicago Public Library gives you 21 days). That’s a lot of pressure to get it done. Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good deadline and this will do the trick. Have I not finished a book when it expired on my phone and had to enter the waiting list again? Yup! Did I curse myself for not being more efficient with my reading time? You betcha! I just don’t need that kind of stress in my life, so I do my best to read these bad boys expeditiously.
Switch it up. This is kind of redundant to the technology point, but we live in a world dominated by tech and apps, so it makes sense to cover this twice. This is more of a plug for an app I just discovered called Serial Reader that is keeping things interesting. This app has a huge catalogue of classic literature of all genres, breaks it up into “issues” that it delivers to your phone daily at your designated time. Each “issue” takes about 8-13 minutes to read and is a delightful and digestible way to get your classic literature fix. Right now, I’m reading a bit of Jane Eyre every day and can still go about my day and read my decidedly NOT Jane Eyre type fiction.
Have little to no social life. Once upon a time I went out a lot on the weekends. During that phase, I did not read a lot. Now, I spend a lot of Fridays and Saturdays at home because I’m recovering from the week and/or don’t feel like paying for a babysitter. I get A LOT of reading done on those nights! (Editor’s note: I do have some friends and go out occasionally. If I go too hard, I’ll just catch up on my reading in the morning when my son watches PBS Kids. Everyone wins!)
So there you have it. I’m sure I’ll use this site at times for book reviews and/or more thought provoking content on printed vs. Kindle. But for my 10 readers, tell me: What do you do to keep your reading volume up?