Posted January 20, 2014 by in Bibliotherapy

10 Reading Strategies to Read More in 2014

Is one of your resolutions this year to read more books? It’s a great way to increase your vocabulary, lengthen your attention span, learn new ideas, or simply seek entertainment. We all feel that we never have enough time to read, but with these reading strategies, you should find time to fit more reading into your daily routine.

Photo credit Flickr Phandcp

Photo credit Flickr Phandcp

1. Eating and Reading

Kellogg’s surveyed 14,594 Americans to find out about their morning breakfast routines. Among other facts, they found that the majority of families spent a good deal of their morning watching television. While Kellogg’s is concerned that the television watching is interfering with a proper, balanced breakfast, the negative effects of morning television could go even deeper than that. Try leaving a book in your breakfast area to read while you’re eating and you will be surprised at how much reading you do. You’ll also be avoiding the numbing effect of zoning out in front of the television and find yourself more alert and mentally stimulated.

2. Public Transit

If you’re not using it already, look into the public transit in your area. Not only will you be helping the environment every time you choose the train, bus, or subway over your car, but you will have some extra time to relax and read. It might take you a bit longer to get to your destination, but you might lower your stress levels since you won’t be worried about merging and braking with all the other drivers on the road.

3. Reading With Friends

In just the same way that having a gym buddy motivates you to work out more, reading a book with a friend, partner, or spouse can do the same. It is as easy as deciding on a title, getting a copy of the book for each of you, and letting the discussion commence. Motivate each other even more by picking a book that has been made into a movie and then schedule a movie night once you have both finished reading.

4. Getting Electronic

Technology makes our lives so much easier sometimes and reading is no exception. If you download the Kindle app on your phone or other device, it will remember what page you are on no matter what device you use. That means if you get stuck in a long line at Starbucks, you can pull out your phone to finish chapter three of Eat, Pray, Love while you wait for your soy vanilla latte. Once you are back to reading on your Kindle, tablet, or computer, the Kindle app will know to start you right where you left off on Chapter Four.

Photo credit Flickr Meddygarnet

Photo credit Flickr Meddygarnet

5. Bedtime Stories

Everyone likes having someone read to them. From an early age we ask our parents to read ‘just one more’ before bed because we love the sound of a voice telling a story to us. This is one of the many reasons audiobooks are so very popular. Audiobooks make your commute go by faster, make traveling easier, and are especially appreciated by those looking to learn a new language. Load up your audio device with chapters of audiobooks or pop them in your car’s player and you will surprise yourself with how much ‘reading’ you get done.

6. Go to the Public Library

Books can be expensive, which is a huge deterrent to your reading goals, but the library is a great resource for readers. Reading strategies such as scheduling a monthly library visit can really get you excited to read and pressure you to finish the books that have a due date. The library has motivational programs during certain times of the year where they sometimes give out prizes to patrons who meet their reading goals. Check with your library to see what time of year they have this and whether it is for kids or adults or both.

7. Revisit a Favorite

Sometimes we have a hard time getting excited about a book because so many have lost our interest. The best way to find a new book is by revisiting an old favorite and figuring out what attracted you to it in the first place. There are a few websites that do the work for you, letting you type in a title and suggesting similar books that you might like as well. Some of these recommend a book based on a “collaborative filtering system, using our own bespoke algorithm called ‘Incidence Bias Weighting’ and partly using association rules.” Basically, they use lists to associate one person’s favorite with another reader who also considers that book to be their favorite. Type in a title that you liked to get a nice long list of suggested titles.

8. Weekend Planning

When you plan your free time in advance, you get a much better idea of when you can fit in time for reading. Those that have lively weekend schedules might find that the best time for them to schedule their reading is before bed or during lunch. You will feel like your free time is much better spent once you start planning it ahead of time.

Photo credit: Flickr Marjolein Knuit

Photo credit: Flickr Marjolein Knuit

9. Positive Reinforcement

Everyone knows that the best way to encourage yourself to do something is to reward yourself once you have accomplished it. Set a goal for a number of pages, minutes spent reading, or books that you would like to finish in a certain amount of time. Sign up at Goodreads.com to set a year-long reading goal for their 2014 Reading Challenge and then decide what you will give yourself when you succeed. Setting reading goals works even better in the short term, such as striving for a set number of pages per week or trying to finish one book per month.

1o. Taking Time for You

The reason many of us do not have time to read is because we feel so overwhelmed by responsibilities and tasks that we fail to take some time for ourselves. Curling up with a good book can be some real quality ‘me time’ and does wonders to recharge those of us who feel overworked. Bring a book to work and enjoy it on your lunch break to disconnect from those daily tasks or declare a time out at home with your children, instituting a new ‘reading hour’ for the whole family.

What are your reading goals for 2014?

Lauren V. Bryant

Having studied library and information sciences in a graduate program at San Jose State University, Lauren is a professional librarian who has worked in school and public libraries. She currently works at a public library where she helps the public get e-books and other downloadables on their devices. Check out Lauren's website, http://www.LaurentheLibrarian.com/ for more book related articles and content. Check out all my articles.