As I was writing up my end of the month post for June, I realized that I only read 3 books in the entire month. While that’s really good for some readers, that’s way less than the 6 or 7 books I was reading back in January and February. Yes, June was a busy month, but it wasn’t until I was thinking about the books I read that I realized that I’ve been in somewhat of a reading slump.
THEN I read Book Sachel’s 30 Books in 30 Days post and it got me thinking that maybe a good, ol’ fashioned challenge might be just what I need. Which inspired:
JUST READ JULY a “back to the basics” challenge for myself this month. Just like it sounds, I am challenging myself to “just read.” Anything I chose. Just READ.
I feel like every time I challenge myself to things like a readathon or summer reading TBRs, the books on those lists are exactly the books I don’t want to read. So instead of making a list of books that I want to get to this month, I’m letting myself chose whatever I feel like at the moment.
My goal is to read 10 books in the month of July.
As I read those words, I’m freaking out a little bit. I’ve had YEARS where reading 10 books was an accomplishment… How the heck am I going to read 10 books in just 31 (really 29) days??
Simple. Just read.
Hence the title, see what I did there?
If you’re looking at your yearly/monthly goals and seeing the same trends, I invite you to join me this month and make a goal for yourself to get back to the basics. Just read. Read everything and anything you can get your hands on. For thirty days. You can do anything for thirty days, so reading? Easy peasy.
Which brings me to my next point.
Summer, fall, winter, and spring are busy seasons (yes, that’s all of them). We are busy people. And nothing drives me crazy like someone telling me they wished they had free time like I do to read. I’m busy, too! Reading has to be scheduled into my life as much as going to work, the gym, and date night. I am nowhere near perfect, but here are a few tips that help me find time to read:
- Audiobooks. I know that this isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoy a good audiobook. I can listen to it while doing housework, lab work, in the car, and when I’m at the gym. The versatility of being able to work through a book while accomplishing other tasks makes this an easier way to add a book or two each month.
- Carry a book everywhere. I think this is on every list I’ve ever read to help read more, but it is such a huge part of being able to read books. Waiting to pick up a package or go to a meeting, watching my sister play at the park, or waiting for food, keeping a book in my purse ensures that I will never be bored. (I’ve read a lot of people who read on their phones and delete distracting apps, which would work as well, but I hate reading on the tiny screen.)
- Schedule time for it. It doesn’t have to be much, just make a point to read for a few minutes each day. This could be in the morning before you get out of bed or right before bed. I find that if I tell myself I’m going to read for 20 minutes before bed, I get sucked in and *sometimes* read an entire book in one night. Chances are, if you make a point to read for just a little while, you’ll get sucked into the book or the habit and your TBR list will start to shrink.
- Challenge yourself. This one will be different for everyone. I’ve discovered that I am a very competitive person and will do *almost* anything to complete a challenge and be successful. By sharing challenges, I’m holding myself accountable. For you, maybe setting goals is all you need to drive yourself towards reading more books. Whatever you do, give yourself something to work towards, a reason to put all the effort into doing this.
- Read things you love. Maybe this is obvious, but maybe not. You are going to be 10000000% more interested in a book about something that you are interested in than something you care nothing about. Many people hate reading because they’ve only read what they had to for school, which tend to be boring. I think a lot of people don’t realize how many different types of books are out there. Choosing to pick up a book that really draws you in will make you want to read until you finish it. A great place to start if you’re struggling to get books read.
There are so many posts out there to help you read more. If you’re looking for more tips I recommend: Solving for Tsundoku by Jackie, How to Read More Books from the Cosy Reader, or 4 Strategies for Making more time to Read by Angela. The most important step in reaching your goal: decide its what you want and work for it.
Let’s talk! What are you reading this summer? How are your reading goals coming along? Are you going to challenge yourself to read more books this month? How many is a reasonable goal for yourself? Do you have any tips to read more books?
I’ve added the Just Read July challenge to my challenges page and you can follow along with me there as I make my way through 10 books in 30 days! Good luck with you’re reading!