Monday, 21 July 2014

How To Read More

As you already know, I really like to read and review books on Vivatramp. However, reviewing books on the internet comes with great responsibility and I often get messages from people who have fallen out of love with reading that want to know how I keep on top of it all and how I became a certified bookworm in the first place. With that in mind, I thought I would compile a little guide on how to read more and how to become an avid reader. These steps are all tried and tested by my fine self so hopefully they'll be of use to lots of you. I imagine they'd also be pretty useful for those of you that struggle to get all of your academic reading done on time...but don't quote me on that because I'm terrible at that too! Feel free to share your own tips in the comment below. Huzzah!

vivatramp how to become an avid reader how to read more lifestyle book blog uk book reviewsvivatramp lifestyle book blog book review reading advice tips reading skills uk

work out what you enjoy reading 
Spend some time working out what it is that you like to read more about, regardless of its popularity or so-called 'literary merit'. So many non-readers don't read because they were forced to read something at school that they really didn't like and therefore feel like reading isn't for them. If you enjoy reading about kings and queens, search for historical fiction. If you enjoy reading novels set in worlds that are different from your own,  track down an epic fantasy or science fiction novel. That's not to say that you shouldn't broaden your horizons every now and again, because you really should, but it's nice to really enjoy the books that you're reading. It shouldn't feel like a chore. Don't forget to play around with the format too. You aren't confined to the printed word - try out e-books or audiobooks and see what works best for you. 

create a comfortable reading environment 
Work out where you like to read and create mini reading set up. I tend to read on my bed, resting on my v-shaped pillow with a drink by my side. I also tend to read best in the day, with light background noise. Some people will like to settle down in louder spaces, such as coffee shops, and some will want to retreat to the quietest spot they can find. Explore a little!

set yourself a daily reading schedule or organise daily sprints 
I don't set myself a reading schedule. However, it can be quite a useful tool if you're trying to read a bit more. Schedule makes it sound scary but all you have to do is find a consistent 10-30 minutes in your daily schedule to devote to reading. You might find that you have the time to read a couple of chapters before you sleep every night or maybe you have a spare half an hour or so in the morning on your way to work. Alternatively, if your spare time isn't consistent from day to day, you could hold spontaneous little reading sprints. A reading sprint is basically you saying 'I'm going to read for the next ten minutes'. If you wanted to, you could also send a tweet out to see if other people want to do a quick sprint with you. Read your books simultaneously and then come back after an agreed time to discuss your experiences and thoughts on what you've read.

get involved in a book-orientated community 
Leading on from my last point, I think turning your reading into a community-driven thing can be a really productive move. Connect with bookish people in your community or search for some fellow readers online. There are plenty of booktubers and book bloggers to follow so keep an eye out. I wrote a post on some of my favourite booktube channels a few months ago and, whilst it definitely needs updating, it's still really useful. If you've got a Twitter account, why not participate in the #bookbloggers chat that takes place every Tuesday at 7pm. I'll see you there! 

participate in buddy reads, book clubs and read-a-thons or create your own 
This relates to my previous two points, I know, but this is probably one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated. Once you've found some bookish friends, why not propose a buddy read? You each take it in turns to pick a book that you want to read together before meeting up online at a set time each day / week to discuss what you've read so far and what you thought of it. Book bloggers and booktubers are always holding things called read-a-thons and they're seriously fun to get involved with. These read-a-thons usually consist of regular sprints, challenges and, in some cases, prizes. If the online world isn't really your thing, there are plenty of book clubs around and if there isn't one in your immediate area, you could always start one!  


MARK THE PAGES 
I always like to mark pages whenever I enjoy certain passages in order to refer back to them in the future or to discuss them at a later date. It's quite interesting to return to these pages months down the line to see what was relevant to you at the time of reading.  


wayside and woodland blossoms edward step book review blog lifestyle vivatramp ukmargaret atwood oryx and crake vivatramp lifestyle book review blog how to read more how to be a better reader uk

document the books you read
It sounds silly but documenting what you've read somewhere, be it in a blog post or a personal notebook, actually makes you read a lot better. My monthly book reviews encourage me to not only read a lot more but to also think about what I'm reading more complexly. You don't have to write huge eloquent paragraphs about tone and literary devices. My review notebook is full of short and snappy bullet points that pop into my head as I'm reading.  It won't be for everyone but give it a go if you're interested.

visit the library, bookstores and browse the web for inspiration 
Keep yourself in the book loop. I tend to keep a running Goodreads shelf of all the books I would like to read. It currently stands at 300+ so it could probably do with being refined a little! Goodreads and blogs are a great way of finding new things to read. However, it's also great fun to head down to your local library or bookstore to browse the shelves. Booksellers work really hard to curate really interesting displays and they often have the most beautiful editions to peruse so I definitely recommend heading to your local stores for some inspiration.  

use your spare time wisely 
I'm incredibly guilty of this. I'm the worst for wasting time on my phone when I could be doing things more productive like reading or whatever. Whenever I'm going through a good reading spell, I always use my spare time to read whether I've got 5 minutes or a couple of hours. If you commute to work, use up a little bit of that time to read. Stuck in a waiting room? Read. You get the picture. It really annoys me when people say they don't have time to read as a way of shaming avid readers. I have time to read because I make time. I shimmy my schedule around to read because I am passionate about it. It's what I do. I respect readers and non-readers alike, so don't gimme shade. Word.

keep up to date with publishing houses, fellow readers and authors 
In between reading books, writing about books, watching videos about books and reading articles about books, I like to follow bookish people online too! I've got a timeline full of publishing houses, fellow readers and authors and it constantly inspires me. Start by tracking down your favourite authors, publishing houses and book bloggers / vloggers. You can work from there!  

research the books you're reading / authors / movements and check out adaptations 
I'm one of those people that loves to research the things I really enjoy. This can be a bit of a buzzkill for some, I know, but I think it can be a pretty good way to enjoy reading a little more. Once I've finished reading a book, I like to find out a bit of background info and research a bit about its author. On more of an academic note, I like to check out the literary movements or genres that the book belongs to and I also like to check to see whether there are any adaptations in order to see how they've interpreted the source material. 

don't take the fun out of reading 
It's all very good and well wanting to read more but you really need to do it for the right reasons. It's easy to look at the way other people read and feel like you need to replicate it yourself but we all work in different ways. I have a lot of peers that read a lot more than me and that's perfectly fine. As long as you're enjoying the books you're reading, getting things from them and going at your own pace you're totally fine. If you're starting to not enjoy reading, take a step back for a while. Reading for pleasure is such a luxury and you should enjoy it accordingly. 

books book review blog lifestyle uk vivatramp how to read more reading tips for adultsbooks book blog book review vivatramp lifestyle book blog reading skills tips

What do you think? I know that this is a lot of information to take in, and you sure as hell don't need to take every little bit of this advice, but I thought I'd include a lot of different ideas so you can pick and choose the tips that you want to follow. What advice would you give on top of the points I've made in this post? I'd love to hear from both sides of the spectrum - are you an avid reader or do you struggle to read consistently?


If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.


 TWITTER INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR
VIVATRAMP@GMAIL.COM
Share:

19 comments

  1. This is such a brilliant post, Bee! I've only recently got back into love with reading, but tracking your reads is probably the best tip for me so far :) I love going on Goodreads to see what my friends and fellow bloggers are reading too x

    Megan / pixiecrop.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such an insightful and interesting post! You covered a lot of ground, and I agree with the majority of your points. Each reading experience is unique, and as you said at the end, it is important to read because you want to read. Forcing oneself to take a book is not the best of solutions to get back to reading consistently, and to enjoy what you're reading.
    Having a blog and a Youtube channel pushed me to read more than I used to and kind of got me back into reading. However, despite all the positive effects of that two "devices", I feel like I read differently now... Especially these days, reading one book after another without thinking about what I actually read. Sometimes, we are just stuck in a loop that goes on forever, and it can be dizzying. It is good to step back, do something else, and then, when we feel like it, take a book and go through it slowly, appreciating every word of it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loved this post Bee! As I'm sure you've noticed, my recent discovery of Goodreads has made me fall back in love with reading. I just needed a way to organise my reading process. I'm not a fan of the library because I like to have my own books and they all need to be in pristine Mish condition. I'm definitely going to start putting time aside for reading now though, instead of squeezing it in before, during and after bedtime!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I adored this, such an awesome post Bee x

    holljc.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a great, well thought out post! I completely agree with your point on using spare time wisely - even though I'm an avid reader and absolutely love it, I am sometimes guilty of spending time on my phone etc when I could have spent that time reading. I found that when I looked at how I was spending my spare time, I started being able to fit reading into my day more easily.

    Gemma

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post Bee :) I love the fact that you created this as the more words spread about how to fall back in love with books, the better. Brilliant.

    Zoe xx
    http://thebritinaus.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such a great post, sometimes reading can seem like something you're forcing yourself to do, but then you have to remember you enjoy it!!

    http://wiltedxfaded.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  8. This post came at the perfect time because it's summer and now's the time to read more! I agree, going to the library is my number one tip because there's no limit to how many books you can try out (price wise)! I also record all the books I read (and want to read) on Goodreads. It has all the books I've ever read, and you can also read reviews from other people! Whenever I mention a book on my blog I always link it back to its Goodreads page, not Amazon. That's how much I like it! :)

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  9. These are great tips about reading more. I've recently been trying to encourage my boyfriend and he picked up a book one of my colleagues lent me and hasn't been able to put it down. He's now on the 3rd one! Turns out, he just hadn't found anything he particularly liked reading yet.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great pictures, these books look amazing, thanks for sharing! :)

    I have a new outfit post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts:

    http://electricsunrise.blogspot.co.uk/

    xoxoxoxox

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thankyou for motivating me to read! Whilst in New York last month I started reading Steve Jobs Autobiography, but as a self-confessed instagram-addict, I have been spending way to many hours on my phone and nowhere near enough tucking into a good book.. however this post has definitely pushed me to open and continue reading! (I 1000% recommend by the way!)

    http://shonarose.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great tips!

    I love love love to read so no one really has to "motivate" me per say. It's just been trying to fit it in within my schedule! Everytime I read, I cannot put the book down. This is not good for my lifestyle. ;) Thanks for sharing love!

    xo, N
    www.natashasolae.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great tips

    BLEURGH - http://www.bleurghnow.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for posting this! I've read two books already this month from your tips to read in bursts using schedules and sprints as well as using spare time wisely! I'm really enjoying reading at the moment and cannot wait to get started on another book soon. I will definitely refer back to this when in need of some reading motivation :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I definitely struggle to read constantly but from now on I think I'm going to make time to read more and more. Great post :)
    xoxo

    www.randomindistilling.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is such a great post, Bee. I definitely agree with setting aside time every day to read and making an effort to stick it to - I read on the bus to and from work every day and even though it's not a massive amount of time I at least get through a book or two every week just from that.

    I try not to feel pressured to keep up with other people's reading schedules. I have people on my Twitter feed who post book reviews every single day and I just think 'Whoa! How do you manage that?' I try to read at least four books a month but I'm not going to beat myself up about it if I don't.

    x

    p.s. "It really annoys me when people say they don't have time to read as a way of shaming avid readers." YES! I hate when people make comments like this, especially if they then talk about the many, many TV programmes they watch, making comments like "It was pretty crap, but there was nothing else on."

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, yes, yes to all of this! Such wonderful tips, many of which I parrot to many people who say they can't get into reading, especially the point about finding out what you enjoy regardless of literary merit and following authors online - they're seriously some of the nicest people to tweet at and chat to on social media! Xx

    ReplyDelete

© VIVATRAMP | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig