This year I rediscovered my love of reading. Having set aside books in my high school years save for the required English class readings, I made a New Years Resolution (that I actually stuck to for once!) to get back into my childhood hobby and set myself an easy but realistic goal of 10 books for 2015. 10 months down the track and I’m happy to say I’ve smashed it! To all my fellow bookworms – if you’re trying to complete your goals but find yourself struggling, look no further! Here are some helpful tips on how to beat your 2015 reading goals:
- Swap your phone for a book
I confess: I have become one of those people that says they are going to bed early, spends an hour or two on her laptop, and then another hour on her phone before finally falling asleep. Swapping a book for your phone is not only scientifically proven to be better for your health, but also helps relax and de-stress and I find myself falling asleep much more easily after reading before bed rather than playing games on my phone. If you’re a daily user of public transport like myself, try bringing a book along for your train, bus, tram or ferry commutes. (However if you’re prone to carsickness try out an audiobook.) You’ll find that your phone battery lasts longer throughout the day and that time flies by!
2. Read any chance you get
Got a spare twenty minutes between classes? An hour before you need to get ready to go out? Waiting for your train to arrive? Having a relaxing weekend afternoon with no plans? Sit down with your current read to pass the time – even reading a couple of pages will help out and soon enough you will be speeding through books and one step closer to reaching your target. The more time you make to read the quicker you’ll reach your goals!
3. Get inspired by BookTubers
One of the reasons I got back into my love of reading was thanks to the wonderful influence of BookTube. What’s Booktube, you ask? It’s Youtube, but all about books. You might be familiar with beauty gurus, lifestyle vloggers and comedy gals such as Ingrid Nilsen, Zoella and Grace Helbig, but have you heard of Xtine May (aka polandbananasbooks), Sasha Alsberg (aka abookutopia), Katytastic or ReadbyZoe? These girls are just a select few of the dozens of fantastic, active and passionate booktubers out there on the website offering book reviews, movie adaption discussions, book hauls, themed challenges such as ‘Rip it or Ship it’ and the ‘Booktower Challenge’, interviews with authors like Sarah J. Maas and Stephenie Meyer, and dozens more videos with fiction-filled content. (A small message of caution: you’ll want to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on new books after watching their haul videos!)
4. Join a Book Club
This doesn’t mean that you have to tag along to your Mom’s Book Club (which is more like a wine club for ladies in their 40’s who occasionally read a book every few weeks). If there isn’t already a readers club on campus, have a go at making your own! Even if it’s just you and a few friends reading a book by the same author or in the same genre and meeting up over coffee to discuss and recommend books, you’ll still be engaging in reading and be able to voice or express your own opinions on what you’ve read and what you’re looking forward to reading next. There are even book clubs available online that you can join in on, as well as read-a-thons (BookTube-A-Thon has just passed this year but dozens more like it happen all the time on the internet) and discussions/reviews on sites like Goodreads.com
5. Find cheap books
If you’re struggling to finish your reading goal because you’ve lost your library card or your shelf is full of books you’ve read at least 4 times and there’s not a lot of spare change in your wallet, have a hunt for places that sell cheap books. I always find bargains at thrift stores (Paperbacks for $1? Don’t mind if I do!) and the department store where I work always has books going at crazy good clearance prices – and then they halve that price again! Sites like BookDepositry.com offer books at great deals cheaper than you would find in retail stores and free worldwide shipping no matter how much you spend. Another site I love is BetterWorldBooks.com also offering free worldwide shipping and great deals on pre-loved books, and with every book you purchase they will donate a book to a worthy cause like kindergartens, small-town libraries and other great organisations. If you don’t like lugging around whole novels with you everywhere, try ebooks! NetGalley.com lets you request to read books (in exchange for an honest review) and will send books straight to your Kindle, iPad, or other smart device free of charge.