Monday, January 29, 2018

#MicroblogMondays: A reader's lament

Reasons/excuses why I haven't been reading as many books as I used to (even though I theoretically have all this free time because I don't have kids, right??):
  • The Internet. (I suppose I could just stop the list right there, right??)  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs & news articles online -- they all take up time that I once spent reading books, pre-Internet. 
  • Indecision. I have SO MANY books in my TBR pile -- books that I WANT to read (FINDING books to read is NOT my problem!!) -- but which to read first??  I go from one to another to another, and wind up getting nothing read at all. Sigh... 
  • I start one book, then another book comes along to grab my attention, so I put down the first book & start another one, and so on. I currently have at least four books that I've started but haven't yet finished. (I WANT to finish them... I INTEND to finish them... someday...) 
Things that help me read more books:
  • Vacations. For whatever reason, I find vacations more conducive to reading, even when I have a laptop/cellphone at hand to distract me. (Fewer of the usual things to do around the house, I guess...) 
  • Heading to bed earlier, but turning off my phone & then staying up to read a book for a while. 
  • Bringing a book or my e-reader with me when I'm on transit or going to an appointment, so that I have something  (other than my phone) to read while I'm waiting. 
  • Just diving in immediately when I get a new book. Sometimes I do get so absorbed that I don't get distracted by other things to read. ;)  
  • Trying to get the book read before going to see the movie. (This doesn't always work -- sometimes I have to just go see the movie, or it'll be gone before I get the book read. But it's an incentive to read, because I find the book is almost always better. Plus it usually includes way more information that helps me understand the movie better when I see it.)  
  • Belonging to online book clubs/discussion groups. (I imagine that would go for real-life book clubs too, if I could find one to join...!) I'm not always interested in every selection -- but knowing that we'll be discussing a certain book on a certain date is incentive to get it read. And I've discovered some great new books/authors this way, too!  
  • Joining the Goodreads Reading Challenge, as well as reviewing all the books I read & updating my tally of books read during the year here on my blog. It reminds me when I'm on track to meet my goal (or not).  
  • (I've never tried audiobooks, but I know some people swear by them, especially if they spend a lot of time in the car.)  
What are your strategies/tips for reading more books? 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here

A partial view of my book collection
(considerably downsized since we moved two years ago).
(I have four IKEA bookcases along one wall of our spare bedroom/office --
three full-sized and one half-sized.)


  1. My most recent strategy for reading more books is listening to audiobooks when I walk, as walking has now become my main form of exercise, or when I'm editing photos. I've only listened to a few so far.

    Going to bed earlier would definitely help me. I read my books on my phone and iPad, and they sync between them, so I always have my books with me. (You'd be able to get a Kobo app on your phone, wouldn't you?)

    Popping out on my own to do shopping or run errands, and going to a coffee shop for 30 minutes reading. It is bliss!

    I have more barriers to reading than I have solutions, and my barriers are very similar to yours. Stupid internet!

  2. Ah, I hear you on this! I read a lot, but I definitely have seen a splitting of my attention in the past few years, where I find myself disappearing into my phone when I could be reading, and sometimes wehn I have projects (like this bullet journal thing) that takes up time I could be reading.

    I'm with you on vacations -- my favorite vacation is Vermont, where you can just curl up with a book after hiking outside and quiet reading time is the expectation. I also bring a book or my kindle to appointments, since I'd rather read than stare into my phone (and was sad once when at the hair salon someone said, "WOW! You have a REAL BOOK!" like it was an antiquity...). The world is VERY distracting. I am a serial monogamist for reading and hate reading multiple books at the same time, but I do have a few that I started and just haven't finished, abandoned for something more engaging. I don't think it's a bad thing to abandon a book, there are too many to get stuck slogging through one that's not right. Book clubs are great, I have a "live" one that I've been part of for several years now, and it's fun to read things I might not have chosen myself.

    I hope you find things that work for you! I LOVE your bookcases...

  3. I tried to comment on this a couple of days ago but my phone wouldn't cooperate. I love your shelves! We have the same number of Billys with our "regular books" and then another three massive shelves in the study with the work books Q. has at home. We purged a full Billy (or possibly more) when we moved things around close to when P. was born, and we're pretty much at maximum capacity for bookcases unless we want to overwhelm our main floor.

    All that to say that I am ruthless about refusing to buy books these days, instead relying on my library's excellent hold system. I know you love buying books, but I find it helps me keep my TBR pile to a reasonable size, because I can control how many of my holds are active at any one time.

    I'm also a serial monogamist and the only time I will have more than one book on the go is if one book is too huge to cart around with me in my day-to-day. I still only read books as real books, nothing electronic, although I have often thought I should look into audiobooks for when I'm cleaning/cooking (that or podcasts). I do read a lot and I am setting strict rules about when I can use my phone (never when commuting, not when eating lunch on a workday, not after 9 p.m.) which leaves more space for reading. Refusing to read electronically helps too- makes for a cleaner distinction.

    January was a great month for me- I read 13 books (I think- might have hit 14), a combination of dedicating more time to reading and having some really great books to get me excited about it. But there are trade offs- we subscribe to the online Globe and Mail and Q. reads it every day. I haven't downloaded it once the entire month. And my blogging is pretty sparse at the moment too.

    We can't do it all, but for me reading almost always outweighs anything else I could be doing with my leisure time. It's part of my mental health management, so it is relatively easy for me to prioritize it, even when I don't really "have time".

  4. I mentioned one thing that helps me read more books is to keep a book or my e-reader in my purse for when I'm on transit... on the flip side, another reason why I'm not reading as much is because I'm not working anymore: I used to read the morning newspapers on the commute into work, then finish the papers &/or read a book or magazine on the way home in the evening.