5 Ways to Add More Reading To Your Life by Susie Finkbeiner
We’ve all heard it: Writers are readers. You’ve heard it from Stephen King and Tracy Groot, at Breathe and from fellow writers.
It’s repeated so often because it’s true.
If you want to improve as a writer you must, must, must dedicate time to reading.
But you’re busy. Right? You’re just working on getting your writing time in amidst the every day of day-jobs and laundry and grocery shopping and…and…everything!
How can you add more reading to your life?
Well, I’m here with 5 ways to do just that.
1. ALWAYS carry a book with you: Wherever you go, take a book. Keep one in your car or purse or laptop case. Have an ereading app installed on your device and loaded with good books. You never know when you’ll find a minute here or there to read a little. Always – and I mean ALWAYS – have a book with you. BONUS: it makes you look cool and brainy.
2. Find what literature keeps you reading: Figure out what stories you can’t wait to come back to, read them. Or what poetry pulls at your heart or what essays grab your attention. Try different things, different genres. What excites you as a reader? Read that! BONUS: You’ll be developing your taste and your voice in the process.
3. Join/Start a book club: Book clubs are great accountability. I mean, who wants to show up for the treats just to admit that they haven’t finished the book? Join a book club or, if you can’t find one, start one with a few friends. It doesn’t have to be huge and it doesn’t have to meet every month. You’ll be surprised how meaningful it is to share a love for good literature. BONUS: The snacks! Oh, all the book club snacks!
4. Take advantage of every opportunity: Remember #1? Always have that book. And see how many opportunities you can take advantage of to read. In the line at the grocery store, waiting to pick up your kid from soccer practice, while the sauce is stewing (just don’t get the book too close to open flame). Pretend that it’s a game of how often you can pick up that book and read a paragraph! BONUS: You won’t be so irked when someone takes 15 items through the 12 item limit line.
5. Set goals and keep track: I set a reading goal each year. I enter that goal into Goodreads.com and update my account each time I finish a book. It’s fun to see how many books/pages I’ve read as I’m going through the year. I also fill a shelf with the books I finish and post a photo to Instagram. It’s fulfilling to share recommendations to friends and promote the work of writers I greatly admire. BONUS: At the end of the year you can celebrate your accomplishments! It’s a year long read-a-thon! Have fun!
Keep reading, my friends! I believe you’ll be pleased by how your writing grows!
Susie Finkbeiner is the bestselling author of A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl and the follow-up novel, A Trail of Crumbs. The third Pearl Spence novel, A Song of Home, releases November, 2017. Her other novels are My Mother’s Chamomile (WhiteFire, 2014) and Paint Chips (WhiteFire, 2013). Susie is a wife, mother, and book addict. She serves on the Breathe Planning Committee.