Valerie Loftus on why we should be making time for reading, and how to do it.
There are few things nicer than getting lost in a great story, whether it’s coming to you on the pages of a physical book or via an e-reader. As a kid, I hoovered up novels, spending evenings half in Hogwarts or Pemberley or the Gatsby Mansion, half in the real world.
Alas, I don’t read quite as much these days but I’d like to – and I suspect many others would too. So what can you do to get yourself excited about reading again? Here are six little things that might help.
You have no time to read. But you do have time to sit hunched over on the edge of your bed for half an hour, scrolling through Instagram. Not saying that can’t be a very enjoyable activity, but it is a spot where you could fit in a chapter or two of a book. Set aside some time for reading every day, whether it’s on the bus, over your lunch hour, or before you go to bed. You’ll probably feel a little bit better after a few chapters of a book than you would scrolling for 45 minutes.
Whether it’s a fancy spreadsheet, a note on your phone or in the back of a notebook, writing down the books you finish really bolsters your desire to read more. I personally love the app Goodreads, on which you can list books you want to read, what you’re currently getting stuck into and what you’ve already devoured. There is no greater satisfaction than marking a book as ‘read’ once you finish it. And on to the next one!
It’s all very well to say you’re going to read a book a week for the rest of the year. But if you’re starting on an average of one book every few months, go easy on yourself. Committing to reading five books this year and hitting that goal is just as much of an achievement as gobbling up one novel a week.
Love podcasts? Audiobooks are just really long ones! And they’re ideal for us pedestrians looking to enhance the walk to work or an evening stroll. I find celebrity memoirs especially compelling on audiobook – I cried in the street listening to Busy Philipps and Lily Allen read the stories of their lives, and loved every second of it. Really!
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but libraries are fantastic! Lots of books! For free! Just apply for a free public library card at librariesireland.ie, call into your local branch with proof of address and photo ID to collect it, and use it anywhere in Ireland. If you’re looking for that extra push, joining a book club is a lovely idea. Lots of workplaces have book clubs, but there are any number of online clubs you can join. From Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf to Florence Welch’s Between Two Books.
Words by: Valerie Loftus