Growing up, I was a real bookworm – I remember, in primary school, being told to bring two books home from school each evening instead of one as instead of reading my allotted pages I would just read the whole thing.
I would read at different times of the day – and sometimes all day if I was particularly gripped – but reading in bed before I went to sleep was a regular part of my routine until I was in my early 20s. In fact, I can’t recall exactly when this stopped being a daily habit.
When I came to write my part of our post about the best things we had watched or read in 2015, it shocked me that I couldn’t think of a single book I’d read all year. It seemed crazy to me. In a whole calendar year, I didn’t read anything that managed to stick in my head until Christmas. I know there are years when I would have found myself agonising over how to cut down a huge list of must-reads. But last year? Nothing. Nada. Not a one.
Now, I am not one for beating myself up for not doing things I don’t want to do in my free time. I can watch TV for hours without guilt and have no qualms about rejecting social invitations so that I can relax by myself. And I don’t judge people who don’t enjoy reading – I mean, I don’t identify with them, but I don’t think a regular reader is an inherently superior being. So this post isn’t some new year’s resolution to make myself a better person by forcing myself to spend more evenings poring over a book when I’d rather be painting my nails. But I’ve realised that I really do miss reading and want to do more of it.
I think getting a computer that allows me to access television shows on tap, and having a very short commute, are the two main reasons for the decline in my reading habit. It means that it’s Netflix I generally reach for now before I’m about to doze off. As for commuting, when I lived in London and spent up to 45 minutes on a bus each day to and from the office, I would spend that time lost in a book. A ten-minute drive doesn’t afford the same opportunity, unfortunately. So, having given up one of my top reading slots and had the other one removed, I fell out of a routine that I now want to reclaim. I don’t think I’m suddenly going to switch off the phone and computer of an evening and dive back into a daily reading habit just like that, but there are a few things I’m giving a try in an attempt to get back into my reading groove:
- Using Play Books on my phone instead of relying on hauling a hard copy around. It also means I can read in little breaks e.g. when I’m microwaving my lunch at work, when I’m waiting to meet someone in a café or restaurant (instead of just mindlessly scrolling through Twitter). Rachel actually suggested this to me a while ago and I’ve already read one book this way, so progress is being made!
- Not trying out any new TV shows out for a month or so. I’m not giving up on any current favourites (step forward Scandal, War and Peace and Endeavour) but I’m not going to go out actively looking for a new one until I’ve altered my reading habit a little bit.
- Asking people I meet up with to recommend a book to me. Hearing people rave about a story they’ve loved is one of the best ways to get me excited about reading something, and so I am seeking suggestions every time I see someone I trust (to recommend good books that is).
And so, if you have a book you’re dying to recommend to someone then please, please, please leave it in the comments below or tweet us!
Do you find the time to read these days? If so, how? Please leave me tips and recommendations in the comments section!