We all have a lot more time on our hands at the moment. With the lockdown still going, people are spending a lot more time at home than usual, and without sufficient stimulation, it’s easy to get bored. That’s why this is the perfect time to get stuck into new hobbies or projects. Many people are taking up baking or gardening, or completing jigsaw puzzles as a family. Others have turned to more cultural forms of entertainment and have resolved to use this free time to read more books.
Whether you’re a prolific bibliophile or an infrequent reader, books are a fantastic way to open up your mind to new worlds and possibilities. They provide a healthy distraction from the gloomy news cycle and negative social media debates. So put down your phone, pick up a book and experience the transformative joy of reading.
If you’re struggling to read as much as you would like to in lockdown, here are some tips to help you make the most of this extra reading time.
Always carry a book
A great way to fit more reading into your daily life is to always have a book close to hand. This allows you to fill all those small gaps throughout your day. Read a few pages when queuing at the store, waiting for your coffee to brew, or even while you’re on the toilet. All these short periods add up, and it is a much more fulfilling way to pass the time than scrolling aimlessly through social media.
Create a reading space
Creating a personal space in which to read can make the activity more special and enjoyable. Find a place in your home to make a cosy reading nook for yourself. Your space must be comfortable, well-lit and free from distractions. Personalize it however you like, with furniture, book storage, artwork, blankets or cushions. If you’re struggling for inspiration, take a look at some of these incredible reading nooks.
Make sure conditions are perfect
Reading requires concentration. When you sit down to immerse yourself in a good book, you want to be sure that you won’t be distracted. Kids running around, TV on in the background or an unfinished job hanging over your head are all going to make it hard to stay focused. Make sure the conditions are perfect. Carve out some time, make a cup of tea, shut out any background noise and lock yourself away. Is your reading space ideally suited to the task? Make sure you are comfortable, and the room is not too hot or cold. If you’re planning to read more books, you should also make sure your eyes are up to the job. If you have poor eyesight, you may need to take a look at some reading glasses to avoid eye strain and headaches.
Read what you love
One sure way to fail at your reading goals is to pick a difficult book. Don’t feel obliged to battle your way through a wordy classic novel. Pick what you love to read and don’t feel pressured by the opinions of critics. If your book pile makes you happy, you will be able to make much more progress.
Listen to audiobooks
If you find yourself getting distracted while reading, an audiobook may be the answer. Switching book formats between physical and audio can keep you interested for longer. Listening to a book also allows you to read while multitasking. You can make your way through your book list while doing the laundry, cooking or working out.
Give yourself options
Having multiple books on the go at one time means you always have several options from which to choose. You can pick up whatever suits your mood at that time, and if you’ve had enough with one book, move onto another. Try having two or three different styles or genres at the ready. For example, you could simultaneously choose to read a work of nonfiction, an easy-to-read fiction novel, and a more serious piece of classic literature.
Get others involved
Reading doesn’t have to be a solo affair; it can be a communal hobby if you choose. Getting others involved in your reading habits can make it more enjoyable and better motivate you to hit your targets. Convince a friend to read a book you are enjoying, or accept recommendations from a loved one and have a discussion about it. You could even consider starting a virtual book club to share your love of reading with distant friends and family.