Last week members of the Casti community gathered to brainstorm strategies for having a rich life as a pleasure reader. Here are the ideas shared by students and adults in our community. We would love to hear your strategies for finding time to read in the comments below!
Finding time to read:
In addition to the recent post, Five Steps For Making An Intentional Practice of Reading, community members suggested:
- Listen to audio books while commuting, exercising, etc. (check them out from your public library)
- Sit on the heating vent–very cozy!
- I schedule time on my calendar.
- I have a Goodreads account, so I can look for books that I want to read and mark books I have already read.
- I use Novelist (through the library databases page) to find new books, and the library Pinterest page, too.
- I am attempting to read 50 books in 2015–setting goals helps.
- Do the library reading challenges.
How to stop reading when the time is right:
- Don’t plan to stop at the end of the chapter. It will be a cliffhanger. Instead, plan to stop mid-chapter.
- Set a timer to ring when you need to stop. Leave it across the room, so you need to get up and turn it off. Put the book down when you get up to turn it off.
- If you are the kind of person who reads random pages in a book before you even start, read the end of the book when you know you are going to need to stop in the middle. That breaks you of the “need to know” and will allow you to enjoy the rest of the book at a reasonable pace.
- Read different types of books at different times-ones that are interesting but can be read in small chunks during the week/school weeks, a whole pile that I cannot put down for weekends/vacations.
- If you are eReading, use an app like Time Out to grey your screen and make you stop.
- Play some non-booky music. (Maybe set a device to start playing it when your reading time is up?)
- I always read over breakfast — it’s a short time span, with a hard stop, as I must get up and come to Casti! I’ve ceased worrying about making it to the end of a chapter, who cares.
- Listen to audio books while commuting, exercising, etc. (check them out from your public library).
- Read in a public space like The Circle or a community area in your home like the living room or kitchen-where distractions will come up and you’ll be reminded to look up and smile at someone getting a snack, say hi to a family member, or admire the beautiful blue sky.
- When you want to stop reading, take a break to do a mindfulness activity (such as a short meditation, apps like Stop, Breathe, & Think can help; Headspace is another) to get yourself out of the book, calm your mind, and ready yourself to shift gears.
Sometimes, if I really need to read for relaxation, I:
- Re-read books I have read before;
- Read something that I want to read, but know will not hold my attention for long; or
- Read humorous essays that are just a few pages long, short stories, poems.
- Opening the shades and get lots of light in the room.
- Set page limits.
- Put an action item on your bookmark–get up and get a snack, do ten jumping jacks; you can list all the things you want to get done.
- Put a timer on your reading lamp.
- Choose books with dense action–even when you read a bit, you feel like something happened!
- Read when I have time to sit down and do it!
- Read realistic fiction–there is no action, so no suspense!
- Come to the library, and leave the book there when you leave–what you read in the library, stays in the library.
- Read with a buddy, parent, sibling – you can discuss the book, and you won’t want to get ahead of the other person.
- Read aloud (as a family) over dinner.
- Stop reading when you feel tired.
- Read a mixture of different genres–poems, short stories, essays, and magazines (that you can now check out from the library) are all things that are short.
- Take the train to school! That gives you time to read in both directions!