Saturday, February 16, 2019

always reading

It seems like everyone has a reading goal these days.  Some of us have Goodreads Challenges - maybe reading 20 to 200 books.  Others have TBR stacks to plow through, or a list of books to check out from the library over summer.  There are the speed-reading prodigies, flying through 300 books or more every year.  There are those who struggle with reading, and are (rightly) proud of their 10 books.  And there are others who manage to find time among their busy schedules to read 20 or so throughout the year.

(Now I'm not necessarily talking to the speed-readers, here.  I'm talking to the rest of us ordinary humans, who may not have the time or brain-power to read a novel in one sitting.)

How can we nudge up our read count in order to reach our book goals?

A Little at a Time

I know a lot of us are busy.  We have jobs, families, social obligations, and our own novels to write.  And that's great!  But maybe we can find some wiggle room for extra reading.  We have a tendency to check our phones at the slightest pause in our daily life.  Waking up in the morning, what do we do?  Clocking out on the job, what's the first thing we do on our way to the car?  We check social media.  Conversation dies down, and we're instantly on FaceBook, looking at memes.  What if all the time we spent scrolling through posts we've already seen on Instagram or Twitter was instead spent on reading?

Seriously, you can really get a grip on your book goal just by reading a single page at a time in the few snatched minutes throughout your day!

Always Read

My Dad once told me, "We need to always have a book we're reading."  He has books everywhere - lying around by his bed, in his truck, on his desk at work.  He carries at least one around with him all the time, so whenever he finds time during his busy day, he always has a book nearby to grab and read a few pages of.

Have Books Everywhere (and I mean it)

I know some people might have a harder time reading multiple books at the same time, and I understand.  It can be confusing to keep plots and characters straight when you're reading a bunch at a time.  But here's a trick: if you're going to read more than one at a time, read books in different genres.  Have a fantasy novel by your bed to read a few pages of before you go to sleep.  Keep that self-help book in your purse or satchel to read over lunch.  Have the e-book arc on your phone to read when you find you have a few spare moments in the car (or on the bathroom, lol).  And read a spiritual book in the morning, along with your Bible reading.  Always have a book nearby.

Any Reading Counts

Alpha/Beta read a book for a friend?  Count it towards your goal.  Listening to an audiobook in the car on the way to work?  Count it!  Reading to your siblings?  Count it towards your goal.  I read Misty of Chincoteague to my little sisters in 2018, and of course I counted it!  (I don't count every single little book I read to them, but I do now and then, just to call things even.)


You need to want to read at any chance you get.  You need to be able to put your phone down and pick up a book.  You need to exit out of the Studio C tab and pull up the e-book.  You need to turn the movie off and snuggle under the covers with a flashlight.  It can be hard work.  Sometimes we just don't want to read.  But it never hurts to learn some self-control.  Remind yourself of your goal.  Think about how fun it will be to boast about the amount of books you read, and how embarrassing it would be to admit you didn't make your goal - and all because you watched YouTube videos instead.

Count the Cost

Perhaps you've set a high reading goal, but you don't have that much money to spend on reading material.  Do I really need to tell you to go to the library and look for good books to check out?  Be sure to follow Rebellious Writing (and other like-minded bloggers) for reviews on books, if you're hesitant to try new ones. has lots of free public domain audiobooks that you can listen to.  The iBooks app on my phone has lots of free (mostly public domain) books to download.  If you stalk authors and writers on the blogosphere, you might be able to get some a free PDF of a book in exchange for an honest review.  And you can always re-read the books you have.  Just because the book is over 100 years old, or because you already read it, does not mean it won't count towards your goal!

Keep reading, y'all!
~Julian Daventry


  1. Great post, Julian! I know that I've been falling behind on reading and need to catch up!

  2. Love these tips! I've pledged to read more than usual this year (40) so hopefully these will help me meet my goal! :)

  3. I want to read more books this year! -Jose

  4. I never made my reading challenge last year (a fact that I attribute to work being a convulsive monster). Though I never counted my audiobook count since I usually fall asleep to those...LOL.

    I also second the spiritual reading ;)

    1. I count audiobooks if I've been able to pay attention to about 90% or so of them. :) But I do prefer reading. I can read much faster than I can listen to the audiobook!