I have to admit that when I was a child I was a bookworm. Reading was always such a great escape for me. It didn’t matter what type of book. I enjoyed so many different genres. My love for reading has never died. It’s just that I always seem to have so many other things on the to do list and reading isn’t at the top. Know the feeling?
I always marvel at the people that have this HUGE long list of books that they have read at the end of the year. How do they do it? When, where, and how do they get to devour so many good books? Some months and years I seem to do pretty well. Other months it seems as if I can’t finish one book.
My goal is to read more books that I really enjoy. I am also working on some reading habits this year. Some books will be just for pure enjoyment and escape. Others will be to enhance my life. What I do know is that I am going to share some tips with you that have helped me get back into my love for reading.
Another thing that I want to share with you is the importance of independent bookstores. I am so lucky to have Poe & Company in my neighborhood. I hope that this visit with them will encourage you to seek out this bookstore or your neighborhood independent bookstore.
6 Ways To Start Reading More
Rebooting my love for reading was a bit of a process. I had to figure out how I was going to make the time for something that I loved. Yes, reading is a bit of a priority for me now. It takes effort at first, but then becomes part of your routine. Yeah to looking forward to this little be of “me time”.
Start with Little habits
Ok, there is something called a “mini habit”. According to Stephen Guise who has written about them, mini habits are very small positive behavior(s) that you force yourself to do every day. Something that is too small to fail.
So how does this apply to reading? Well, there are a few mini habits that you can do to get some reading time in regularly.
- wherever you take your phone, take the book that you are reading. You can get a few pages in when you are waiting to meet someone or waiting to pick something up. A few pages at a time add up over a week, month, year…..
- read more than one book at a time.
- schedule 10 minutes a day for “reading time”. It can be with your morning coffee, with lunch, or outside while soaking up some natural vitamin D, or at bedtime.
choose books that really interest you
Choosing the right book makes all of the difference in the world. I have found a few bloggers/influencers that seem to enjoy some of the same books that I do. Many of them will do monthly round ups and reviews. So try to follow some really avid readers on social media. Grace Atwood and Carly Riordan always have some good monthly recommendations that I like.
join a book club or find a reading buddy
Book clubs can be a great way to connect with others who love to read. Who knows you might make a new friend or two as well. If an in person book club is not something that works for your schedule, then there are many online book clubs available. I am sure that you can search thru Facebook and find several options.
Another way is to tag one of your friends who also has a love for reading. Most likely if you are friends you share similar tastes. Pick a book together, give yourselves a due date and talk about it over lunch or dinner. That is a win win in my book. So often we don’t schedule enough girlfriend time.
embrace that you can’t finish a book
Your love for reading is going well, but you choose a book that you just can’t get into. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you just can’t wait to pick it up, then put it down. You can try again later. If it still doesn’t appeal to you, no big deal. That’s OK. We can’t pick winners 100% of the time.
try a new reading format
Ok, I must say that having multiple ways to read a book nowdays is AMAZING. So reading like we grew up doing isn’t working for you anymore. No big deal. Audio books and Kindles are amazing ways to get your love for reading groove back.
Personally, I love to listen to an audiobook while I soak in the tub. It is so relaxing and I get to do two things that I enjoy at the same time. You can read my post on why you should make time for taking a bath here.
visit your neighborhood independent bookstore
I am so lucky to have a neighborhood bookstore that I can walk to. It’s such a nice welcoming place to go to. Most of the time we are guilty of just ordering something online and hoping for the best. It is a breath of fresh air to be able to go into a community place and support a local, small business owner. So for this post I wanted to take the time to ask Kate Seng, the owner a few questions about independent bookstore and why we should visit them.
Tell us a little about you, the owner, and why you opened this cute independent bookstore in downtown Crabapple.
Poe & Company Bookstore opened its doors on August 15, 2022. I have wanted to open an independent bookstore since I was in High School and then was encouraged later when I saw the movie You’ve Got Mail. Replicating the community presence at the shop around the corner was important to me. I love the idea of people coming to Poe & Company for conversation, engagement and fun! Storytime brings me so much joy!
I named the store after my father’s favorite author, Edgar Allan Poe. I remember when he would read me, my brothers and sisters’ excerpts from the Tell-Tale Heart and Fall of the House of Usher. Super creepy, but so much fun!
What can customers expect to find in your store when they walk in the door?
Customers can expect to find a warm welcoming environment when they walk in the door. They can expect to be greeted and offered help to find a book.
Why should a person visit an independent bookstore versus a big chain store?
Visiting a local independent bookstore allows you to support your local community. It allows you to be part of something that goes beyond brick and mortar. You become part of what the store offers.
What types of activities and events do you have at the store? Anything new planned for 2023?
We have a book club that meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00pm, we offer story time twice a week at 10:30. ( Tuesday & Friday) We also have author signings twice a month. We have a conference room where we welcome the community to host book club, bible study or a work meeting. We also host community events and parties, all are welcome!
What are your “words of wisdom” as a bookstore owner to someone who wants to restart/regain their love for reading?
I would encourage someone who wants to regain their love of reading to find something that interests them. It doesn’t have to be big, or overwhelming. It can have pictures or be an inspirational book. If listening to a book inspires them than I would encourage that, it still stimulates the mind. Sometimes for younger readers a graphic novel will help bridge that gap. Graphic novels have both pictures and small amounts of text. The pictures help tell the story and the text, while short, is more in depth than you might think.
What are three books that you would recommend to someone walking into your shop this year?
I generally read historical fiction but love to switch it up from time to time to expand my reading. I would recommend reading Lessons in Chemistry, The Night Circus and The Sweetness of Water. All are very well written but very different from each other. I love the strong woman character in Lessons in Chemistry along with the wittiness of the book. The Night Circus is a magical fantasy that even non-fantasy lovers will appreciate. The Sweetness of Water is the first novel from Nathan Harris and captures a critical historical period after the Civil War. It’s an emotional journey about race, love and loss.
finding Your Reading Time
Well, I hope you find these tips and insight from an independent book store owner helpful and insightful. Any time of the day that you can carve out to read is a good time.
My Morning Reading Time
I have now set aside 15-20 minutes every morning to read a self help book. Right now I am reading Atomic Habits and next up on the list is Big Magic. Some mornings I go a little over and I am glad that my morning cup of tea is in one of these double walled glass mugs. It keeps my tea nice and hot. I’m thinking about investing in one of these Ember mugs. You could really get lost in your book and your coffee or tea will always be warm and waiting for you.
Another thing that I find handy is these little book page holders. So much easier than trying to hold your book open anbd try to take a sip of tea or coffee.
My Evening Reading Time
This is the time of day that I like to read something that just transports me away to another place. Sometimes even another era. I am a big fan of historical fiction. You can read my interview withone of my favorite authors, Karen White, here.
Now if I had only had one of these comfy pillows and lights when I was a kid. No telling how late I would have stayed up past my bedtime without my parents knowing. Can you relate? Actually, I do use one of these little lights every night when I read and they help so much because it is so focused on the page and for some reason print seems to get smaller every year.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this post. I appreciate every read, forward, pin, and share. Let me know in the comments your favorite time of the day to get in some reading and what you are currently reading.