Post 2 in the series. If you are wondering about the background to this post please read the post #1 "Reading More.. It's A Change In Mindset" In this post we will be diving into my top ten tips for reading more.
Hopefully you read the first blog post in this series to get a little bit of background on why I wrote it and why I think it fits on our edtech and Future Ready website. Without further ado let's dive into my top ten tips!
Ten Tips to Read More
1. Carry a book with you everywhere you go. I carry my kindle everywhere. While I am at home I carry my phone and my kindle in my sweatshirt pockets as I move from room to room. While I am out and about during the day I might have a professional book in my work bag, and I have audible and kindle on my phone. At any one time I have access to thousands of books right at my fingertips.
2. Figure out how to get access to the most books for your reading style. For those of you that love libraries great, get as many books as you can and look into apps that allow you check out your books on e-readers. For my personal reading style we are an Amazon Prime house, and I take full advantage. I have Kindle unlimited, and audible. I read a ton of free books on my e-reader and get one free audible book a month. I also love to write in my books (especially nonfiction), which tends to mean I buy most of my books so I can write in them. Turns out this is a habit of Bill Gates as well (see youtube playlist below). So if I am not using my kindle I typically buy my books. I am an avid re-reader as well, if there is a book I really enjoy I will read it again so I like to have my own copy. Often I will re-read a book within a month or two of the first time I read it. There are some books I have read 5-10 times, this does not count the books I used to read out loud with my students when I was still in the classroom.
3. Audiobooks are a means of consuming information too. I work at the district level, I put 140 miles on my car a month driving short distances from school to school. Do you know how much time is wasted in the car just singing to the radio? In an effort to be transparent I do also love to sing, and sing loudly, in the car. But when I don’t have a current song I have to listen to, or a podcast to listen to, I go straight to my audiobooks. Some I listen to straight through, and others take me a bit longer to finish. I also like to listen to my audiobooks while I am doing my hair or makeup. Find the times where you can listen and learn too.
4. Find every spare moment to read. For example while I am cooking, if something takes 8 minutes to boil like pasta or green beans, I will set a timer and sit down at the counter and read. While my daughter is practicing piano, I am reading. During commercials, or boring parts in movies or TV, I am reading. Remember how I said I carry my kindle in my pocket everywhere I go around the house?
5. Find your genre. What makes you happy? It is totally ok to quit books that you don’t like, if you find that you are dreading opening the book, or that you are just pushing yourself to keep reading, maybe that book isn’t for you. In my case if it is a book I am determined to read but I know I am not going to devour it, I will likely get that on audible. I have another work colleague that likes to say he reads several “broccoli” books before he treats himself with a “chocolate” book. If that works for you great. For me, I want my books to be entertainment, I want to escape, almost all of my books are my “chocolate” books. I don’t limit myself in anyway. I truly read for enjoyment. I would rather read than do almost anything else.
6. You don’t have to share your goals or reading lists. Research shows that if you share your goals before you are ready you can tend to self-sabotage. So it is ok to not share out. Some people like accountability, I am ok with sharing out, but I don’t always share my reading lists. In fact I have my own private Goodreads account where I track my progress. This was a result of students using Goodreads to track their 40 book Challenge, from Donalyn Miller’s Book Whisperer back in 2012, and “friending” me on Goodreads. So I found that I kept that Goodreads Account as a teaching account and tracking all of my YA Reads, and then created a private separate account.
9. Change your mindset. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they, “love that I love reading so much” or “they wish they could just find the time.” I have the same hours in my day that you do. I have a child, I’m married, work a demanding full time job, and have a 7 month old puppy, believe me I am plenty busy. Reading to me is a “have to” not a “want to” similar to eating, or heck even breathing. I have to read.
10. Figure out your purpose. Why do you want to read more? I read because I find enjoyment and entertainment in it. Is your purpose to understand more about the world? Make human connections? Do you, like me, just want to find something that is more enjoyable than watching TV at the end of the day? Most people know that reading is important. Find your why.
A few interesting facts from the Pew Research Center on American Reading habits: educated, affluent women read the most, older people read less, CEO’s tend to be voracious readers, and American’s read far less than other countries.
So there you have it. My breakdown of how I read a lot every year. Are there other tips that I have forgotten? How many books do you read a year? Scroll through some of my resources below and leave some feedback.
Side Note: While I know this is predominately a website and blog for edtech, I feel like a part of how I stay current and innovative is how I consume information. One way is through my reading. I do rely on my technology (kindle, phone, audible, and Goodreads) to help me meet my reading goals and access almost everything I read. See more resources below!
My Favorite Spotify Playlists For Reading
I'm Interested In...
These blog posts will be compiled by the team to show our current interests, and what we are doing around the district!