October is National Book Month

There’s an old saying that goes, “Leaders are readers”, and with the start of every new month is the opportunity to start something new. October happens to be recognized as National Book Month. It’s a time where authors can be celebrated, and people are encouraged to engage in reading, either on your own or in groups. I have always taken pleasure in reading books as a child and it is no different now that I am an adult with children of my own. I read for personal growth, spiritual growth, and as a means of being able to better engage with others throughout my community and sphere of influence. The hard part for most adults is in finding time to read, in light of the busy lives that we all seem to lead. Since this is National Book Month I thought it would be a good idea to share some ideas for ways in which we all can find more time to read that we might not have previously considered.

 

  • On the Way to Work or Home : If you’re like me you life can get very hectic, but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on reading that late great novel or that vintage classic. If you’re not driving to work or home you can have a moment to read while car pooling or on the bus or subway. Whether the ride is 10 minutes or 2 hours, that time can be maximized to exploring new and interesting stories or build you up for the daily grind. Be careful because some people who see you reading can distract you from this if your book is eye catching.
  • Be Intentional about your time: We have schedule for everything that is important to us. We schedule our lunch breaks, when we grocery shopping, when we get our hair cuts and even when we get work done on our cars. In all of the time that we have in our day it can seem odd to schedule time for reading. Yet to be truthful, if we schedule time for something, we often keep it. Whether it’s a half hour before bed time or right after you’ve had your morning jog, if you log it as an appointment, you’re more likely to keep it and keep up with it.
  • Doing it in a group:  Some people think that it’s difficult to read when they’re left alone to do it on their own. Reading as a part of a book club is a great way to make sure that you keep up with a commitment to read. It’s also a way to hold you accountable for staying on tract with the amount of reading that you’d like to do; and even more to have people to share thoughts about what it is that you’re reading. Reading to your children is also a way to not only increase how much you read, but also share with another generation the joys of reading.
  • The More the Merrier: Reading multiple books at a time to some people seems hard or distracting, but it can often break up the monotony of reading if you’re prone to one particular genre or stuck on a specific author.
  • The Need for Speed: If you find that it is frustrating to read because of time constraints, consider learning speed reading. There are actually a few good methods that will help you to increase your reading speed. Even if it only shaves off a minute or two per page, you’re shortening the time it will take you to get from cover to cover, and that’s the goal to getting to the next book.
  • Non-Page Turners: In an every increasingly active life that can get bogged down by many things, we can often feel that it’s a burden to lug around a book or two, but with the advent of digital mediums and audio books, we’re open to a whole new world of reading options. You can have a cassette, cd, or mp3 file audio book to listen to while you’re on the go, or read from a tablet, e-reader or laptop computer that you’re already carrying with you.
  • Challenge Yourself: If you’re like me, things are always more interesting when you can make a game out of something. Set goal challenges for yourself. Let’s say that we generally know how long it takes us to get through a book, a chapter, or a page. Whatever time you know is normal for you, say to yourself that you’re going to do that in half the time or less time than usual. If you meet the goal, increase the goal. It’s all in fun.

 

Whatever you decide to do this month, consider adding a book to the list and go for the gusto. your heart, mind and soul will thank you. A friend or stranger might thank you too; you never know what will happen when people see you.

QUESTION: Do you have a great tip for increasing your reading?

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