I am a person who loves to read. But who has the time? Who has the money? And gosh, if you do go to the library/bookstore/whatever, you gotta hope the book you make time for is decent.
Still. Reading is important. It’s like Nas said: “read more, learn more, change the globe.” (“I Can,” 2002) So, let’s read.
- Open up your mind to what you can read. Try some nonfiction, a magazine, flash fiction blogs, poetry etc. The New Yorker has short fiction online for free that will only take about 30 minutes to read. It might not be the long novel you’re craving, but reading is reading, and when you try out nonfiction, you learn a lot. (I know all of yall have something to say about communism, but have you read The Communist Manifesto?)
- Carry reading material everywhere you go. You can download the Amazon Kindle app so you have something on your phone, or keep a book in your car for the waiting rooms (please don’t read and drive). If you can do audiobooks, then try listening to one in the car.
- Speaking of Amazon Kindle, you know how much free stuff is on Amazon? The app is free and there are hundreds of free books. They don’t have a section dedicated to free books anymore, so you have to dig alittle, but they exist.
- Thriftbooks.com and abebooks.com are great sites for cheap books, and Thrift Books always has deals. I usually get mine in about a week. (I admit, I feel guilty for not supporting “brick-and-mortar” bookstores, so if a book isn’t significantly discounted, I get it from a physical store.)
- Borrow from friends. I know some people are hesitant about this, because books are precious and ruining a book can end a friendship, but it’s great to have a friend reading a book you’re into, and sometimes friends can introduce you to whole genres you didn’t even know existed.
- Read at your desk instead of getting on Tumblr. I know you don’t do that much at work (if you have a desk job), and I know you surf social media when your boss isn’t looking. Don’t want to pull out a physical book or device? Your local library has e-books and pdfs you can download to your computer.
- Actually doing work all day, or studying your ass off for school? Time management. Schedule yourself some downtime and read then. You can make yourself a nice visual of your day with this site. You should be able to give yourself an hour a week and if you think you can’t, you aren’t being honest about how much time you spend not being productive. Period. You spend more than an hour a week watching tv, surfing the internet, staring at the wall, etc. Scheduling your downtime will help you feel better- trust me, if someone who works 40 hours a week, is taking 21 credit hours, is involved in three clubs, and does volunteer work can find free time, so can you. (No, that’s not me. I would have died. I’m not saying you should be a superhero, just if they have downtime, so do you).
- Substitute whatever tv you watch because you’re bored with a book you borrowed, downloaded for free, or got from the library.
- Read when you go to the bathroom instead of playing on your phone.
- Quit making excuses. The truth is, in a world of urgent deadlines, reading just isn’t a priority. Make it one.
There you have it, ten ways to read more. It really boils down to making more time for reading, either by scheduling it or substituting it for other stuff you do to kill time, and finding cheaper options for books.
And I know sometimes we get on social media or turn on the tv because we just don’t want to think, but fight that urge. It’s so easy to give into the numb, but its important now more than ever to be alert. Besides, trashy fun novels 100% still count as reading and require zero thought.
I know Inspira aren’t usually buzzfeed-style lists, but I thought I’d try something different! I wanted to provide solutions instead of just telling you why you should read more. Let me know how you feel about this format in the comments.
And don’t forget, you can find a new short fiction piece on my blog every* Sunday and the first Sinfines go up in September!
*Let’s be honest, I don’t get them up every Sunday. But I’m working on that. It’s at least every other Sunday.