After the celebrations have subsided and the New Year has officially been rung in, it’s time for us to get started on making our New Year’s resolutions a reality! Along with healthy habits and saving more money, many people like to add bookish resolutions into the mix. After all, reading books is a great way to expand your horizons, gain new perspectives, unplug and spend some quality time alone.
Whether you’re making an open-ended resolution to simply "read more," striving to read a new book each month, or upping your reading speed to make a sizable dent in your TBR list, we’re here to help you find a solution for how to read more in 2020.
Find Free Time
One of the biggest impediments to reading more is carving some amount of time out of an already busy schedule. Taking an honest inventory of your time may show you a few opportunities you have to spend more time reading. Bringing an e-reader for your long commute, packing a physical book into your carry-on, or listening to an audiobook on your morning jog all count!
Reading is also a great addition to any self-care or relaxation routine. Barbour Book Boxes, a quarterly book subscription guided by a mission of offering “spiritual refreshment for women,” understands this. Launched by a Christian book publisher, each seasonal box brings a mix of 6-8 titles in different genres. From Bible studies and devotionals to calming puzzles, coloring books, journals and self-help guides, these activities and uplifting words can be easily woven into some quality "me time" for women of faith.
So, whether you build a half hour of reading time into your bedtime routine or start each morning with a warm cup of tea and a daily devotional, it’s important to remember that reading time varies from person to person, and downtime doesn't have to be the only window of opportunity to pick up a good book.
While everyone can certainly start a reading resolution off on the right foot, staying motivated to create a reading habit is a whole different story. Apps like Goodreads and Bookly (if you're in the UK) can give you all the reading list, planning and tracking tools you need to stay focused while also connecting you to a community of book lovers.
Pairing a high-quality read with fun bookish extras can add just the level of excitement needed to keep you reading all year long. This is one of the driving principles behind the Magical Reads Crate. Each month you can expect great reads with a mix of extras. Created specifically for adults who love YA books, every delivery centers around a featured hardcover novel with a signed bookplate and an author's note, and includes an assortment of useful goodies, including bookish candles, bath and body items, home decor and accessories.
Join an online community, use a monthly subscription box to create an IRL reading club, or simply use a cute reading log to track your progress and reach your reading goals!
Avoiding Decision Dilemmas
Another hurdle to reading more this year may be deciding exactly what to read. Having a long list of books or a towering book stack can leave you with a serious case of analysis paralysis.
A fun solution to this problem is to leave the decision-making to dedicated bibliophiles with a monthly book subscription like ABOXOFSTORIES. Horrified at the volume of books that are remaindered each year, the founders of this affordable UK-based book box decided it was time to spotlight 4 acclaimed and underserved books every month. Using a complex algorithm to curate titles for each customer, this small business partners with publishers who offer up titles waiting to be pulped, saving good stories from the landfills. Plus, partial proceeds are donated to the World Literacy Foundation to help eradicate global poverty through education.
From friend recommendations to the New York Public Library's curated booklists (or their stellar podcast, The Librarian Is In, prioritizing and giving your TBR list some order can help eliminate the stress of deciding which book to pick up.
Also, it’s important to remind yourself that it's OK to not finish a book that’s not capturing your interest. Remember, when it comes to titles, scarcity is not an issue.
Share What You Read
Whether blasting your literary insights on social media or participating in a book club discussion, critiquing a book -- good or bad -- can add an exciting new layer to reading. Sharing in the joys of reading helps to promote more reading, after all.
That’s just what the founder of Recycled Reader had in mind with this monthly book subscription. Growing up around books, this recent college grad and current college instructor has a deep love of reading, and started her used book business sourcing from local donations and outreach. Her goal is simple: keep books from being remaindered to a landfill while helping people connect through great, affordable stories.
Sharing is also perfect for anyone who prefers to read physical books, but doesn’t wish to amass a small library of their own. Once the story is done, pass it on! Give it to a friend -- or donate it to your local library -- and do your part to share the love of reading.