"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin
I’ve always loved to read. One of my favorite childhood memories and earliest accomplishments is finishing the Harry Potter book series. I remember spending summer and winter breaks lounging all over the house and fighting motion sickness in cars with a good book. I truly believe that reading makes you a more fulfilled and understanding person. However, as with many of our hobbies and goals, life seemed to get in the way of reading.
Myra and Kepler Bean (5 year old Jack Russell Terrier)
Photography by Meldie James
“Read 500 pages.. every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.” Warren Buffet
One of my intentions for 2021 was to read more. I read 12 books in 2021. An accomplishment yes, but I wasn't satisfied with this progress. Now on to 2022, my goal is to read 75 books. As of July 5th, 2022 I have read 43 books. So what changed and what steps did I take to make this shift? Let me direct you to a resource that helped me level up my reading game: former ILAC Secretary & Lending Library Director Glorie Borsay's Blog, Reading Advice from an Avid Reader.
What I took away from Glorie's Blog:
1. Read what you like.
Sounds simple and easy but have you ever read a book someone recommended that was just HORRIBLE? Or read a book that you felt you should be reading? Forget that and read what is interesting TO YOU. If you don't know Glorie does a wonderful job offering tips for picking Genres.
2. Make reading part of your every day life
“One way I make time for reading is I work it into my everyday schedule.” -Glorie
Just as you make time for what’s important, you can make your schedule work for you. For example, I use my 1-hour daily commute and dog walks to listen to audiobooks.
3. Use technology!
With Glorie's recommendation, I started using the app Goodreads to keep track of books I've read and want to read. With the app you can also read/leave reviews and discover new reads.
“What I know for sure is that reading opens you up,” says Oprah, “It exposes you and gives you access to anything your mind can hold. What I love most about reading—It gives you the ability to reach higher ground.”
Here are a few tips from me:
Start Today! There's no time like the present! Even though I wasn't satisfied with my efforts for 2021 I'm glad I had that experience to reflect on.
Have a Goal, if that serves you. Not everyone needs to measure their reading "progress" or "success" with a number but for me, it's a motivator.
Annotate cause it's fun! Bright highlighters, fun pens, and colorful sticky notes say no more. I like making impactful moments and quotes to look back on later.
Be intentional about what/who you follow on social media. I have curated my feed to include some friends/family but mostly my feed includes artists, writers, books, creators, leaders, and companies. I am constantly adding books and authors to my reading list because of Instagram AND love how open the #bookstagram community is.
"Using the hashtag #bookstagram, you'll find millions and millions of book-related photos posted by people from all over the world. It's an online community of bookworms who love to share pictures of what they're reading, their favourite books, their bookshelves, the libraries and bookshops they're exploring and more." -Laura
Written By: Myra Rose James
Edited by: Norbaya Jameela Durr