Eight tips for making reading part of your daily routine
"Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world,” so said the acclaimed author, Jeanette Winterson. Can you imagine a life without books and reading? Sadly, this is the case for many people around the world, either because they don’t have access to books, or they’ve not yet been inspired by them.
Which is why The Reading Agency is on a mission to help everyone ‘read their way to a better life’. They run events and programmes to encourage and spread a love of reading, the most recent being World Book Night, on April 23, with loads of book recommendations and even some free book downloads.
At The Elephant’s Trunk, we’re been thinking of ways to encourage reading, because we’re pretty sure everyone can enjoy it, if they have the right tools. As JK Rowling said, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”
So, here are our top tips for getting into reading – remember, reading should be for life and not just for Christmas!
1. Make reading a daily habit
Set aside a specific time each day to read, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening. By making it a regular part of your routine, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
2. Create a reading-friendly environment
Make yourself a cosy reading nook with comfortable seating, good lighting and a few favourite books or magazines. This will make reading feel like a relaxing and enjoyable activity and you’re less likely to be interrupted or distracted.
3. Make it social
Reading needn’t be a lone activity. By joining a book club or reading group - or starting one yourself – it suddenly becomes a shared activity. Discussing books with others can be a fun and rewarding way to deepen your appreciation for reading. Plus, if you know you have to read a book by a certain deadline, that may be the impetus you need to stick at it.
4. Be a role model for reading
Children look to adults as role models, so even if reading isn’t top of your list of favourite pastimes, perhaps you owe it to the children in your life to set an example. When children see adults reading for pleasure, they are more likely to think of reading as an enjoyable and worthwhile activity – which, of course, it is!
5. Make it a family affair
Read together as a family, whether it’s taking turns reading out loud, or reading silently side by side. This can be a great way to bond and to create positive associations with reading. Again, if you have company then you’re more likely to read for longer and less likely to become distracted.
6. Harness the power of tech
E-books and audiobooks can be a great way to make reading more accessible and engaging, especially if you’re someone who finds sitting with a book a chore. Many libraries offer free digital lending services, so you can easily access a wide variety of books. Audiobooks are particularly useful, because you can listen while you get other things done – housework, driving, going for a walk. It’s not reading as such, but you can still immerse yourself in a story or non-fiction book, and expand your horizons.
7. Make it fun
If you want to encourage children to read, then find ways to make reading fun, whether that’s through games, challenges, or rewards. For example, you could challenge your child to read a certain number of books in a month, and reward them with a special treat or outing.
8. Don’t give up!
Just because one book doesn’t ‘do it’ for you, then try another. Never feel obliged to plough on until the end, if you really aren’t enjoying a book. If this one isn’t for you, there are literally millions out there. One or two are sure to hit the spot.
Of course, if it is personalised children’s books that you’re interested in, then at The Elephant’s Trunk we can certainly help. Why not browse our selection and get reading!