How to read more…

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a BBC post giving advice on how to read more…

Most people who consult my website know that I read at least 52 books each year. (You can see the list of them in the sidebar to the right titled “Recommended Reading” under the hotlink “Books I’ve Read.“)

I post my reading lists twice a year — once in June and again in late November or early December.

Perhaps this is why my friend Greg recently sent me a link to a BBC article headlined “How to cultivate a daily reading habit.”  People often ask me how I read so much, but to be truthful, I don’t see my reading habit as anything remarkable. I’ve always read a lot and I feel uncomfortable if I don’t have a good book on the go.

If you’re looking to increase your own reading time, the BBC article makes an interesting observation:

According to a 2017 survey of 1,875 people by the UK media regulator Ofcom, the average British adult spends around two hours and 49 minutes on their phone each day. To hit the daily target of an hour with books, most people would just have to reduce their screen time by a third.

(And in case you’re wondering, American spend two minutes a day more on their phones — a total of two hours and 51 minutes.)

Other suggestions from the BBC? 

  • Read because you want to
  • Find a reading format that works for you (audiobooks are A-OK!)
  • Don’t set intimidating goals (even 15 minutes of reading is a step forward)
  • Try the “Rule of 50”

This last tip helps you to decide when to give up on a book. Read 50 pages and then decide if the book truly interests you. If it doesn’t, give it up and move onto another one.

An earlier version of this post first appeared on my blog on March 4/19.

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