This year, I set myself a goal of reading every single day. Which I know sounds like a lot, but I’ve found that it isn’t quite as difficult as I thought it would be. Coming out of a terrible year – both all-around and for my personal reading habits – I knew I needed to make a change. Because I was going weeks without reading and it was making me really unhappy. Not good.
Starting in December, I worked on reading every day. I did not meet this goal in December, but that’s okay. I was still recovering from a massive reading slump and reading every single day probably wasn’t practical for me at the time. But it still went a lot better than I was expecting it to.
So, this year, I officially made it a goal to read every single day. And now, nearly two months in to 2021, I haven’t missed a single day. I’ve learned some tips and tricks for reading every single day, and I’ve found that it’s starting to become a nice routine. I’m reading a lot more than I was last year, and I’m finding that I generally feel more relaxed and happy – which is amazing motivation for me to keep going.
Today, I thought I’d share how I read every single day. It has definitely required some adjustements to my life, but it has been absolutely worth it.
I set aside time for reading every day
This is honestly not something I had ever done before. I always just read when I felt like reading. But here’s where the problem hit: starting around May last year, I lost my desire to read. I just didn’t feel like reading. So, for a while, I didn’t read. And, after a while, I realized that if I wanted to read, I couldn’t wait for when I felt like it, I had to make it a point to read even on days when I wasn’t in the mood.
So I started by going to bed about an hour or so early each night. That hour was my reading time. I would read until I fell asleep. Some nights I would read three hundred pages, other days I was too exhausted to read more than a few pages before passing out. But I still made time to read every night before bed. This became my reading time.
Now that I’ve gotten in the habit, I’m a bit more lax about it. I still read in bed most nights. But if I already read for an hour during my lunch break or after work that day and don’t feel like reading, I give myself a break. As long as reading has happened at some point that day already, I’m not super strict with myself. Although I do still try to read during that time anyway. It’s my reading time, and I’ve started to like having that routine every day.
I sometimes “force” myself to read
I’ll be honest, sometimes scrolling through social media or playing a video game or watching a movie sounds more fun than reading a book. But I try to force myself to read anyway. And despite the fact that reading might not have sounded more appealing than whatever else I wanted to do to kill time, I almost always enjoy it anyway. I might not be in the mood to read, but I do it anyway.
This was honestly the biggest change I made when getting in the habit of reading every single day. Becaue I don’t feel like reading every single day. In the beginning, I didn’t feel like reading at all. But forcing myself to do it ended up reminding me just how much I love it. I never feel like doing it, but I also never regret it.
I read several books in different formats and genres at the same time
I’ve talked about this before, but it is absolutely a huge part of how I’m able to read so much, and now how I’m able to read every day. Or at least make reading every day easier. I am always in the midst of multiple books at the same time. And I make sure they are in different formats and genres.
Reading books in different genres helps a lot with mentally keeping them seperate. I’m much less likely to mix up elements of say a classic romance and a thriller than I am two similar thrillers. But for me, it has the added benefit of allowing me to embrace being a mood reader – I can pick up whichever of my current reads I am in the mood for at the moment. This has helped a lot, because I can always read whatever I’m in the mood to read. Recently, it has come in especially handy because I’ve taught myself that when I don’t feel like reading, I instead ask myself “what am I in the mood to read?” I usually have something that fits the bill (or is close), or I can start something new.
I also make sure that I have books in different formats. This is important, because it means I almost always have a book accessible to me to fit into whatever downtime I might have. At any given time, I am usually in the middle of at least one physical book, audiobook, and ebook. I can listen to an audiobook in the car or while doing the dishes, I can read an ebook on my phone while in the drive-through line, and I can cuddle up with my physical book when I want a relaxing evening. I’ve learned to recognize the little moments in the day when I could read a page or two, and having books in different formats help me take advantage of that.
Speaking of audiobooks…
It’s no secret that I love audiobooks. I feel like I talk about them all the time. But audiobooks make a huge difference in just how much I’m able to read. I feel like whenever I get asked “how do you read so much?!” the answer is always audiobooks. Also, I have no life outside of books, but still mostly audiobooks.
Not only have audiobooks made reading more accessible, they have helped a lot with reading every single day. Honestly, I try not to rely solely on audiobooks too much to hit my reading every day goal. But, on days when I really, really don’t feel like reading, its nice to be able to just do my nails or play Animal Crossing and turn on an audiobook while I do it. That way, I’m still reading while doing the thing that sounds more appealing than reading.
There have also been a few days where audiobooks have come in handy, simply because I couldn’t read a physical book that day. There was one day where I just had a killer migraine, and another day where my eyes were itchy and blurry because of allergies. On both of those days, trying to read with my eyes was very uncomfortable. So, instead of skipping a day completely, I simply went to bed a little early and listened to a book with my eyes closed.
If you want to try out audiobooks for yourself, check out Libro.fm – where you can get discounted audiobooks AND support independent bookstores! If you use this link to sign up, I get a free book – please consider enabling my audiobook addiction!
I set reading deadlines for myself
You know I’m a book blogger when I have a Google calendar full of not only planned blog posts, but also reading deadlines (mostly for said blog posts). My “reading experiment” posts in particular have led to many, many reading deadlines I’ve set for myself. I have to finish certain books by a certain date to get my posts up on time. And I do like to plan these out very specifically, because otherwise I’ll use my mood reading as an excuse to procrastinate and will never finish anything.
But I’ve discovered that setting deadlines has an added benefit of putting a little bit of pressure on myself to read every day. I’ve gotten fairly good at spacing out books enough that I don’t feel stressed out (most of the time), but it is an added incentive to read so that I can finish books. So far, this has been working out pretty well for me, and it’s also encouraging me to do more reading experiments.
Bonus: I don’t spend a ton of time deciding what to read next anymore. I build gaps into my schedule so that I can pick up extra books here and there that I feel like reading, but I no longer spend hours deciding my next read every time I finish a book.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this lately, so I thought I’d take the time to answer. These are just what’s been working for me. I still have days where reading feels like a chore, but, overall, I’m really happy that I decided to do this. I honestly think that it has made an impact on my mental health, which I really needed. I feel happier and more relaxed now that I’ve established reading as a daily routine in my life.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you read every day? Do you think it’s something you might try? Are there any tips and tricks you use to read more or more often?