To go with yesterday's post about organizing your books, I thought I'd pass long these reading tips. I came upon these last year over at The Happiness Project and I have kept them in mind as I read and pick out books.
1. Quit reading. I used to pride myself on finishing every book I started. No more. Life is short. There are too many wonderful books to read.
2. Read books you enjoy. When I’m reading a book I love I’m astonished by how much time I find to read during my day. Which is another reason to stop reading a book I don’t enjoy.
3. Use TiVO. It’s much more efficient to watch shows on TiVO, because you skip the commercials and control when you watch. Then you have more time to read.
4. Skim. Especially when reading newspapers and magazines, often I get as much from skimming as I do by a leisurely reading. I have to remind myself to skim, but when I do, I get through material much faster.
5. Get calm. It’s sometimes hard for me to settle down with a book; I keep wanting to jump up and take care of some nagging task. But that’s no way to read.
6. Don’t fight my inclinations. Sometimes I feel like I should be reading one book when I actually feel like reading something entirely different. Now I let myself read what I want, because otherwise I end up reading much less.
7. Always have something to read. Never go anywhere empty-handed
8. Maintain a big stack. I find that I read much more when I have a pile waiting for me.
9. Choose my own books. Books make wonderful gifts – both to receive and to give – but I try not to let myself feel pressured to read a book just because someone has given it to me. I always give a gift book a try, but I no longer keep reading if I don’t want to.
And some tips from great writers and readers:
10. Randall Jarrell: “Read at whim! Read at whim!” 11. Henry David Thoreau: “Read the best books first, otherwise you’ll find you do not have time.” 12. Samuel Johnson: “What we read with inclination makes a much stronger impression. If we read without inclination, half the mind is employed in fixing the attention; so there is but one half to be employed on what we read.”