Keys to Reading More

Mar 6, 2015

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Leaders are readers.

Most of us have heard this statement and even agree with it but life has a way of interfering with what we know we should do. It sounds like a great New Year’s Resolution or goal to read more but how can we sustain the habit throughout the year? I want to give you a few tips that can help you make reading a bigger part of your life.

For the last 30 years, I have consistently read 50 to 60 books a year. For many people that sounds like a lot of books! But how would you like to have a goal of reading one book a month? Reading 12 books a years is a great goal to have.

So, how can you reach this milestone?

1. Set aside a few minutes each day for reading. Where can you carve out a few minutes to read a good book? Maybe you could read on your lunch break. Of course, this would mean not checking your Facebook or Instagram but twenty minutes of reading at lunch would probably translate to reading a book a month.

Some people like to read at night. If you do, I suggest turning the TV off early and reading while you are still somewhat awake. Reading right before you go to sleep is not the best idea. If you go to the gym, your cardio time on the treadmill or stationary bike can be a great time to read a good book.

2. Take advantage of your commute. My home city in the US is Atlanta, Georgia. The average worker in Atlanta has a commute of forty minutes. What do you do on your commute besides fuming at the traffic and bad drivers around you? What if you used that time to listen to audio books? With a thirty to forty minute commute, you could probably listen to three or four books a month. Public libraries have hundreds of audio books that you can check out for free. Take advantage of them!

3. Read what interests you. This sounds so basic but too often we can fall into the trap of thinking we need to read things that are “good” for us. This is not a bad thing but if we are not in the habit of reading, it is probably best that we get into the habit by reading things that we enjoy. Self-help books, leadership books, and financial books are all great. At the same time, however, reading good fiction stimulates our minds and can help us to become more creative. Read what you enjoy!

4. Talk to others about what you are reading. What are you learning from your reading? I find that when I talk to a friend about a book that we have both read or are reading, it helps me process the information better. Book Clubs are great opportunities to meet new people and discuss great books. There are even on-line communities that talk about books.

What is holding you back from becoming a more consistent reader?

Take a look at my Resource Page for some great books. Annie and I appreciate your encouragement and support as we live and minister in Brazil. If you would like to be a part of our support team, just click here. Obrigado!

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