When I mention my work in libraries to people, they often remark about how much reading I must do. If only that were true.
Granted, librarians don’t spend as much time reading (especially not at work) as people think — we have too many other things to do! But that comment always stirs some guilt in me, because quite frankly, my reading habits stink: (1) I have more books to read than I know what to do with, (2) the classics make me sleepy, and (3) I have an embarrassing “back-burner” shelf full of books that I want to read, but just can’t get into.
That was, of course, until I read Peter Damien’s post last week about repairing reading habits over on Book Riot. The article is a great guide, and I’ve taken a few tips from it! Here is how I am rehabilitating my reading habits.
- Begin a To-Read-Next Shelf: This is great at dissolving my guilt. My “To-Read” file on GoodReads is overflowing, but I don’t need to plan to tackle that daunting pile right away. The To-Read-Next Shelf is helping me get excited about what I’m reading soon, and what I want to read. In fact, it was so successful that I’ve read three books since mid-last week!
- Read One Book at a Time: I am terrible about this, because I put so many books on the back-burner (I’m looking at you, Anna Karenina). To remedy this, I’m trying to get at least one back-burner book read the whole way through each month.
- Keep a Reading Journal: This is something that I have done for a while now, though I have definitely kept up with GoodReads more carefully since the new year. I’m now using it not only to track what I’ve read, but also to record my impressions and the time it takes me to finish books. I also want to start to include written reviews of the books that I read.
- Find the Hidden Reading Time: Finding reading time has been the least challenging of Peter’s suggestions. I now not only read at the gym, but I also dedicate an hour or two each evening to reading. I read when I’m waiting for my car’s oil to be changed. I read when I’m on hold with Comcast. And you know what I’ve discovered? It’s significantly more gratifying than cruising Buzzfeed.
- Be Mindful of What You’re Reading Next: This plays into the idea of mixing up your reading. Thus, I won’t try to muddle through all my back-burner books at once. I’m also not going to binge-read another YA series (hello, Divergent Trilogy) or murder mysteries, even though the Hannah Swensen series is delightful.
In a way, I guess these are more reading resolutions. Reading is a pastime that I very much enjoy, though, so I think that repairing my reading habits is worthwhile. What about you, readers? Do you have any naughty reading habits?