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Habits: 13 Tips for Getting More Reading Done. Of my hundreds of happiness-project resolutions, and of the habits I’ve tried to form, one of my very favorites is to read more.
Reading takes time.Here are some habits that I’ve adopted to help me get more good reading done.
1. Quit reading.I used to pride myselfon finishing every bookI started.No more. Life is short.There are too manywonderful 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. Which is another reasonto stop reading a bookyou don’t enjoy.
3. Watch recorded TV. It’s much more efficient to watch recorded shows, because you skip the commercials and control when you watch. Then you have more time to read.
4. Skim. Especially when reading newspapers andmagazines, often you getas much from skimmingas you do byleisurely reading.
5. Get calm. I have a sticky note posted in our bedroom that says, “Quiet mind.” 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.
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. 6. Don’t fight your inclinations.
7. Always havesomething to read.Never go anywhere empty-handed. It’s a great comfort.
8. Maintain a big stack.I find that I read much more when I havea pile waiting for me.
9. Choose your 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.
10. Set aside time to readtaxing books.For Better Than Before, my book about habit-formation,I tried a new reading habit, “Study.” Every weekend, I spend time in “study” reading — which covers books that I find fascinating, but that are demanding, and that I might put down and neglectto pick up again.
And finally, some tips fromgreat writers and readers:
11. Randall Jarrell:“Read at whim! Read at whim!”
12. Henry David Thoreau:“Read the best books first, otherwise you’ll findyou do not have time.”
13. 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.”
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