Habits: 13 Tips for Getting More Reading Done.

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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.

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 Reading takes time. Here are some habits that I’ve adopted to help me get more good reading done.

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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.

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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 reason to stop reading a book you don’t enjoy.

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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.

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4. Skim. Especially when reading newspapers and magazines, often you get as much from skimming as you do by leisurely reading.

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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.

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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.

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7. Always have something to read. Never go anywhere empty-handed. It’s a great comfort.

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8. Maintain a big stack. I find that I read much more when I have a pile waiting for me.

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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.

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10. Set aside time to read taxing 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 neglect to pick up again.

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And finally, some tips from great writers and readers:

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11. Randall Jarrell: “Read at whim! Read at whim!”

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12. Henry David Thoreau: “Read the best books first, otherwise you’ll find you do not have time.”

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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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Download My Free Habits Manifesto Learn more tips for a happier life and healthier habits at GretchenRubin.com SIGN UP HERE