6 Ways To Read More
Researchers have found that readers live almost two years longer than non-readers. A study conducted at Yale and published in the September issue of Social Science & Medicine surveyed the reading patterns of over 3,635 people over the age of 50 years old and found those who read regularly live longer.
Study participants were separated into two groups, those who read up to 3.5 hours per week, those who read more than 3.5 hours per week and those who do not read at all. Over twenty years of research they found that those who read 3.5 hours or more have a lower mortality rate.
Warren Buffett once told a group of students at Columbia University that reading 500 pages a year helps build knowledge like compound interest, but finding the time to read 500 pages a day is unrealistic for most people. Taking these small steps toward reading more will help grow knowledge and improve your life for the better!
Create a reading list
Start a list of all the books you want to read and check them off as you finish them. Goodreads is a great tool for tracking reading and can provide reviews of books you are interested in before you begin a new book. You might also want to crowdsource reading suggestions on Facebook – ask your friends what they’ve read recently and you might be surprised what new book ideas come your way!
Bring your reading with you
You’ll be surprised at all the downtime you might find for reading if you have a book on hand. Catching up on a book is a great way to kill time when waiting for a doctor’s appointment or at the DMV. If you prefer ebooks, the Amazon Kindle app allows you to pick up exactly where you left off no matter where you are located – plus you can bring an entire library with you wherever you are!
Listen to books
Sitting in the car is the ideal time to listen to an audio book. A 20 minute commute to and from work can convert to a chapter or two throughout the day. If you enjoy talk radio, adding a non-fiction audio book into your drive is the perfect way to boost your time spent ‘reading’ without altering your daily schedule.
Dedicate time to reading
Scheduling time to read will help ensure that you make time for your book no matter how busy your day is. Fifteen minutes a day can add up to nearly two hours of reading per week. Reading before bedtime or before getting out of bed in the morning can help inspire creativity and get you started for the day ahead. Most people read 50 pages an hour, meaning that just 15 minutes per day will help you finish 1 average sized book a month.
Join a book club
Book clubs can help hold you accountable and give you a group of friends to discuss your reading with. Check out MeetUp.com to find a local book club or visit the library and see if they have a group you can join. If you’d rather not read with strangers, select a book with a group of friends and set a deadline for everyone to be finished by. Get together and discuss what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about the book over brunch and mimosas.
Become an expert
Reading two books per month on the same topic will make you an expert in that subject in less than one year. Focus on a new skill or topic and start with introductory books, advancing to more advanced books on the topic as you progress through the year.
In addition to all the positive benefits you can gain directly from reading (lower stress, improved knowledge and per the Yale researchers, longer life) reading more sets a good example for your kids! Schedule reading time as a family and see how much more you’ll read throughout the year.
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