Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Reading hacks

We've all been in a situation where we just cannot get through a book. Something keeps forcing us to put the book down. So today, I have some hacks or tips for both occasional readers and professional ones.

For General Readers:                                                          

  • Confy reading spot

I don't know about you, but I can't read if I'm laying down on my bed. I'm constantly thinking about how confy my bed is at that moment, how my sheets've never felt softer and eventually, I give up and have a nap. So, my tip number one is to NEVER read while laying down. You can read in bed as long as you're in a sitting position. If you don't want to risk it, just go find a nice couch. And while we're talking about good reading spots, wherever that is, try and find a good source of light. Even better if it's natural light. If you choose a dark spot, then you will have to strain your eyes and end up getting a headache. 

  • Do read alongs with friends
Now this applies for both occasional and professional readers. Is there a book that you just can't get through? Just talk to your friends and see if anybody wants to do a read along. This way, it would be a challenge to see who finishes first and you'd even have someone to discuss every single good part of the book. If you don't have any friends who read, then check on twitter or google for a read along online. If you still don't find someone, then threaten to steal someone's cat if they don't read it with you. It's a joke, please don't do that. Kidnap someone's brother if you must but not their pet. 

  • Don't multitask
Can't concentrate? Have too much on your mind? Turn everything off. If you're constantly thinking about what you have to do, what you forgot and what you're going to eat next Monday, you're not going to comprehend what your eyes are reading. Leave all your worries behind before picking a book up. Make sure to put your phone away, or turn it off. It won't be the end of the world if you don't answer your friend back. If you just can't seem to concentrate then go do some other thing and come back once you're more relaxed. 

  • Positive thinking
If a book is boring but still need to read it, focus on something positive about it. Find a character you like and look forward to reading about it or from its point of view. If there's nothing interesting about it, then try to find a funny side to it. Like, pretend a character is funny-looking. This way, it won't really change the story, but it will make it more bearable.

  • Set goals for yourself

When you feel a book is never-ending, try a reward-system. You need the appropriate mindset for this to work, but you can always try it out. Allow yourself to check you social medias every time you finish x amount of chapters. Or if you feel hungry, then tell yourself that you can go fetch something once you've reached chapter 24. And each time you reach it, try to push it further. You've reached chapter 24? Well, one chapter more won't make a difference. Before you know it, you'll be reading the last chapter. It works for me. 

  • Train your vision

Don't focus on every single word, use your peripheral vision.
You have an exam next week and still haven't read the book? Try some fast-reading techniques. There are plenty online if you just google it. One says you should read the first and last sentence of each paragraph. I don't know if that works or not. What I do know is you shouldn't waste too much time one each word. Do quick readings by making sure your eyes are not just looking at a word, but several.

  • If it's too late to read a book before an exam, just don't 

We've all done this. The exam is only two days away and you still haven't read the book. You know you're not a fast reader and there's no way you'll finish it in time. Don't even bother. Try to find online information about it: there are several websites that do it, some of them even have summaries for each chapter. See if there's a movie or show based on it, but bare in mind that they usually are different in some ways to the books. Finally, you can also just ask a friend or classmate to give you a hand. 

Most of these tips apply for studying too!

For Professional Readers:                                                  

For us, dedicated readers, the issue is different. It's not a matter of speed, it's a matter of quantity. Most of us, are quick readers, we've learned how to scan books through the years. The problem is we have way too many books to read and review in a short period of time and it can be overwhelming. So I have some tips to organize our reading. 

  • Assign certain hours for reading

Let's say you have 3 free hours a day, well assign at least one of them to reading. Just make sure those hours are specially for that purpose. I mean, who needs to eat right?

  • Long tbr? 

Try some reading challenges. There are plenty of them, which include many different types of books. You'll find one you like. That way you'd be reading books that fall into the categories instead of just reading the books you like best. 
Prioritize your older books. Try to organize them in terms of first to last bought or received. Make sure not to leave your books for review for last. 
Put yourself a book buying ban. I know, it's the highest form of torture for us, but sometimes, it's the only thing you can do to avoid having a ginormous tbr.

  • Be selective

Don't accept every single book you're offered, select those which might be of your interest. Otherwise, you will end up having way to much to read, and you probably won't end up liking half of them. 
Lastly, don't try to read every single book you have or receive. Don't force yourself to finish a book just because you spent money on it or because you got it from a publisher. If you're not enjoying it, then simply put it down. If you bought the book because you thought it would be good, then just put it back on the shelf and try again some other time when you have less to read. If it was sent for review, then talk to the publisher and tell them you're not finishing it because you don't like it. Also ask them if they still want you to review it. You won't always like the books you're sent, but as long as you're polite, they won't mind it. 

I have a long tbr myself... maybe I should follow my own advice.

Hope this is helpful for you, guys!

Bye bye!

Are you going to try these out? Do you have some good advice? Comment below!

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