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7 Tips to Help You Read More (& Love It)

It’s 3:00 p.m. The kids are quiet(-ish), exiled to their rooms for daily rest time. I have a million things to do.

And yet on a good day—when I ignore my email, get off Twitter, and hide my to-do list—you’ll find me pinned to the sofa (or even better, out on the patio) with a coffee in one hand and a good book in the other.

I’m not wasting time. I’m not being lazy. I’m tending my soul.

I’ve heard the news: Google is melting our brains and we’re not built to read novels anymore. Even blogs are dying (so they say) as our attention spans wither and social media conquers all.

Not built for novels? Books are like air to me.

Reading is my favorite hobby, my go-to introvert refueling strategy, my drug of choice. I couldn’t live without my books. At least, I wouldn’t want to try.

I love social media: it keeps me up-to-date, inspired, entertained, and connected in real and valuable ways. But it doesn’t do what good books do for me.

Books take me to new and exciting places while meeting me right where I am. They encourage empathy (a fancy way of saying they make me a nicer person) by showing me the world through someone else’s eyes, page after page.

A good book won’t let go: it stays with me—for days, weeks, forever. I can’t get the story out of my head; the characters feel like friends. The best books ask me hard questions, very gently, and compel me to keep coming back.

And in our fast-moving age, my books don’t demand an instant reply. Instead, they give me space to sit with my own thoughts, giving this slow processor room to ponder at leisure and in depth.

I’ve always loved to read, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed some strategies to make a good thing even better.

7 tips for making the most of your reading time (and making more of it):

1. Always have a good book (or three) handy.

2. Keep a to-be-read list (paper or digital; I like Goodreads). Deciding what to read next is the hardest part.

3. Build that list! Need ideas? There are tons of bloggers out there with great taste in books. Find one whose taste matches yours and get ready to take notes. Update: I have a whole podcast dedicated to helping you find what to read next!

4. Plan ahead for longer reading sessions, but seize the spare minutes. Read a few pages in the grocery checkout line, while the coffee brews, or instead of checking email, again. (Hint: try the Kindle app for your smart phone.) Those pages add up!

5. Allow yourself the pleasure of a good reading binge. We’re all familiar with the Netflix binge (so much fun, right?). Next time try it with books. Ben and Jerry’s optional.

6. If you hate what you’re reading, put it down. Grown-ups don’t have to finish books they’re not enjoying.

7. Love what you love, and don’t feel guilty about it. Seriously.

I’m not too worried about us all giving up on novels anytime soon.

Reading is alive and well, and I’m grateful for the amazing people I’m able to connect with—on the internet!—who share my passion for books (even the paper kind), are always eager to talk about what they’re reading, and keep piling fabulous-sounding titles on to my to-be-read list.

Social media is killing books? I’m not buying it.

p.s. Increase your attention span.

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Sarah M

    Oh my goodness, you are my people! I do every one of your tips and yes, books are my air, as well.
    I don’t have a tablet or kindle and I almost never buy them (though I can’t leave great children’s literature at garage sales untouched…ahem) because I use the library. I read about a book a week. It’d be more if I didn’t listen to so many podcasts and read so many magazines cover to cover, but I like those, too. 🙂
    People think I’m crazy to always have a book in my purse but you just never know when you’re going to have to wait (and meh, the kids can entertain themselves, righ?)!
    Sarah M

  2. Amy

    “I’m not wasting time. I’m not being lazy. I’m tending my soul.”
    I love this! This will be my new self-talk when I plop down in the afternoon to read. My recent reading binge was Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan. Great memoir exploring mother daughter relationships.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Ha! I totally binge read Kelly Corrigan’s first book, The Middle Place. It wasn’t that long ago—I’d been in six solid hours of meeting on a Saturday and came home EXHAUSTED. So I made a giant coffee, sat in my favorite chair, and read the whole thing cover to cover. 🙂

      I did say I read as an introvert coping strategy, right? Perfect example. 🙂

      • Julie

        I’m a pretty classic introvert and find good fiction to be the literary equivalent of getting out amongst people.

    • Pam

      I just finished the audio books A Mother’s Hope and A Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers. They were amazing! Mother, daughter, grandmother relationships! I use the audio books on my comute and while doing some tasks at my job.

      • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

        Good to know. The only one I’ve read of hers is Redeeming Love.

      • Lisa

        Where is the most inexpensive place to get audio books?

        • lisa

          The Libr. is the best place. our local lets you keep them 3 weeks.. & if u still need more time.. u an call & if no one has it on reserve. u can get it for 3 weeks more 🙂
          can’t beat FREE…

  3. Magalie Chetrit

    See. I knew I was not the only one who got back on the reading-is-cool wagon.
    The thing is, with all my simplifying and all my minimalism, I have no books left. Ok, I have about 14 books left. It’s still a lot for a minimalist.

    Now, here this. Here are some other advice thingy-mah-jiggies.
    – One can also re-read a book. Granted, not of course very soon after you have finished it. But these are books you are still hanging on to. So re-read them when you do get the chance.

    – I read more new books on my phone/tablet now. When I am waiting for the train, or (yes I am just going to say it) when I am just too lazy to do anything, I usually have my phone nearby. So now I more easily grab my phone and start reading. I started my friend of reading like this and she swears by it now. She was also the one who said: “no i am more a tactile book kind of person”. I bet you were thinking that.

    Have fun reading folks!

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I’m not sure I totally agree with those who say “re-reading is the best reading,” but I’m definitely sympathetic. 🙂

      Also? I like the word thingy-ma-jiggy.

  4. Kit

    Books are very definitely my drug of choice too! Even better than chocolate, though, chocolate adds to the experience!
    Currently immersed in Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings, followed by Words of Radiance.
    Went through a wave of reading the classics recently, Middlemarch is a very absorbing read once you get past the first few chapters.
    I prefer paper books, but also read on a Kindle as my husband is always finding great e-books.
    Also love children’s fiction – Suzanne Collins’ The Underland Chronicles entranced the whole family.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Thanks for the tip! I’ve only read Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy.

      And chocolate + books? Now we’re talking!

    • Beth

      Had to laugh when you mentioned Middlemarch! It’s on my list but I keep avoiding it and heading for something “easier.” My husband keeps pestering me about it because he just read it and thinks I’ll like it. Maybe your comment was a sign that I need to pick it up :).

  5. Gabriele

    I have had to be insistent on slowing down my brain to read. Instant media is taking a toll. I love the Maisie Dobbs series. Maisie is a detective with intuitive skills that allow her to walk the circles of academia and crime detection. She develops as a character and I look forward to each book. The setting is England between WWII and WWII.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I’ve only read the first Maisie Dobbs book so far but I’m looking forward to the rest!

    • Deborah P

      Gabriele, I like those books as well. Have you read Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series? They’re set in a similar time period in England and best of all, there are a LOT of them! I just caught up on the series and it’s heaven to me to like a series and know there are a bunch more available when I finish the one I’m reading.

      • Aicia

        Thanks for the Carola Dunn series!!! So excited to have a new series!!!

    • Aicia

      Oh I LOVE Maisie Dobbs TOO!!!! I have gone through them twice! Like her I am always trying to slow my brain down so as to not miss the details….

  6. Leanne

    If forced to choose between books and social media, I’d choose books every time, but I love that social media allows places for book-lovers to congregate. It’s rare to find someone with similar book-reading taste in your personal circle, but easy to find them online. Thanks for spreading the word about great books!

  7. Ana

    I love to read too. My library card is usually at least half its limit at all times. Yesterday I filled up my son’s card with books for the boys, (books that I approved) and then the kindergartener topped it off with Star Wars books. 🙂 It’s more challenging finding quality boy titles, so I’ve always got my eyes out. Looking forward to our daily reading time this summer!!

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I hear you on the boy titles being a bit tougher. WHY is that??

  8. Allie

    Oh Anne, you spoke to me. You’re SO right. Reading has always been my sanctuary, since I was a child, and I love that it can still be that place for me.

    I will say that I have found it harder to sit down and read, especially if I haven’t in a few days. I’m much more easily distracted. But if I put my phone far away (out of arms reach) and let myself read whatever I want (even if it’s something I’ve read 10 times already), it really helps. I feel alive again when I read.

  9. Kristi Brokaw

    Yes! I am slightly obsessed with the link between reading good books and developing empathy. Most of my friends and family have heard me get on a soapbox about this. I’m so glad you brought it up. 🙂

    I agree that deciding what to read next is the hardest part. After I had kids and became a stay at home mom, my reading fell off dramatically. Without the teaching community I had been a part of pre-kids, I just didn’t have ideas of what to read next. I found myself re-reading a lot or just reading children’s books (which I love!) to the exclusion of anything else. It was finding Anne’s Modern Mrs. Darcy blog coupled with incentives at my local public library that turned things around for me. Anne’s book lists are top notch and I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of her comments section or Twitterature links to find book recommendations from other readers. I am so grateful to you, Anne!

    My MOPS group also started a book club last year which has allowed me to stretch into genres and authors I wouldn’t have on my own. And it’s given me an actual, real life community to discuss books with. Our book club has a facebook group where we discuss whatever we are reading in addition to the monthly group selection, so that keeps us talking and sharing all month. But when we get together one night a month in person to discuss the book of the month, we often stay till late in the night laughing and talking and connecting over what we’ve read. It is seriously the most fun. My husband knows not to wait up for me on book club night, but that I might just wake him up and recap the funniest parts of the evening for him. Or, I might sneak into the office and check the public library or amazon for our new selection so I can get started right away.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      “I am slightly obsessed with the link between reading good books and developing empathy.”

      Oh my goodness, YES. Me too!

      Thanks so much for the kind words. And your MOPS book talks sound terrific.

  10. Scott

    Yes, for these exact reasons I not only love reading books, but writing them. When my wife and I were reading all the Harry Potters in succession a few years ago, opening up each new book felt good and familiar, like hanging out with a close friend. And the nights that I would hang out at Starbucks, with a pot of coffee and my laptop, writing, it felt the same way.

  11. Erica M.

    Given the amount and variety of people that use our library to get books, I don’t see anyone’s mind wasting. Also, in our break room we practically have a no talking rule! If you want to have a conversation, it’s considered good etiquette to ask if it’s okay first, because everyone is reading. (Or sleeping on the couch. That too.)

    (Also, I just watched the movie Network, and they were saying these same things about TV when it started becoming big. Most likely they said the same things about radio when it was invented! :D)

  12. mel@thedizzymom

    Me, too.When I choose to read I can feel my shoulders drop and I de-stress. Its refreshing. It’s also a break from my life without going anywhere!

  13. Elizabeth@Warrior Wives

    Growing up as the oldest of 6 homeschooled children, I never remember my mom without a book. Somehow in the midst of all that chaos, she always found time to read. I have always loved to read as well and I do get the question, “How do you have time to read?!?!” Personally, I just think that we all make time for whatever is important; if reading is important to you, you will make time for it. Right now I have a stack of about 6 books (plus a few on my Kindle) that I flip back and forth between depending on my mood.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Ha! I get that question, too. 🙂 My answer is I don’t think I could survive if I didn’t!

  14. Lauren Hanson

    This is great advice! I’m leaving for Hawaii soon where I will have ample reading time! Bring on the reading binge! I just need to find my books I want to read!

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Ooooh, Hawaii. I’m jealous! (Shameless plug: check out my free summer reading guide! I’m sure you can find a terrific book—or a dozen of them—in there.)

  15. Paula

    Honestly, after all the statistics I’ve read about book reading and attention spans decreasing, I’m a bit worried.
    I choose to overcome these statistics, by continuing my reading. Really, how could I not, with all the great material being written? I always have a book with me in the car, despite my carsickness, I can usually squeeze in many pages before it really sets in.
    Also, I’m raising readers. My kids love the library and we have a vast amount of books in our home library for them to choose from.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I’ve never thought about how teaching the young people in our lives to be readers is something concrete we can do to improve those statistics. Thanks for point that out, Paula.

      • Lynn - Encore Voyage

        Retired teacher here…You are absolutely correct! Children who see adults reading become readers themselves. One of the best things you can do for your child is to create a love of books by reading to them, reading with them, and by sharing your passion. And I believe that the ability to read well is probably the greatest single predictor of success in school. Oh, and Anne, “Tending my soul” is now my new mantra! Thanks for an excellent post!

  16. Betsy

    I second Erica M.’s comments. Based on the long waiting lists at the library for books I want to read, I’d say that reading in our community is alive and well. It makes me happy.

    I read every night before I go to bed. It’s become more than a ritual, it’s almost an addiction…like I can’t go to sleep without my “fix.” There are worse things to be addicted to….

  17. tessa~


    i love books!

    real books still, as we don’t own a kindle.

    time may come, when eyesight makes us get a kindle. but even then, i hope to continue to have _real_ books, around me. they do come in large-print after all. :-)))))


  18. Betsy

    Yes! Even if social media is decreasing everyone’s attention span, that doesn’t mean I have to let this happen to me and my family. I live overseas, so Kindle is great for me and makes my reading portable.

    I like novels, but hardly get around to reading any that aren’t on Sonlight reading lists. (I home school.) My favorite from last year was “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok. But my true love is non-fiction. Loved “John Adams” by David McCullough and “Unglued” by Lysa TerKeurst.

    For this summer, I’m planning on requiring one hour of reading from my teens. They love it once they get started, but they need a bit of “encouragement” to give their brains a rest from social media. 🙂

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I’ve heard such good things about David McCullough’s books, but I’ve never read one. Several readers recommended I start, though, after I posted that Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals was on my summer reading list. Thanks for the reminder, again. 🙂

  19. Audrey

    I had NO IDEA there was a Kindle app for my iPhone. This weekend I left my Kindle at home but was in Savannah, GA on a mini-vacation. I was having a conversation about how I was in the middle of East of Eden, and how I love the characters and how I wished I had brought my Kindle with me. I totally forgot it. Now I know!!

    • Jennifer

      And the best part about the iPhone app is that it automatically syncs with your Kindle so you don’t have to worry about losing your place! Though fair warning, if you have the Kindle that requires Wi-Fi, you will have to connect to Wi-Fi for it to find where you left off. Otherwise it’s awesome!

  20. Amy

    Right on, as always, Anne! In my work at my local library, I see tons of both sides of this coin – we have lots of people who come in every day and use their hour of free internet to play games on Facebook. But there also still people – lots of people, and not just older folks – who are reading real books all the time.

    Thanks for the tips – I’m pretty good at sitting down to read for a long stretch, but I’d like to get better at seizing the shorter moments to knock out a few pages.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I’m jealous that you can toss off sentences that start, “In my work at my local library….” 🙂

  21. Caroline Starr Rose

    Books are my world. Though formats and preferences change, stories and our need for them will never change. Thank goodness for this!

    Curious if you’ve read The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. It connects nicely to your Post article (…which I skimmed. ;). I read it a few summers ago during during an Internet break. Really fascinating and compelling.

    • Susanna H

      I have read The Shallows also!! LOVED that book, it was super interesting, I read it over Christmas break and literally could not get away from it! Anyone who wanted me would find me curled up by the Christmas tree reading The Shallows (and Tin-Tin in between Shallow chapters as a breather. 🙂 LOL.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      No, I’ve never read that, but I just ordered it on your recommendation. Thanks for the tip!

  22. Katherine

    I appreciate this post so much right now! I read so much in high school, burned out on books in college and in post-college jobs, and when I finally (finally!) felt the urge to read and enjoy it like I used to I was pregnant and had pregnancy brain that manifested as an inability to concentrate on anything, let alone keep track of a story.

    Now that my twins have arrived, I feel like myself again and am making a reading list to tend to when the girls are calm. The tips here are really great for someone easing back into reading often. I want to be a good example for my kids in many ways, and clearly valuing literacy is part of that.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I hope you’re falling back in love with reading now that you’re back at it. (Why is pregnancy brain a thing? So unfair!)

  23. Jeannie

    Once again I can say you’re a true kindred spirit for me when it comes to reading. A friend recently asked me “So is writing your passion?” and I said no, that reading is. Ten free minutes? Why empty the dishwasher when you can read? 🙂 I agree that we shouldn’t feel guilty about what books we love OR about not finishing something we’re not enjoying. Life’s too short to spend it NOT enjoying what we read! Thanks for helping to make my t0-read list longer and longer and longer. Right now I’m on This is the Story of a Happy Marriage; A Year of Biblical Womanhood is next; Five Days at Memorial comes after that; ……..

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      “Why empty the dishwasher when you can read?” EXACTLY. Jeannie, we’re definitely kindred spirits there. 🙂

      Also: you’re on a good string of books. 🙂 Five Days at Memorial was tough but so good.

  24. Sharon Holbrook

    Oh, I adore books! Which makes it all the sadder that I don’t spend a whole lot of time reading them lately. Before bed is typically my time – but sometimes (often) the tired takes over. I know I’m really into a book when I find myself carrying it everywhere – in my purse, in the car, into the bathroom, up the stairs. 🙂

  25. Kathleen

    Yes!! This is exactly me too. I always have a book going and one of the true pleasures of my life is getting so wrapped up in a book that I find myself reading it everywhere. I am a big Kindle convert, mainly because it is so light and I can read with one hand, which is very handy when you are feeding a baby in your lap. But I do read paper books too, especially since my mom passes on her favorites to me and our library has a pretty good “used book” section with books for $1-2 that benefits our Friends of the Library group. Books are good for my soul too. I literally can’t imagine life without them.

  26. Emily

    I cannot even imagine my life without reading good books. I do the same thing during afternoon quiet time: iced coffee and a good book on the couch. It is the way I recharge and get ready for the end of day chaos!

    And yeah, sometimes the culture yells in the back of my head and tells me that I’m lazy, but I really never feel all that bad about myself when I’m lost in a book. 🙂 plus, I love that my kids see their dad and me reading for enjoyment.

    Goodreads has been an excellent tool for broadening my reading horizons. As a mom of little ones I got frustrated because I didn’t have opportunity to browse the adult library section. And if I just grabbed something, I was likely to be disappointed. Goodreads has made it easy to know about good books; my “to read” list includes 250+ books! 🙂

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Yes to showing kids by example that reading is important. And you have me beat on Goodreads: my to-be-read list is “only” 150 or so titles long. I feel like I’m in good company when I say that. 🙂

  27. Jenn

    I love to read and my kids are learning to love it too. It’s our best cuddle time. My favorite book of all time is “little dorrit” by Charles dickens. It just instantly takes me to another world.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      I’ve enjoyed the Dickens I’ve read, but I haven’t read Little Dorrit yet. I’m always especially interested in reading books other devoted readers consider favorites, so thanks for sharing!

  28. Anna

    Books are like air to me, too. I love browsing book stores and libraries, friend’s bookshelves, sometimes stranger’s bookshelves. I like to hold an actual book in my hands, but I also like the convenience of the Kindle- a light at night, hundreds of books for traveling with out the weight…

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Exactly! Although we still usually pack a milk crate of books when my family goes on beach vacations, I love flying with my Kindle—and knowing that if we needed to, we could just take our tablets and leave the crate at home.

  29. Jerilyn

    I like to alternate between binging on netflix and reading. 🙂

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      … because I think Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, and Sherlock also make the world a better place. 🙂

      • jill britz

        my goodness, i love you. i can’t believe you just said gilmore girls & sherlock while talking about book love. (i had a few kids by friday night lights & never got to it, but my huz liked it!) yes, yes, & yes some more, please & thank you.

        i wasn’t even going to comment, but now you’ve done it. i couldn’t help myself. 🙂

  30. Dana Kumerow

    Love , love this post! I just finished a 2 hour “reading binge” to finish a book….you know how you get to a certain point in the store and you have to finish it.

    I am an unapologetic book worm. I carry a book and my Kindle everywhere with me. My husband does as well. We even take books when we go out on date nights. Sometimes we talk and sometimes we sit and read as we eat. We spend our evenings sitting on our sunporch reading until bedtime and often much later!

    I can get a lot of reading done while I wait to meet friends for lunch or dinner. I hate to be late so I am always early and my friends mostly tend to run late!

    I like Goodreads as well. I think another way you can keep up the reading habit is to set a goal. There is a Reading Challenge on Goodreads that you can participate in or you can just set a goal for yourself. I have challenged myself to read 100 books this year, which is a lot! I have read 36 so far.

    I also try to set a goal of reading different genres and to try authors or genres I might be wary of…sometimes you find a great new source of books.

    I agree with putting down a book if you are not enjoying it. There are so many great books. ” So many books, so little time!”

  31. Katie Harding

    Love this as I love to read but I never seem to have enough time to actually get into a book!! I will definitely be trying out these tips and maybe even read a few sentences in the check out line. 🙂

  32. Deborah P

    I love to read and frequently binge, but when I absolutely have to get something done at home, there’s always books on CD! 🙂 I love to have something going in my car and it definitely makes the 4 hour roundtrip travels I have a couple times a month go much faster. I find too that I can listen to something (because I really am paying attention to my driving, so only half-listening) much more hard-boiled (in mysteries) than I’m comfortable reading, so I broaden my author exposure that way. Reading will never go out of style. My 9 year old great nephew and my 7 year old great niece LOVE to read and they’re also mad for screen time.

  33. Nancy

    Oh my, so well said! I read to “tend my soul” also and there’s nothing like having that book in my hands . . . . I even read while brushing my teeth!

  34. Kirsten Harrison

    Just finished reading Still:Notes of a mid-faith crisis by Lauren Winner (her follow up on Girl Meets God)! Great thoughtful one-day read.

    Now am reading The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan.


    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Still is on my to-read list! I checked it out of the library last year but didn’t get to it before the due date. I’ll remedy that unfortunate experience by the end of the year. 🙂

  35. Anne

    I don’t buy it either, Anne.

    Your resolution to read more fiction has permeated the lives of your readers. I hadn’t been serious about fiction in a long time, and I have you to thank for kindling the spark to get into it again! I love Twitterature.

    I just need to get to the library for some hard copies so I have something nearby when it’s needing. My reading has stalled while I wait for something good digitally. Like you point out, the Kindle app is a wonderful option. I only have to move my thumb while holding or nursing a baby. 🙂

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      That’s wonderful that you’re getting back into fiction again. (Thank you!)

  36. renee

    Love you, Anne!
    May I recommend The Moth (the book AND the podcast) for terrific storytelling.
    AND>>>The Everlasting Meal by Tamara Adler.
    AND>>>since you brought up Ben & Jerry’s…the newish Salted Caramel Core is the greatest thing in my life (well, next to my sons).

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Ohhhh, a new Ben and Jerry’s flavor. 🙂 (My father-in-law had to visit the plant in VT for work this spring, and while he was telling us very interesting stories about his visit all I could think was ICE CREAM. 🙂 )

      I’ve caught The Moth on air before but haven’t ever downloaded the podcast. Thanks for the tip!

  37. Elizabeth

    Love to see you over here, Anne! And yes, great novels can beat aimless Internet wandering. I enjoy my social media, but when it’s time to focus on, books are where I go when it’s time to chill. I tend to be a non-fiction reader, but your recommedations stretch me and I like that.

    As far as tips: I took your advice on the Kindle app a while ago, and it’s definitely helped push me through more books. I love how it syncs with my Kindle, too.

    P.S. I vote you and Tsh for an AoS Podcast. I think the two of you would be *fantastic* to listen to. 🙂

  38. Sarah Rudell Beach

    I love it! I need to be better about being able to stop reading a book I don’t like… I sometimes feel guilty if I do. Reading is like breathing, I don’t understand people who ‘don’t read.’

  39. Ann

    I used to challenge myself to read 40 books a year. As long as I’m not pregnant (when I don’t like to do anything at all), it’s an easy goal for me. I decided not to up the amount, but to see how early in the year I can complete 40 books (usually sometime in the summer). It’s more of a fun thing than a legit challenge. Most of the time I like to have time to let the book soak in after I read it. I started a journal to write down my thoughts of the book. Not a book review, but a short reminder of what the book was about (since I usually forget), and parts that stood out, and other things the book made me think about – even if it’s not one of those thinking books.

    I do have a kindle because it’s easier reading from that since I live abroad. I love reading books set in places I visit, or books set at home, or young adult love or dystopian stories. I miss having a bookstore nearby with English book recommendations. It’s just not the same as the online ones.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Ach, I’m so sorry you don’t have a bookstore nearby! I don’t have one super close to me (alas!) so I don’t go in a ton anymore, but there’s nothing like bookstore browsing to fire the readerly imagination. (Sounds vaguely Anne-Shirley-ish, doesn’t it?)

  40. Stacie

    I borrow the kindle (or hard copy) and audio version from the library so I can listen to my book while running errands and then read it when I’m home or waiting at an appointment. I have to do my own syncing but it keeps me reading.

  41. Kelli

    I loved this post! I am sticking my fingers in my ears and not believing for a second that novels are dead. Are you kidding? It seems like there are more great books to read now than ever before! Personally, I’m finding it harder to trust people who openly admit they don’t read. Cra.zy. Love and follow all your lists Anne! Right now one of the books I’m reading is Eric Larson’s The Devil in the White City. It’s freaking me out but I can’t put it down.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      “It’s freaking me out but I can’t put it down.” That’s quite a description!

      I’ve never read The Devil in the White City, but I adore Witold Rybczynski, who also did some (less cringeworthy) writing about the Chicago World Fair. Such a fascinating time period, and definitely makes me want to add Eric Larson’s to my list.

  42. Robyn

    I also like to listen to audible books while driving and cooking.

  43. Maaike

    Reading books… my favorite hobby, my favorite way to recharge, my favorite thing, period. Also, real books can be read in the bathtub, the kindle app on my iPad, not so much. 🙂
    (What if I dropped it in?!).

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      Ha! I was just having this conversation TODAY with someone who just unfortunately dropped a book in the bathtub for the first time. Nevertheless, I’ve never been much of a bathtub reader but I’m determined to start! With real books. Not a kindle. Just like you said. 🙂

  44. Alex NeSmith

    Now in my early 60’s, I may not have read 30 books up until age 57. Now I read about 25-30 books a year. A crisis of life was the catalyst. Most of my books are spiritual books, and I try to alternate reading the most current authors with well-known classics. I sprinkle in biographies and an occasional “secular” novel. I have to have the physical book in hand. I’ve fallen in love with the feel and smell of them. I’m able to read every day for about 1-2 hours. It’s encouraging to read about readers. I never thought I would be one, but my life is so much more enriched.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      You never thought you would be one? I’m intrigued … but so glad you call yourself a reader.

  45. Caryn

    Oh binge-reads, I know them well. I confess I’m addicted to young adult literature though and whenever I’m stumped on what to read next, I grab the Newbery list and continue my journey to read through it. The Giver series by Lois Lowry is one of my favorites though.

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      That sounds like the best way to deal with being stumped!

      Confession: I finally read The Giver for the first time last year, and couldn’t believe I’d been missing out all these years! I read the whole series, and while the remaining three weren’t quite as good, I’m glad I read them. Now for Number the Stars….

  46. Jeremy

    I’m with you. I love to read. Reading for me is a type of escape. There are only so many minutes in a day. I have found that in order to read more I have to let some other things go, like watching TV at night. But it is worth it.

  47. Trish D

    Looooooove to read, and just last year finally embraced the whole “it’s OK not to finish a book” philosophy, which was very freeing (especially because I’d been picking up a lot of e-freebies; I’ve found a few gems, but man, there’s a lot of awful self-published stuff out there!)

    My most recent binge read: Threads of Change trilogy by Nicole Baart, first book is After the Leaves Fall

  48. Sarah

    I love young adult fiction. There are some really great writers and stories in this genre. These are the books that made me fall in love with reading as a kid and it’s been fun to reconnect with that genre as an adult. I don’t have to read the big weighty complex books all the time. I have found my natural rhythm is about a 1 to 3 ratio.

  49. Chris K. (Disquisitive Mama)

    Yes, yes, YES! I absolutely love reading and have one child that we have to tell to stop reading so she will be with us in the world, eat breakfast, etc. The other child does not enjoy it as much because it isn’t a social activity but I did walk in on her reading to her older sister a book that was at a much higher reading level and she was really enjoying it!

    Anyway, thank you for this list and reminder that we can pick up a few pages in the supermarket line or anywhere while we are waiting…

    I love the point “If you hate what you’re reading, put it down. Grown-ups don’t have to finish books they’re not enjoying.” That’s perfect!

    • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

      “I have one child that we have to tell to stop reading so she will be with us in the world, eat breakfast, etc.”

      I loved this comment. I think we have similar dynamics at play in my own family. 🙂

  50. Alysa (InspiredRD)

    I’ve been reading like crazy lately! I find it helps to keep a running list on the public library website. That way I can request the next few books I want to read and pick them up when they’re ready. Checking out a popular book also encourages me to keep reading because I’m not able to renew it.

  51. Jeanie

    Amen to books are like air! My hubby laughs that I usually have a book in every room and each car and can tell you what’s going on in each one at once! I just don’t understand those that say they hate to read. What?!?!? They must not have met the right book yet. 🙂

  52. Pam

    I have always loved to read and now that I’m retired I read even more. Both my grown children are voracious readers and my two grandchildren are read to each night at bedtime. I love the feel of a real book and am a regular library user. Just finished Alice I Have Been and started Evensong.
    I’m a great fan of Goodreads. Keep track of what I have read and what I want to read there.

  53. Kati

    Thanks for great tips. I used to make excuses for what I read, but now I embrace that I love a quick easy read as much as a complex novel. I usually have three going at once… A hardback, an ebook on my tablet, and a book on cd to listen to on my commute. Hardbacks tend to be whatever my mom has lent me or was on the display at the library, ebook is almost always one of a murder mystery or detective series, and CDs are historical fiction. Definitely my escape!

  54. Malinda

    “I’m not wasting time. I’m not being lazy. I’m tending my soul.” I need to say this phrase out loud. To myself. Often.

  55. Jenny

    I have always been reading a lot, usually 2-4 books per month. As I read a lot of different things for me it can be calming, entertaining, encouraging, inspiring and so much more. Sometimes people judge me for being lazy and for spending so much time on my own but what I learned from my books and what they gave me was always worth it. It’s not that I don’t like socializing but I just can’t go out all the time. When I finished a good book I often want to spread the word and tell people about it at work or when I meet friends and most of the time they are telling me they’d love to read more but just don’t have the time. But when I ask them what they do with their freetime they tell me they don’t have any. And when we continue talking I find out they spend hours sitting in front of their computers or TVs. I don’t judge people for doing that, I like my computer a lot and sometimes I like to spend hours watching my favourite TV shows. But please stop judging people who are “wasting” their time reading. I am glad there are more of us out there. More of those smart book-loving nerds who could be stuck anywhere and wouldn’t even care as long as they have a pile of good books next to them.

  56. Raimonda

    I sooo agree with this:
    ‘And in our fast-moving age, my books don’t demand an instant reply. Instead, they give me space to sit with my own thoughts, giving this slow processor room to ponder at leisure and in depth.’
    It is a great pleasure to carry the book and the questions it raises with you, to take time with your own thoughts. I have just finished Lioner Shriver’s ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’. Very heavy subject matter, but such an enjoyable book – great writing, multilayered, and raises plenty of questions with no easy answers. Plenty of food for the brain long after the last page is turned.

  57. Amy

    Thanks for this – there is nothing better than a day spent reading. Your post reminds me that I need to focus more on passing the joy of books along to my daughters. Thanks!

  58. Julie

    I love books, too! There are series that I have become so engrossed in that I wonder if it might be unhealthy. For example, we moved to a new town and met a couple with the last name Biddle and I immediately wondered if they were related to Catherine and Blake but then realized that they can’t possibly be relatives because Catherine and Blake aren’t real.

  59. danielle @ this picture book life

    Yes, yes, yes! To books and reading!
    (btw, I totally agree with your tips not to finish something you don’t like and to embrace what YOU like to read. It should be an activity you want to do!)

  60. Samantha

    I love this post. I have been a reader since I was a child, and then I got into a Stephen King obsession. Luckily, after having my daughter almost 13 years ago, I took down the horror-coloured glasses and have been obsessed with everything with words: literature classics, historical romances, contemporary, erotica, poetry, mystery/suspense, Christian, children’s/young adult, non-fiction, self-help, magazines. I even re-read my textbooks for pleasure. I also blog about everything I read, which isn’t enough…the reading or the blogging. With so much social media to get my blog out there, I now spend so much time dealing with it that I don’t give myself the pleasure of reading – or content to put on the blog. It’s a weary circle of time for everything else except my beautiful books. Time to put your list into action. Right now!

  61. Kate

    I can’t imagine not reading! I read to learn, to escape, to rest my mind, to rejuvenate my soul and just for fun! I’ve set a goal of reading 65 books this year (Goodreads) and I’m already half way there! Thank you for helping me realize I’m not the only one!
    Happy Reading!

  62. jill britz

    the thing that bugs me about homeschooling? i have to wrestle my children away FROM THEIR BOOKS. in every minute of the day. lunchtime? books. chores? most certainly books. & last night at bedtime, i went to the library (i cannot tell a lie.) while huz was theoretically putting the kids to bed. i got “hung up” in the library finding books for my 4, & when i got home, was anyone asleep? HECK NO. noses. in. books.

    (& hallelujah for it. i only jest about it bothering me. of course it’s amazing! but could SOMEONE put away the socks?))

  63. Abdouweirs

    hhhhh In this past days i was having a debate with my friends about “books’s time “. and we did try our best to convinc one of my friends that Books are still and they will be an important element in the equation of life and growing up of humanity ;which bring us to this question. How we can make books more enjoyable and effective in our life ?

  64. Elizabeth

    I love reading and couldn’t imagine a world in which I wasn’t able to escape, even for a few minutes into some reading, either blog, book, or magazine. My Kindle Paperwhite is always within reach for just those spare moments and my daughter is the same. The library is one of our favorite spots, both for new books and story time. Happy reading to everyone!

  65. The Queen of Dreaming

    I really love reading, but since I started college I can’t read this amount of book I was reading before, or better I’m only reading (studying in reality) the books for my exams and this is sooo frustrating :/

  66. Jennifer

    Great tips….I also love to read and blog.Reading is fun and when you are interested in the topic you can keep reading it all day long. Read on my blog too –

  67. Stephanie

    “I’m not wasting time. I’m not being lazy. I’m tending my soul”
    I love this…my newest favorite quote. Thanks!!
    I much prefer books over anything electronic. I love the old feel, look, smell of a REAL book 🙂 I’ve only ever read one story on an electronic device, and that is only because it want available in print 😉

    • Stephanie

      Because it **wasn’t** available 😉

  68. Kathryn

    I have been a pretty big reader all my life, at least until the past couple of years. That Google meltage you referred to? Maybe that’s what happened. Actually I know it’s just being busy, then being tired, and with so much easy internet brain candy around I have drifted away from reading. I’ve been trying to jump start it for almost a year now and I’ll keep trying. More than likely I need to simplify my life a bit and slow down. Here’s what I’m reading this month:

  69. Artic

    Nice post. you can also skim the page if its look like its dragging and nothing else.

  70. Sheila

    Reading is my favorite activity, even better than eating! And one of the greatest things in the world to me is finding an author who writes intelligent fiction and makes it a series.

  71. Jonah Lisa Dyer

    Nope, I don’t buy it either. Likewise, Kindle is not killing paper books, though Amazon itself may be harming true creativity in publishing. I keep a book stashed in my car for just in case waiting. I also get more reading in by enjoy books across all platforms. Audible is great not only for car trips, but cleaning, gardening & knitting. I usually have a sit-down-and-read-book and a get-up-and-move-book.

    I love #6! It’s the equivalent of sending an undercooked dish back to the kitchen. Own your taste. You don’t have to rail against a book or meal, just politely say, “Not for me” and put it down or return it–Audible let’s you refund your credit if you buy something you don’t like!

  72. Joe

    Hi everyone, I have a huge problem to myself. I read and don’t understand , please if you’ve been to this kind of experience and now you can read enough and understand, show me the way.

  73. Ruchi

    I have ordered Eat Pray Love.. I have watched the movie. I know i am going to love the book..And now more excited after reading your article. Its of great help. It will help me streamline my reading. Thanks. God Bless.

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