If you've a curious mind and a penchant for books, chances are you have a leaning tower of them piled up somewhere in your home or office. Some may be lightly fingered, many probably untouched.
Maybe you've set yourself a new years resolution to get through one a month? Maybe you decided not to buy anymore until you've reduced your BIP (books in progress)? Maybe you have a secret family of mice living in one of the stacks that you'll never know about if you maintain the status quo?
Whatever your story, and whatever reading goals you aspire to this year - I'm here to help.
Here's 8 super simple ways to start smashing through your content:
Join a book club. There are many, many out there, of all different shapes and sizes to fit your needs. Online group calls. Face to face at work, at home, in a local cafe. Asynchronous with no discussion (just shared comments in a google doc after reading). Reading out loud together. Reading together in silence. LinkedIn groups such as the Allyship bookclub. WhatsApp groups such as the Breakfast Books. You can even start your own, all it takes is one other person and a book you both have or can share. The shared accountability makes all the difference.
Swallow your pride. Pop into your local charity shops and pick up some second hand bargains. I've found many best sellers for less than £1. And yes, I realise that this means your stash is likely to grow rather than reduce, but maybe you can swap out those you know you will never get round to. More money saving tips here
Put them everywhere. Sprinkle the goodness all around you. Next to the bath, toilet, bed, settee, in your car (but don't read and drive obvs), in your coat pocket, in your bags, on your desk. I sometimes even put nutrition related books in the fridge or snack cupboard.
Organise them differently such as sorting them by size, by colour, by topic, alphabetical by title or author. This also gets you to refresh your memory of what books you have and to prioritise or reprioritise based on whatever tickles your fancy in that moment. Here's a nice before and after shot from my buddy Jim.
5. Try something new. If you normally read fiction, try a graphic novel. If you normally read about geography, try a philosophy book. If you normally read in English, why not read in a different language? All of these things open your horizons and bring some fresh energy to your reading.
6. Level up your reading skills. Reading is a skill and can therefore be trained. There are plenty of courses specifically designed to help you develop reading technique, speed and habits. Here's mine
7. Commit to less. Counterintuitive? Yes. Does it work? Yes. If you're not currently a regular reader don't set yourself a large goal like 12 books this year. Set yourself a small one like reading for 2 mins a couple of times a week. Building a regular habit creates the foundation.
8. Don't bother finishing them. If you're not enjoying the content, find the author's style grating, or have heard it all before then ditch the book. Stop wasting your time and pick up a fresh one instead. You should have NO GUILT for prioritising your time and focussing on things that add to your life, rather than subtract. This is one of the key reasons for people to lose a regular reading habit, they get stuck with a book they're not enjoying and feel compelled to complete it. Nonsense!
Your pile of unread books is bursting with wonderful stories, concepts, science, tools, pictures, and much, much more. Start to tackle it this year and believe me, you won't regret it.
What other tips do you have?
*According to an official source (Reddit user Duskblade95 in 2014) there are 100 craploads in 1 crap ton. There are 100 crap tons in a shitload and 100 shitloads in a shit ton.