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5 Hacks to Make More Time for Reading

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” - George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons Are you always putting down books after reading the first few lines or chapters? Or do you struggle sparing the time to even open a book?

You’re not alone! Research have shown that people are too busy to read, as 67% of respondents said they would like to read more, and 48% admitted that they’re too busy to do so. But leaving school is no reason to cut out this activity out of your life. People with busy schedules (such as, ahem,  entrepreneurs), it’s never easy to justify spending hours reading for leisure, even though it’s shown to benefit your general well-being, allowing you to expand your imagination, built empathy, train cognitive function, and unwind So hop on the Bibliotherapy train, and let’s get reading!


READ FOR YOUR PLEASURE

Read what you love and don’t make reading as a regular routine only, but incorporate it into your day. Apart from fiction, I enjoy flipping through cookbooks, where I can discover new recipes or revamp my secret dessert recipes. There is no specific list of books that you should be reading, as even national best sellers don’t mean much if you’re not interested in the subject matter. Make a “to-read” list on platforms Goodreads, so there is always a new book waiting for you. There are also apps and plugins that can help you find reading material - 100millionbooks is a Chrome plugin that recommends a book to you everytime you open a tab in your browser.

UTILIZE YOUR WAITING TIME

Minutes become hours, so plan your book diet wisely.  Have a book with you all the time, so you can read in cars, while waiting in lines, or on the subway (but it’s not gonna be easy in Hong Kong during peak hours). The key is knowing that you don’t necessarily need to set time aside to read. Tools like Daily Lit  sends you short installments of a book, so you can read a small portion even if you don’t have it with you.

GOAL-SETTING

According to goal-setting theory, the more specific a goal is, the more motivated you’ll be to accomplish it. Set the number of pages you want to finish per day or start the reading challenge. Don’t feel bad about quitting a book - just like watching a Netflix show, there’s no point sitting through it when you’re not feelin’ it. If it’s the amount of time it takes you to finish a book that holds you back, then hone in your reading skills with resources like The Tim Ferris’s speeding reading techniques, which will help you saving loads of time in the long-run - although there is no rush to enjoy a good book.

DON’T GET DISTRACTED

For those who have trouble staying  focused, make sure your room is device-free (except if you’re using a Kindle, of course). Digital distractions can become all consuming, and hours can pass without you even noticing. Find it hard to stay away with your smartphone? Use the Forest App or Put You Phone Down App to help you focus on reading rather than checking your emails or texts.

SOME RECOMMENDATIONS FROM US:

The Heart: a Novel by Maylis de Kerangal A grief story of a heart-transplant surgery - about death, humanity and life. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes An unforgettable story with urgent lessons both political and personal, filled with revelations that will change the way readers understand just what happened to America on November 8, 2016 Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell Two misfits. One extraordinary love.

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