Shocking confession: I’ve kind of fell out of love with reading here recently. I spend so much time stressing out about books at work, that I found it hard to commit and bring one home to, you know, actually read. But that’s all going to change. I hope. And it’s all going to be because of a bookmark.
I once read an article about a professor who loved reading novels. Outside influences took more and more of her attention, but when she finally had time, she found that the idea of reading to be slow. We grow accustomed to a face paced lifestyle, but there is a lot we can gain from slowing down a bit. For one, I agree with Neil Gaiman; there’s nothing wrong with good, ‘ol fashioned escapism. There are about a billion other benefits, but I’m really looking for a stress reliever.
The problem I have is the same as that nameless professor; I find it too goshdarn hard to slow down. But, I’ve got a couple of things up my sleeve that will help me turn off my inner critic. Like:
- Timers – the Google Play store is full of them. If I’m not worried about watching the dreadful countdown ’til my shift, it would follow that I will be more willing to even pick up the book in the first place.
- Recommendations – I spend a good majority of my time trying to find books for patrons, but when it comes to finding something for me, I’m hopeless. That could possibly be because I’m trying to pitch stories to myself like I would for one of my teens. Expert advice: ask a librarian (who is conveniently not you). They have good recommendations or can point you to some great sites full of people who do nothing but read. I picked up Truthwitch by Susan Dennard at the suggestion of my Uppercase Box Postcard Swamp pal! If you don’t have a librarian in your pocket, you should hop on over to Revitalized Reading! I have the awesome opportunity to work with Danica, and can tell you from personal experience, she gives awesome recs!
No, I will never stop shouting about her blog from my little mountain top!
- ENJOY IT – That’s a command! No, actually it’s something I used to tell my high schoolers all the time. If you’re reading a book you’re not totally into, you don’t have to finish it. Put it down. Give yourself the permission to be picky. Check out something different. Books are like people; you’ve got a match out there, it just might take a bit to find it.
- Pencil It In – Try scheduling time to read. If you have built your day around having free time to read, it will feel more like checking off something on your to-do list, rather than a guilty waste of time.
- If all else fails, turn it into a challenge. My problem is tuning out, so I created a sturdy cardboard bookmark with page challenges. When I hit page 20, I’m going to write a bit about my first impressions of characters. And since I’m telling you I’m doing this, there’s also a tincy bit of peer pressure attached.
It took me no more than five minutes to whip this up. Really. Mine is more about practicality, but you could add sparkle, washi tape, anything really that will make this your favorite bookmark. It should be like your little cheerleader whispering in your ear, “It’s only 2:00 AM, you should totally keep reading.”
If cardboard is too spartan for you, don’t worry, I found three other super fabulous bookmark DIY’s that could easily turn into jazzed up reading challenges.
Idiom Bookmarks (links to Anthropologie, but don’t worry, you could totally do this).
What’s your favorite book? Leave your recommendations in the comments and I’ll check them out!
It’s Hump Day, which means we’re halfway to the weekend, folks!