Recently, I’ve got back into reading in a major way.
I grew up a reader, I was literally one of those kids who always had their head stuck in a book. In fact I changed schools when I was in year three and the principal called my mum and dobbed on me for reading under a tree every lunch time instead of playing with the other kids. Apparently socialising was more important in the 90s than literacy.
I read constantly. My mum had to audit our home bookshelf at one point after I found Bryce Courtenay’s April Fool’s Day when I was eight years old and started reading it. She figured it out when I started asking her very detailed questions about the AIDS virus and blood transfusions. I especially loved reading things I wasn’t supposed to read like Cosmo magazines when I was a kid or books that were banned from school libraries. I heard that Puberty Blues was banned from our school library so I borrowed it from the public library purely because it was banned. It was my own little form of nerd rebellion.
So I continued to read for pleasure until I was about 16 but then year 11 and 12 left me with not much time to read. Then during university I did so much reading I couldn’t bear to do more. Then I started teaching – more reading – less inclination to do it for pleasure and before I knew it I blinked and I had basically entirely stopped reading for pleasure, save for a few holiday reads a couple of times a year.
I’ve been slowly introducing more and more pleasure reading into my life and in the last two years since we had our kid I’ve been doing it even more. I know that sounds bananas – like who has a baby and ends up reading more? – but the reason why is because I’m consciously trying to set an example. When my kid is playing independently (which isn’t often so please don’t be thinking I have a magical unicorn child) I don’t want the only two things she ever sees me doing is housework or scrolling on my phone. She certainly sees me do both of those things quite often but I want her to be raised in a house where it’s normal and cool to read. Sometimes in the afternoon she’ll grab a stack of books and has no interest in me reading them to her (‘I do it myself!’) so I get my book and read. If she’s watching a TV show, I sit next to her on the couch and read a book. If we’re at the park alone, I take a book to read while she’s on the swing. When I’m playing with her, I’m properly playing with her but when she’s happily occupied I think about what I’d like her to see me doing in my down time and the answer is reading.
I’ve been posting my book reviews on Instagram recently and I’ve had a lot of people comment that they’d like more time to read and honestly, it’s a skill. You can absolutely train that muscle and get in some good reading time. So I thought I’d do an episode on how you can read more.
This week’s guest is Kristy from @sometimes_i_read_books on Instagram. I discovered her this year when I started posting book reviews on Instagram and she gives fantastic recommendations. I asked her to be a guest on the podcast today and it’s the first time she’s done something like this so naturally I was like ‘Dude, you HAVE to do it!’ because my toxic trait is pushing people out of their comfort zones.
In this episode we chat about…
• How and why people stop reading in the first place
• Tips for getting in to the habit (or back into the habit) of reading
• Tips for staying in the habit of reading
• How to know when you should give up on a book
• How to find more books like that last book you loved
• Tips for encouraging kids and non-reader adults to read more books
Links mentioned in this episode
You can listen to the episode here.
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