This year I’ve been reading so much more than usual. Of course, because of the pandemic, I’ve been spending pretty much all of my time at home, which helps, but I honestly think it’s also because of some new habits that I’ve been working on throughout the year.
After reflecting on how these habits have changed me (for the better) as a reader, today I want to share them with you.
Reading every single day
One of my goals for 2020 was to read every single day. I can’t remember where I came across the concept of no zero days, but I thoughts it was brilliant and decided to implement it in my life. Basically, no zero days for me means that I cannot go a day without picking up a book, even if I only manage to read a single page or a single sentence. Or maybe just listen to a single chapter of an audiobook. Anything is better than nothing because even if you just do the bare minimum, that’s still progress. And so that’s what I’ve done. I can happily say that I have read every single day since 2020 started, and I couldn’t be more surprised at or proud of myself.
Choosing the right stories
After years as a reader, I feel like I’m finally at a point where I know myself, and my reading taste, enough to be able to know what I’ll enjoy. Which means that I mostly only pick books that I like. For real, after checking my bullet journal just now, the lowest rating I’ve given a book this year was 3 stars (which is a good thing!). This is fantastic, not only because I can spend my time reading things that I truly enjoy, but also because I can save money and space (two things that I have very little of).
Getting better at rating books
As I’ve mentioned previously, this year I’ve changed and consolidated how I rate books and I feel so much more sure of myself as a reviewer. I feel like before I used to be more inconsistent with how I rated books, based mostly on feelings rather than what the books truly deserved. I would ignore some not so great parts in favor of a favorite scene towards the end, or excuse the lack of consistency because the writing was beautiful. Not any more. Don’t get me wrong, how a book makes me feel still influences my rating, as with everyone, but now I have a firmer base of comparison to know how many stars a book really deserves, taking into consideration what’s actually on the page.
Reading backlist books
There was a time when I would only read new releases, and backlist books were relegated to my TBR. That’s probably how it got so out of control in the first place. This year I’ve been making a conscious effort to pick up books I’ve been meaning to read since forever alongside the new releases that excite me. I’ve found so many new favorites from doing this! Of course, this also means that I have to reevaluate my TBR and choose which books I’m still interested in, and which ones I no longer care about. It’s hard work, but it makes me feel lighter and happier, so I’ll keep going.
Focusing on my physical TBR
This one is a consequence of the previous point, but it makes sense that if I’m reading backlist books, I should probably focus first on the ones I own but have never read. And I have so many. To make sure this effort has a chance of succeeding, I’ve been avoiding buying new books so I can focus on reading the ones I’ve been neglecting for years and maybe, finally, have no unread books in my physical collection. It’s a daring goal, but I’m convinced it can be done. Probably not this year, but maybe by the end of 2021? As of right now, I still have 70 books to go.
Out of all these habits, this is the hardest one for me. I never used to DNF books. No matter what, I would always push myself to finish every book I started, even if it was terrible and I felt like every time I sat down to read it I died a little bit inside. But not anymore. I’m thankful that I’m better at picking books that I know I’ll enjoy, but if by whatever reason I start reading something and realize that it’s definitely not for me, I know that I can put it down and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s hard for me to give up on a book, but I feel like I’ve been getting better at it. And that’s definitely a good habit to have because to me, reading is supposed to be fun and not a dreadful task.
Trying new formats
You are probably tired of hearing me say it, but audiobooks have changed my life. I first gave them a chance last year, and since then I’ve been a huge fan. I’ve been slowly incorporating them into my routine, and usually listen to 3 audiobooks each month. And this past august, for the first time, I picked up a graphic novel! For whatever reason, I used to thing graphic novels weren’t really for me. Well, I was wrong. Graphic novels are amazing, and I hope I can keep on reading at least 1 volume each month. I think I used to avoid them because I found them a bit intimidating, but now I’m in love and want to keep finding new ones to read. All this to say: trying new formats has been amazing and I couldn’t recommend it more.
This turned out much longer than expected. I’m sorry for rambling so much, as it turns out I’m really passionate about this subject 😳
What are some of your reading habits that you’re proud of?
Until next time,