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Sunday, August 12, 2018

How I Tricked Myself Into Reading More Books | Books - Lifehacker

I love books. I can’t leave a bookstore without at least one. But I also have a tendency to buy books and not actually read them, notes Patrick Allan, Staff Writer,
Photo: Patrick Allan.

Somewhere along the way reading fell by the wayside in favor of other forms of entertainment. To get back on track, I made some simple changes that have helped me with my reading habits thus far—no speed reading necessary.

I Made My Environment More Reading Friendly 
My first priority was to make reading easier in general. I am like electricity; I want to take the path of least resistance. If there are any obstacles in my way, I’m just going to give up and do whatever is easier to access and equally as satisfying in the moment. In my case, that usually means turning on the TV, messing with my phone, playing a video game, or eating until I fall asleep.

To fix this, I drew from a quote I once heard about software piracy. It goes something like “To combat piracy, you have to make your content easier to buy than downloading it illegally.” Basically, I realized I wasn’t buying into reading because I had made it difficult to access it. My reading light was in a bad position where I couldn’t comfortably reach the switch from my bed. I would have to get up out of bed to turn it on or off. Also, my bed was too tall and against a window sill so I couldn’t prop myself up when I didn’t feel like holding a book above my head. And worst of all, I had a giant TV in my room. Why read when I can fall asleep to Bob’s Burgers every night instead?...

I Carry My Books With Me Wherever I Go 
I’ve talked about carrying books around with you before—like when you have a reading deadline—but I hadn’t really made a habit of it myself until I read a story Neil Pasricha at Harvard Business Review shared about author Stephen King:
...Stephen King had advised people to read something like five hours a day. My friend said, “You know, that’s baloney. Who can do that?” But then, years later, he found himself in Maine on vacation. He was waiting in line outside a movie theater with his girlfriend, and who should be waiting in front of him? Stephen King! His nose was in a book the whole time in line. When they got into the theater, Stephen King was still reading as the lights dimmed. When the lights came up, he pulled his book open right away. He even read as he was leaving.
It reminded me that there are usable minutes hidden in every nook and cranny throughout the day. 

Source: Lifehacker