6 Reasons To Read Every Day
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
When I tell people I read 100+ books in a year, I often get a response somewhere along the lines of “I wish I had time to read that much,” in a tone that implies I’m wasting my precious time with all these silly books.
Reading is a part of my daily routine, like eating or brushing my teeth. Any time I leave the house, I grab my wallet, sunglasses, keys, and a book. It’s habit. Over the years, I’ve learned little ways to sneak more reading time into my life. Along the way I noticed reading enriches my life in all aspects, and leads to more reading!
Here are a few of the reasons I value reading and how I make time for it every day:
1) Reading increases my vocabulary.
This little gadget right here is amazing. It’s a bookmark that’s a dictionary. When I encounter a word I don’t know, I type it in and I’m all set. I got spoiled by having a dictionary built into my Kindle, so this has enabled me the same luxury when I’m reading a physical book. Reading classic literature in particular has exposed me to different use of the English language, and has led me to learn the history of many words we use today.
2) Reading inspires me to write. Reading a book that I find incredibly well written or exceptionally moving motivates me to tell my stories and hone my craft. Reading a book I find poorly written or disappointing makes me say “I can do better than that!” As Glennon Doyle Melton says, “Reading is my inhale and writing is my exhale.”
3) Reading helps me prepare for sleep. I into bed with a book at least an hour before I want to go to sleep. This forces me to put down my phone and spend some time in a restful state before expecting my body to go to sleep. The story I’m reading distracts my brain from all the things I forgot to do today or need to do tomorrow. The only side effect is that I often dream about the characters in the book I’m reading, and more than once I’ve fallen asleep and been hit in the face by my book!
4) Audio books make travel time productive. A couple years ago, I spent about 6 months doing deliveries for a florist. After a couple weeks, my brain was turning to mush from all the Top 40 Radio I was listening to, so I switched to audio books. I’d finish at least a book or two a week in the delivery van.
5) Reading is something my husband and I can do together yet separately. We are both Book Nerds. In our house, we frequently have what we call Quiet Time, where we sit together in the same room and read our own books. Romantic, right? Together, we search garage sales and book stores for new additions to our home library. Reading is a hobby we share yet enjoy in individual ways.
6) My book club friendships are particularly special. I belong to two book clubs. Each reads one or two books per month, and continually push me outside of my regular reading comfort zone. This broadens my horizons and exposes me to stories, cultures, ideas, and opinions that I otherwise wouldn’t become familiar with. When we get together and discuss our monthly selections, even if it’s fiction, we talk about real life issues, and it allows us to share our own stories in a small, safe setting. This has bonded us in a way that is different from any of my other friendships. Subjects of books we read bring up topics in conversation which may never have been broached otherwise.
I know what you’re probably thinking and no, I don’t have kids. However I have a friend with two kids who reads as many if not more books than I do each year, and some friends with no kids who read zero books per year. If you want to read, you can make time for it. Try using some of my tricks to squeeze more reading time into your days!
How do you make reading fit into your life? What benefits have you noticed?