ccording to a 2018 study by the
Pew Research Center, 24 percent of
American adults reported that they
haven’t read one book (or even
“part of a book”) in the previous year. That’s
1 in 4 Americans.
The question for most people is this: How
can I fit reading into my already full life?
I am a business owner, writer and
mother of four children (ages 1, 6, 9 and 11).
Last year, I read more than 50 books (this
year my goal is to hit 75). Here are some of
my tips for adding books to your week.
Read to your kids
Shared books lead to the very best discussions about life, love and how to persevere through hard times. Find a fun series.
Use voices. Cuddle under blankets.
Read in front of your kids
Don’t feel guilty about reading in front of
your kids. It’s good for kids to see that their
parents enjoy reading.
Let’s say you start a book, but are less
than impressed. Drop it. There are too many
wonderful books in the world to get derailed
by one that doesn’t capture your interest.
Set a goal
Each year, I set a reading goal on
Goodreads.com. When I finish a book, I write
a two- to three-sentence review. At the end
of the year, Goodreads puts together a personalized infographic with my reading stats.
Turn off the TV
According to 2018 data from Nielsen,
Americans age 2 years and older spend four
hours and 16 minutes per day watching TV.
Turn off the screen and you may find 250
more minutes to spare in your day.
Audiobooks allow you to drive to work,
do laundry or make dinner while learning
something new or being whisked away on a
Sleep on it
Two tips that I can almost guarantee will
help you read more: ( 1) Keep a book on your
nightstand; and ( 2) Don’t bring your phone
into your bedroom at night.
Renaissance scholar Erasmus knew what
he was saying when he quipped, “Before you
sleep, read something that is exquisite, and
worth remembering.” Exquisite things are
generally not found on Facebook.
American educational reformer Horace
Mann gives excellent advice on this topic:
“Resolve to edge in a little reading every day,
if it is but a single sentence.” A little reading
every day trumps grand notions and stacks
Costco member Stephanie Sheaffer is a writer
based in Arizona.
Becoming a bookworm
With just a few changes in
your habits, you can add
more reading to your life.
The typical reading pace is
250 words (about a page)
To improve your reading
speed while maintaining
your comprehension, read
frequently and focus on
building up your vocabulary.
A familiar adage puts it this
way: “Readers are leaders
and leaders are readers.”
Warren Buffett, for example,
reads 500-plus pages
every day and estimates
he spends as much as 80
percent of his day reading.
Melinda Gates rarely leaves
home without a book. The
late Barbara Bush would
listen to audiobooks for
hours every day.—SS
“Reading may keep the brain active
enough to prevent a decline in thinking
and processing—what’s known as
cognition—that is associated with a variety
of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.”
— AVNI BAVISHI
Books for all ages, as well as
audiobooks, coloring books,
magazines and more, are
available at Costco.