How to *Actually* Read More

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Happy Friday before a three-day weekend! This week was full of fun things and not so fun things–the best part was definitely being handed some super exciting design opportunities (stay tuned!) and going with my mom and sister to see Crazy Rich Asians, which did not disappoint (go see it, now!). The worst part was the AC going out on Tuesday night in 92 degree weather, prompting me to sleep downstairs on the couch and pray that my 9 percent phone battery would make it though the night! This weekend, I have a couple of photo shoots (one at someone else’s place on Saturday for Houzz, and one at my apartment on Monday, which is for one of the design projects that came about, woo!), work at the gym, and then a friend’s cookout on Sunday, which makes me feel more Labor Day Weekend like! In between all of this and running around like a crazy person trying to finish styling my apartment, I’m also hoping to get in a bit of reading, and that brings me to this post!

I’ve written a post about this before, but I thought it would be a fun topic to recirculate given that 1) I’ve been trying to read a lot more the past several months after hitting a bit of a roadblock last fall/winter, and 2) a few other bloggers I follow have posted their own tips!

I have to admit…reading is something that truly brings me a sense of calm and enjoyment. When I was little, I’d look forward to going to the library to pick out more Babysitter’s Little Sister books (anyone else read those?!), and my dad and I read Harry Potter together when it first came out. However, I know reading isn’t truly enjoyable for everyone, and if you’re not a book person, you don’t need to force it! (You’re probably wayyyy more up-to-date on movies and TV shows and other things I’ve cut out a bit more to make time to read!). That said, if you’re not the biggest fan of reading but want to get more into it, just start small. Try an audiobook on your commute (I “read” most of Crazy Rich Asians this way and loved it–even when I was seeing the movie I’d weirdly remember where I was when a certain scene was happening!), or just challenge yourself to read a couple of chapters a week. No biggie!

I definitely go through ruts when I don’t feel as compelled to read at the end of the day, and this is usually when I’m in a busy period at work, have a lot going on personally, or have other things to focus on (I always get really bad about reading for months after a move, for example!). But in general, it comes down to basic prioritization for me. Katie recently said that she used to relax with a TV show and has made a point to unplug with a book instead, and I 100 percent have been trying to do the same. I love being able to finish books and talk about them with you guys on the blog, which provides me with an extra dose of motivation. However, I’m also motivated just by the idea of tackling my  “must read” list. If I don’t ever sit down and just start something, I’ll just feel behind and overwhelmed! If you’re the opposite and have no idea what to read next, visit blogs (a lot of lifestyle bloggers I follow also cover books) or talk with your friends or even just browse through Amazon. Even if I’ve never heard of a particular book but it’s gotten amazing reviews, I’ll be inspired to add it to my cart or wish list. I also have always wanted to write a book one day and am starting to get really close to wanting to sit down and flesh something out, so I also consider reading to be research in a way!

I also love Lauren’s recent post about how she’s made time to read more. I 100 percent agree that getting a library card is a game changer! I have more books than I can count at home but still go to the library all the time–it helps that there’s one near my office. If you want to read more but hate the idea of spending money on something you’ll probably just read through once…well, problem solved! And her point about keeping a book with you wherever you go is also key. I always end up kicking myself when I have to wait for an appointment or am meeting a friend who’s running late and have nothing to read on me. Oh, and always, always bring books with you when traveling, even if you  don’t think you’ll have the downtime. I went on a work trip and read two in a span of a couple of days, simply because we didn’t have a ton of activities in the evening and we had a flight each way. You’ll never regret being too prepared!

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