5 Things I Learned Reading a Book Each Week

by: Kelly Leighton
January 4, 2017

Growing up, you had to pry a book from my hands to stop reading.

On the school bus, in the classroom, at restaurants, I was constantly reading. The library was my happy place. As I got older and had to read more for college, and then grad school, the last thing I wanted to do in my spare time was to pick up a book. I started reading again for fun a few years ago, and in 2015, I made the goal to read 52 books that year, but I didn’t quite get it.

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In 2016, I nailed it with 55 books, and I am hoping to get in at least 52 this year. Here’s what reading a book a week taught me in 2016.

1. You have more free time than you think.

Reading one book a week this year taught me that anyone can make time for anything. I am not a big TV watcher as it is, but I rarely ever turn it on at all now, so that I can read instead. When I have a doctor’s appointment or know I will be waiting somewhere, I usually bring a book with me. I really learned how to make reading a priority, and you can apply that to absolutely anything in your life.

2. It’s OK to say no.

So, hear me out. When you’re trying to hit a certain number of books in a year, your time is precious. If I wasn’t into a book, I would avoid reading and find something else to do. So, this year, I learned to say no. If I started a book, and I just wasn’t into it, then I’d move on. Even if someone said it was excellent, or it had amazing reviews on Good Reads, if I wasn’t into it, I moved on. This actually transferred over to my real life too. I learned to say no when I didn’t want to do something because I didn’t want to waste my time.

3. Put down the phone.

It is so easy to go down the rabbit hole of the internet. More than I’d like to admit, I pick up my phone to look something up real quick, and an hour later, I am somehow still reading threads on reddit. What a waste of time! I don’t need to check Instagram 12 times a day, and my Facebook notifications can wait. I could have read several chapters in that period of time.

4. Utilize resources.

Out of 55 books I read in 2016, I paid for just three of them, two because I wanted my own copy, and one because the library didn’t carry it. (But the Dauphin County libraries have a request form on their website, and they have always purchased books I have requested). The library is so convenient. I can put a request in for any book in the system, and when it becomes available, I just swing by and pick it up. FOR FREE.

5. Stop being so hard on yourself.

When I told people about this goal, they were usually quick to congratulate me, which I would quickly follow up with, “But I didn’t read anything smart.” I use reading as a time to unwind and escape, so I prefer to read books that help me do that. I found myself feeling defensive, and I realized it was silly. So, I didn’t read War and Peace, oh well, I am actually glad I didn’t. I set out to read 52 books, and I did, and that’s all that matters. Even if some had pink covers.

Categories: Books

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