I used to devour books. An appetite for science fiction and fantasy novels meant new shelves continuously being constructed to hold my ever-growing collection of paperbacks.
The internet is not entirely to blame for my loss of appetite but reading fiction certainly fell away after I discovered it.
And then, more than a decade or so later, I bought a Kindle. It's the most wonderful piece of kit. I am reading again. The tipping point was that the Kindle can sync with my other devices: my iPhone, my laptop, and any computer with internet access via the Kindle Cloud Reader too. So I have access to my library, and can read any of my books anywhere I go. No more broken ribs from carrying too many books in my bag!
Although I am reading, I still I feel that I'm a sluggish reader. Back in the day I could read an entire novel in 8-10 hours. Now it takes me ages. I've never got the hang of 'skim' reading and will read every single word. Between my reading speed, and the lack of a routine, it can take me months to finish one book. Which would be okay - because reading is enjoyable - but I have a ton of books I want to read, so need to pick up my pace: so what to do?
Poking around online I came across Julian Smith's blog post about how he read a book per week in a year. How cool would that be? He read 40 pages per day (15%) and finished most average-sized books within the seven days.
For me, that means to read a good hour per day. Half an hour before bedtime, two 15 blocks during the day? Quite achievable for me, I'd say - just need to make it a routine and watch the book pile shrink!
So here I am talking about it, my Kindle on the charger for tonight, and a warm glow at the thought of completing Sir Ken Robinson's The Element: How finding your passion changes everything way sooner than I would normally take.
What are you reading at the moment? Fancy joining me in my 15%/40 pages per day reading challenge?
Don't Break the Chain
The best way to create a new routine is to do it at the same time, for the same amount of time, every day. Miss a day and the chain will become weaker, or maybe break entirely. To keep track of my days, and to encourage the routine every day, I'm printing off this calendar and crossing off each day I succeed at my goal.