It’s great to be a booklover. I can’t imagine life without having a ‘book on the go’.
However, I often don’t have as much time for reading as I’d like.
That’s why I really admire those who can read swiftly and determinedly carve out time for it. As a reader – and a writer – I’m an observer of the book world and feel really buoyed by the different things that readers do to show and share their love of books.
So I thought I’d compile a list of “how to take your reading to the next level”. These are some things I’ve undertaken in the past – others, I’d like to do in the future (perhaps in a far away retirement!)
Take your reading to the next level:
- This one is a no-brainer. Join a book club. I’ve been in book clubs before and enjoyed the feeling of comradery I gained from knowing others were reading the same book at the same time. Then, there’s the socialising that comes from each book club meeting. You not only talk about the current book – members tend to range over to other authors and similar books they’ve read, so it’s always a great source of inspiration for your TBR list. Many people have written advice on how to start a book club, better than I could, and that includes Penguin’s ‘Start a book club‘ article, ‘Ten Tips for a Successful Book Club‘ from the UK, and the handy ‘How to start a book club that doesn’t suck‘ on BookRiot.
- If you don’t have time to participate in a book club ‘in real life’, consider an online reading community. There are a lot on Goodreads and Facebook. Search the ‘groups’ features with terms like ‘Australian readers’ or ‘romance readers’ or ‘Lee Child fans’ for example. In Goodreads, it’s easy to see a long drop-down list to choose from by heading to the Community tab, and the Groups link beneath that.
- Commit to a 2020 reading challenge. That is: you set your own target for how many books you’ll read by the end of the year. This could be your own personal commitment, something you agree to with a friend or in a book club, or you could use a site/app like Goodreads where you can input your target number of books. If you have a Goodreads account, head to the profile settings, scroll down the menu and you’ll see Reading Challenge amongst the options. A few of my friends have done this and seem to enjoy it.
- Write book reviews. Again, this could be on Goodreads or another online community. If you buy from Amazon or Apple or so on, there’s space to write reviews there once you have a verified purchase. I always appreciate recommendations from trusted friends, so perhaps it’s just a matter of telling your Facebook or Twitter network about what you’ve read, and how you’d rate that book. (Remember, please be kind to authors!)
- If you feel you have PLENTY of time on your hands, and you have a strong urge to share your book reviews, you might start your own book blog. Again, there’s plenty of advice out there already including this short list of tips on How to start a book blog from Book Trust, and How to start a book blog from a successful Sydney bookblogger – whose site you can roam afterwards!
- Take it to the next, next level and become a ‘booktuber’ on YouTube! If you feel you’d like to ‘chat about books’ more than write about them (and you’re not shy on camera), this could be the option for you. Emmabooks has shared a good booktuber overview here and you might enjoy the Read By Zoe clip below:
Or … you could throw away this whole list and just enjoy reading in your own organic, unchallenged, relaxed and content way! For me, I’ll try to read at least one book a month – that tends to be all I can do, especially when I choose longer books. As a writer, reading helps me expand and nurture my own writing style. I particularly want to focus on more Australian writers in 2020 – I already support them a lot, but there are so many more Aussie writers I need to catch up on.
I’d love to hear what your 2020 reading plans are. Please comment below.
Author and PR consultant.