Autumn is my favorite season. Period. I love it more than words can describe. It's the season of comfy foods, cozy weather, academia, and BOOKS. Now, I want to be upfront - I am a bibliophile.
A what - PHILE, sis?
A self-proclaimed Millenial bibliophile.
What are my qualifications, you ask?
English Literature/Journalism major (BA, M.Ed), English teacher, reading specialist (focusing on children with learning differences), and an avid reader.
Or maybe you didn't ask but as a woman, specifically a woman of color... I feel the need to list my credentials.
"Oh, Shelby you can bring race into anything?"
Please read this article or the one above and let's talk afterward, k?
Let's Talk Reading
I tell you that to give you context as to why I had No IdEa where to begin writing an article on "how to read more." Like a sistah may not find time to do anything outside of a messy bun, but I will find time to sit and read. This is probably an equal mix of nature and nurture. My father ALWAYS READS... think "dad's chair" (the oversized lazy boy recliner) where he consumes books and newspapers. That's my dad. Family mall trips comprised of him inconspicuously slipping into the bookstore. And my mom loved assigning summer/winter reading projects and has an almost fetish type love of editorials (magazines). Add a dash of no internet, and there you have it - a bibliophile.
So, when other mamas, specifically homeschooling/stay-at-home mamas, ask me, "how do you have time to read?" I'm like...errrr... kinda like Susanna Wesley. Ms. Wesley - the mother of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism - homeschooled her ten children. But when her apron was over her head, often for two hours (at a time), it meant she was not to be disturbed.
SIDENOTE: Can you imagine, she bore 19 children, lost 9, homeschooled (the remaining) 10, not so great husband (that continued to put her in financial ruin) and still had brilliant children? Chile...where is my apron?
So, yes, for reading, I typically put my theoretical apron above my head. That said, I also tend to avoid social media, internet browsing, television, and texting when I know I can be reading. When I'm reading the least, I find it tends to be because I am swapping books for short online reading/viewing.
That said, I read 10 Tips to Read More from Flow Magazine while waiting in line at the market. And I enjoyed it.
For those that hate to click, here are the condensed tips (tips are theirs, descriptions are mine):
Set priorities - reach for your book first.
Find a genre that suits you.
Stop with books that you don’t like
Don’t set your goals too high - don't get competitive.
Always pop a book in your bag***
Create a stockpile - always have the next book on hand
Set a timer
Join a book club
Read short books
Read aloud or take notes
Honestly, y'all, I chose this article because I ABSOLUTELY DO (and highly recommend) ALL OF THESE THINGS. My favorite tip is to pop a book in your bag. I cannot speak enough on this one. I usually have my Library, Kindle, Goodreads app, and Books app on my smartphone. But I've been carrying a book (thanks to all the small libraries popping up) during my digital detox, and it's been so darn nostalgic. Reminds me of Autumn time in NYC, Oxford, or Paris...it's perfection.
Seriously, please try it. Put on your favorite comfy jeans, a "plain" shirt, your favorite gym shoes (sneakers), and throw a book in your purse/back pocket/or carry it. Take a pen, a tasty drink, and a quiet stroll. Find your favorite spot (six feet at least away from the nearest person) and read. Take a short break - stare at the leaves - then back down at your book.
You're welcome, Friends.