1. Make time in your life for reading
Reading is wonderful – and it should be a pleasure not a chore. Set aside time for quiet reading and you could experience benefits like stress-relief and increased ability to focus. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.
2. Avoid the paradox of choice
One Slow Reader had 10,000 books on their e-reader, and consequently never finished a novel as there was always others to get started on. Limiting yourself to reading what’s on your bookshelf could be a good place to start.
3. Start small so you start at all
Many of us want to tackle the classics or the Man Booker Prize long-list. But if it’s the difference between reading something lighter and not reading at all, begin with a book that can hold your attention for 30 minutes or more, even if it’s a “guilty pleasure” read.
4. Re-read your favourites
For some Slow Readers it is a beloved children’s book, for others a well-thumbed copy of their favourite novel. There’s no shame in reading books again and again. It’s a way to discover new aspects of a novel and often feels like re-connecting with an old friend.
5. Read Actively
Get to the end of a chapter and realise you haven’t been paying attention and have to start over? Try reading “aloud” in your head to get back into the zone – and it’s OK if you need to go back and re-read a section. If you are falling asleep: stop. And start afresh another time.
6. Physically slow your reading
If you are online a lot you may have become accustomed to scanning (or reading in an F-shape) – whizzing over words until you identify something you think is important. Focus on reading each line of text and savour every sentence.
7. Love words
Pick out words you like or don’t understand – make a note of them or look up what they mean later. Relish great phrases that you enjoy or make an impact on you.
8. Switch off
Let reading be the time when you shut off the phone and banish any distractions. A single task focus on reading will help you get the most out of your reading time and help you relax.
9. Clear your mind
Before you start reading, close your eyes and concentrate on taking five deep breaths in and out, focusing only on the act of breathing. Open your book – and enjoy!
10. Read together – join a Slow Reading Club
While for some reading is an entirely solitary activity, the Slow Reading Club movement began so people could enjoy reading in the company of others – and make new friends. You can join up or become a Slow Reading Club host and start your own official Slow Reading Club in your area of the world.
Meg Williams is a Slow Reading advocate and the founder of Slow Reading Clubs.