A 'Reading More' Toolkit

Thursday, January 8, 2015
I decided to do my own little readathon this week, as I have plenty of stuff to get through to finish of the Aurealis nominations and I also have plenty of books from my shelves that I want to get through... And that got me thinking about things I've started doing over my years of book reviewing - little tricks that help me to read more in a smaller amount of time.

Many of my hints will probably be common sense to you, but perhaps some haven't occurred to you yet, or you weren't sure they were necessary (for some people, they may not be...). Either way, I enjoy writing these kinds of posts and I also enjoy reading them on other people's blogs, so do link me to yours if you do one! Anyway, on with my tips and tricks!

  1. get comfy
    whether this means grabbing a good blanket or a pillow to prop your book/e-reader of choice on, getting comfy is really important. you're going to find it really hard to disappear into a world if you can't stop focusing on that spring digging into your butt.
  2. stay hydrated
    this is something that I see so many people forgetting, regardless of whether they're big readers or not. I've gotten into the habit of preparing myself for writing or reading time by grabbing a huge glass (or, even better, bottle) of water, and usually a large mug or pot of tea before even sitting down to start. That way I just have to remind myself to reach across and I can have drinks nearby. This is also a great way for me to familiarise myself with teas, something I hope to resume reviewing in the future!
  3. consider your muscles
    my point for this is twofold: don't waste away or sit in pain. Exercise is still important, and so are regular breaks from reading (your eyes will do better that way). Consider taking breaks to do some gentle stretches or even yoga, or walk to another location to read (I love walking to my local library for this reason!). Don't let needing to read a lot damage your body. My other recommendation here is that, if you suffer from sore or cramping muscles and can't find a comfortable sitting position very often, you should consider investing in a massage ball or something similar (mine is a small, blue, spikey ball) to put behind you and lean on, to slowly work away at pain while you read or work. Mine cost $20 from a sports equipment store.
  4. don't forget your eyes!
    and what about those eyes you're forcing across the page or screen in a continuous manner? aside from getting enough sleep, do you think about keeping them healthy? It's actually really difficult now that we use screens pretty much all the time, for almost everything. My eyes get sore a LOT. I try to make a point of taking a break every half hour or so to just stare off into the distance - look outside a window for example, watch traffic or birds or rain. Just give my eyes a break from staring at words and screens all the time. When my eyes get really sore, I use eye drops. Okay, I know, I know - so many people have an issue with eye drops - yes, they can be hard to get in, and it can be unpleasant. But for me, it was just a desensitisation process. Get used to it, and now it's much easier. I just asked at my local chemist for generic eye drops to help with eye strain, and now I have my own pack of individual use drops. :)
and those are my main hints for reading or writing a lot! Sometimes you just got to get down to it, and being prepared like this can save you some pain, and maybe a headache or two (maybe get outside for fresh air sometimes too...). I hope this has been at least entertaining for you, and that you enjoy reading and writing whenever you need to!
Love to all who read.


  1. I really love the idea of sitting down and marathoning a book (or game or movie series or anything). What a delightful "forced recreation break"! (That's why I love being on planes for so many hours.) Maybe I'll schedule one for myself some time soon!

    I think the spikey ball may have been $10 or $15 at Jim Kidd!

    1. I'm pretty sure it was $20... Ah well. Maybe they lowered the price since?

      Haha I do it because I need to, but I also like doing so for leisure! I hope you'll be able to do it again soon.


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