Friday, January 12, 2024

How to Read More Books + A Reading List for Catholic Women

Years ago, I dropped the habit of reading for fun. When I was a child, I read voraciously but as time went on, I got so busy I just simply didn't have the time. Maybe this sounds familiar to you too. 

There's a lot of things I could do to make myself read, but why force yourself to do things that are fun, after all? I'm going to give you some strategies to help you read more during a busy week and then I'll give you my reading list at the end in case you need some inspiration. 

1. Instead of Picking up Your Phone, Pick up Your Book.

We all know people who spend HOURS a day reading. I wondered where they got all that time from, it didn't take me long to realize that I have that time too, I just spend it scrolling through Amazon. Whenever I come back from class, I pick up my phone off my desk and scroll to clear my mind. Now, I set my book right next to my phone and pick that up instead. It makes my mind *actually clear* and makes me feel productive too. It's amazing. 

You probably have a different routine than I do, but the moral is -- set your book right next to where you usually leave your phone and use that instead. You'll thank yourself later. 

2. Start small. 

If you have a full-time job and have a goal of one hour a day of reading, this probably won't work. Maybe you hope to read this much eventually, but such a big goal won't get you off to a great start, and you'll probably end up dropping the habit altogether eventually. So start 10-15 minutes. It's better to read just a little bit than to set a really big goal that you'll only keep up for a few days. To build long-term results, don't bite off more than you can chew. 

3. Read books you actually enjoy. 

When I decided I wanted to read for fun, I first picked up War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Bad decision. Yes, it's a classic, but Russian fiction just isn't my cup of tea, so I didn't enjoy it and I didn't want to read. I was inspired by other people who LOVE reading the classics. Most readers who've been at it a long time will read practically anything. But don't start off with books you reallyy want to set down. 

I've found I have to read things that are beautiful. I don't want a story about something terrible that happened to someone. I want to feel happy or inspired to start a new thing after I read. Not everyone reads the same books and that's a wonderful thing. 


Alright, here's the Reading List I promised you earlier:
(disclaimer: these are affiliate links to if you buy any of these I get a small commission.)

1. Jane Austen’s Genius Guide to Life: On Love, Friendship, and Becoming the Person God Created You to Be

6. At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life

11. With All Her Mind: A Call to the Intellectual Life

15. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

16. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World

Now go read some books that you love. You got this. 


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