Well, it’s July, which means we’re officially 7 months (!!!) into our 50 Book Pledge challenge! This is the point in the year where we like to relax, take a break, grab a drink, and wait for our second wind to kick in.
How’s it going, everyone? Are you:
Crushing it? I’m jealous – please teach me your ways.
Right on track? Kudos to you! You’ve got this!
Falling behind? That’s okay, there’s still SO much time to catch up!
Still waiting to start? Well, slow and steady wins the race, right?… right?
Whether you’re crushing it or just barely scraping by, here are 10 tips to make sure you meet your 50 Book Pledge goal.
1. Dive right in
Remember that book you bought, like, 15,000 years ago that’s just taking up space on your shelf and you promise yourself every single year that you’re going to read it? Well, what are you waiting for?! Now is the perfect time to pick it up and finally start working your way through your TBR pile.
2. Bring your book everywhere
Commuting to and from work, on your lunch breaks, while you’re at work*… It doesn’t matter! Make sure to bring your books with you wherever you go. To be honest, this one isn’t 50 Book Pledge-specific – this is practical life advice that can be applied to your everyday lives. You’re welcome.*Note: The Savvy Reader does not actually condone reading on the job (unless you can get away with it)
3. Join (or start!) a book club
Book clubs are SO MUCH FUN! Most communities will have a few local ones run out of art galleries or bookshops, but there’s simply nothing better than getting together to talk with some of your closest friends about the books you’ve read and loved recently. Plus, book clubs have a very regimented schedule, and it’s painfully obvious when someone hasn’t read the book, so it’ll help keep you on track and reading!(Bonus: sometimes book clubs have wine, so it’s really a win-win situation.
4. Social media timeout
If you’re anything like me, you’re addicted to Twitter (and Instagram) ((and Facebook)). It used to take me forever to get into a book, because I’d feel the urge to refresh my Twitter feed every two minutes! It was so bad that a few months ago I had to create a dedicated reading time for myself and swear off all things social media during that time. Plus, Instagram recently added that handy “You’re all caught up!” feature, so it’s so much easier to avoid endless scrolling now. (Hooray for social embarrassment!) Make it clear: Reading time is for reading only – social media can wait.
5. Find the perfect reading space
Reading is all about comfort. Personally, I’m most comfortable when I’m sitting cross-legged against a wall (or any hard surface, really), hunched over a book – you’re welcome for your knee, neck, and spinal issues later in life, FutureJesse! But for some readers, comfort may mean cozying up with a tea and a warm blanket. It’s all relative! Find the space that best suits you, and you’ll be able to whip through your reading list in no time.
6. Listen up, folks
Okay, hear me out on this one: audiobooks, audiobooks, audiobooks. I know, I know, it’s a really bizarre experience at first, but, just like reading, it only takes one really good one to get you hooked for life. I commute two hours (each way!) to and from work EVERY day! If I didn’t have my audiobooks, I’d have virtually no time to read (when you’re not a morning person who wakes up at 5:30am, reading is the last thing on your mind…). Give it a shot, I promise you’ll love it!Fun fact: I once was listening to a humour book that was so funny that I burst out laughing in the middle of a train. It was rush hour. And I had headphones on.
7. Change isn’t scary (I promise)
Admittedly, this is one that’s still super tough for me, but it’s so, so necessary to switch it up every now and again when you’ve committed to a reading pledge. For me, I’m a super pretentious reader – I typically only read literary fiction (you know, the boring stuff) or horror. But when it comes time to crackdown and focus on meeting the goals I’ve set for myself, I do my best to take a shot on everything! You’d do well to do the same.
8. Time, time, time
For most people, the hardest thing about completing reading challenges is finding the time to read. I get it, we’re all super busy. Work, kids, volunteering… we all have a lot going on. It’s important – for both your reading challenge and your well-being – that you set aside some time to shut off every now and then and spend some time with a good book. For me, I was addicted to Netflix. Instead of watching one or two episodes of something before bed, I switched it up to giving myself an hour of reading time and I haven’t looked back!
9. “Rule of 50”
We talked about this a couple days ago, but it bears repeating: you 👏 are 👏 not 👏 obligated 👏 to 👏 finish 👏 a 👏 book 👏 if 👏 you 👏 hate 👏 it 👏. According to Nancy Pearl, give yourself a 50 page buffer. If you’re feeling confident after 50 pages, great, continue onward, noble soldier! If you’re not really diggin’ it and feel like moving on to something else, DO IT! Literally no one (except you) is stopping you. Devote more time to books you like and less times to books you don’t like, and you will be well on your way to completing the challenge.
10. Read, read, read!
This one might be a no-brainer, but this whole thing can be summarized in one word: READ! Read every second that you possibly can. They say the best advice is the simplest, right? Let’s leave it at that.
So, what do you think, Savvy Readers? Feeling a little more confident that you’ll hit your target by December 31st? At the just-over-halfway-point, I’m sitting pretty comfortably at 44 books read so far this year. What are you currently sitting at? Think you’ll make it? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader and use #50BookPledge!
Okay, well, that’s it, break time is officially over… Get back to your reading STAT! You have a challenge to complete!
You can do it!