Carol Worthey

Lyricism, Drama, Passion and Beauty

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Carol Worthey


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Reading: The Right Time, The Right Pace

Reading Tip #3

Not only is it valuable to find the right, cozy place to read, it's also a smart idea to know when in the day or night will work best for you to have an uninterrupted time for your Reading Pleasure.

  • Now, this Reading Time can be short, say fifteen minutes or it can be an hour or more, whatever fits into your daily routines.

  • Also, it can be several times a week or once a day or less frequent.

  • Do you prefer to read in the morning (say after coffee), in the afternoon (say, a break to get some sun) or in the evening (before bed)? Would you be more likely to find reading time during the week or on the weekend, say Sunday after a nap? What works best for you? Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." He was right. Examine your habits, your You-Time, and see which works best.

  • Finishing a Book over time: For most people, a few times a week at convenient times will work well, at least minimally. When you have a great book you want to complete, planning to do a chapter each week (or whatever) seems do-able without stress for you — so that is a good pace for you, a workable not frantic, nor too infrequent a reading-pace. Pace yourself so as to do it comfortably but steadily.

  • If you find yourself putting off your reading, you are probably not allowing yourself to relax enough after work or after taking care of your family duties (children, cooking, cleaning, laundry and the like). The habit of denying yourself some You-Time is so often the culprit. Be good to yourself.

  • The "right time to read" is a very personal decision, but trying to read with the TV on or with incomplete household duties staring you in the face won't work. Turn off the TV, do the dishes if you really should, brush your teeth, take out the garbage, then reward yourself!

  • Mindset is all-important: If you consider your Reading Time to be something you give to yourself, as something relaxing, something that relieves stress, then it becomes more appealing. Don't turn it into a "homework assignment" you are forced to do or feel guilty about when you avoid it. You will end up not reading at all. It's pleasure, it's your private time, it's not a duty.

  • Turn off the TV, stop playing video games, don't read if you are bone-tired or really hungry — get yourself a healthful snack and put the kids to bed, or don't stay up so late that your eyes will find the words blurry because you're so wasted.

  • Give yourself some incentive to read: Like "Once I finish this book, I'll go buy myself that inexpensive but great hat I've been wanting" or "Dinner out" will be a way to celebrate that you finished the book. Maybe you can double-team with a friend or your mate and enjoy dinner with the purpose of sharing your perceptions about the book and writer.

  • Join a book club that features the kind of books you most enjoy: but first take a look at what types of books, what genres, you like best: Detective Stories, Romance Novels, Teen Coming-of-Age Books, Classic Literature like Charles Dickens or Jane Austin, Non-Fiction Books, Self-Help Books, Children's Books: What Age Group appeals to you, Illustrated or not?, Plays, Biographies or History, Bestsellers (what kind: Spy, etc.), Cookbooks, Poetry Books, Books about Interior Decorating, Plant Care, Health Tips, Coffee Table Books with great illustrations or photos, Autobiographies.

  • A book club with people you like (no naysayers or snobby types) who encourage you to read: That's a good idea because it will have you reading on a regular basis. And the other club members will often reveal qualities about the book you never thought of.

  • For those who enjoy great books (Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Proust, etc.) I recommend The Hard-Core Literature Reading Club. You can find it online. The creator and moderator of this is very insightful.

  • For some, audio books are the way to go. They are so convenient; you can listen to a good book with an excellent narrator even while driving a car (just as long as you do this safely!) Personally, I would rather read a printed book than listen to audio books, but you may find this very enjoyable, so go for it! Enjoyment is KEY!

  • Overall Tip: Whatever time you find is helpful to you for your Personal Reading Experience, don't pressure yourself if something comes up and keeps you from reading on a particular day. Life happens. The idea behind reading is Your Time, Your Place, Your Adventure, Your Relaxation, Your Enlightenment!

  • Remember: All these Reading Tips relate easily to Writing Tips (see them). If you want to be a fabulous writer, extensive reading is your path, perhaps lots of different genres until you find a kind of book and a style that speaks "your language." Don't worry about being influenced to the point of losing your own personality. A lot of reading will enhance your writing skill, your understanding of plot and character development, your vocabulary, your methods of creating suspense or twists, and help you develop your own style, however long that takes. (See Writing Tips and Why I Write .)


© 2023 Carol Worthey