Turns out, it can be really difficult to read when you travel! And not even just traveling, but any kind of busy lifestyle. However… I think I’ve finally cracked the code on how to read more on the go – I’ve read over 15 books just in the past two months, including during a long trip to NYC. I’m not a speed reader, in fact I’m kind of a slow reader (I like to savor it!).
But reading more on the go is not just a phase for me.
Reading is important: it’s a hobby, a form of self-care, and makes us more educated and open-minded people. If I can’t be traveling, then country-, time-, and culture-hopping through reading is the next best thing. So today I want to share a bit about my own story with learning how to read on the go, and some of my top tips.
How I learned to read on the go
I was on reading overload after my English degree and during my Masters. Not to mention I moved abroad (only a few books of poetry and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban traveled across the Atlantic with me), and started traveling whenever I could. I got to a point where I couldn’t even remember the last book I read for fun. When I started longterm traveling after my Masters, I knew I wanted to get back into reading for fun.
But it wasn’t that easy. My tiny duffel bag was always half-full of books (pretty sure I got a permanent back ache dragging it across Europe!). If I took three books with me on a trip, I would inevitably finish them and then be bookless and continue to lug them about. But recently, I think I’ve cracked the code, and I want to share some of my top tips!
7 Tips for how to read more while you’re traveling
1. Buy a Kindle, it’s 100% worth the investment
This is my top tip for a reason. I was firmly in the anti-kindle camp for a long time, and still think I wouldn’t ever use kindle as it was in its original format. However the new Paperwhite Kindles are a game changer! They’re lightweight, small (fit in my coat pocket), but not too small. There are no other apps to distract, and the screen lighting technology means it doesn’t affect my sleep. The newest version is even waterproof!
I couldn’t recommend the Paperwhite Kindle more – I literally use mine every day. I was definitely dubious to start with but now I’m in love!
2. While you’re at it, buy a pretty Kindle cover
I’m obsessed with my watercolor map kindle cover from Etsy. First of all, it’s travel-themed, and of course I love perusing Etsy. It’s so much prettier than any of the covers from Amazon. It was also very affordable!
Investing in my Kindle with a cover not only keeps it safer, but it also makes me want to read from it that much more.
Here are some other pretty Kindle covers on my wish list:
3. Make a Goodreads account
I used to think of Goodreads as just another social media account I didn’t need clogging up my life. But I have to say that since getting a Goodreads account (which I’ve linked to my Kindle, so I can access it from there), I only wish I’d done it sooner! I think Goodreads is mostly useful for the “want to read” shelf feature. It’s also fun to track what books you’ve read, though.
The big secret to reading more on the go is always having a book you’ll love lined up for when you finish your current book. Anyone else familiar with that long lull after you finish a good book, and nothing else seems to live up? Well, now I just consult my Goodreads “want to read” shelf and I always have my next book ready.
4. Join a library for free Kindle books
I delayed getting a Kindle for a long time because I didn’t want to spend unnecesary money to buy ebooks just so I could use my Kindle. Little did I know that you can actually get thousands of books for FREE through your local library’s digital collection!
5. Try out Audiobooks during solo travel
When I was in Amsterdam, I downloaded the free trial of Audible and got the Diary of Anne Frank audiobook. Since I was solo traveling, I listened to the book as I wandered around the city, taking it all in, and managed to finish the book on my final day before my tour of the Anne Frank House. (And yeah, sobbed on the street #audiobooksideeffects).
It was such a memorable experience, and a great addition to solo traveling. Personally, I’m not an Audiobook all-the-time kind of person, but I think they can be really helpful and unique during travel.
6. Always take a book with you
Simple and sweet: never leave the house without a book! When I was in NYC, I read my Kindle on the subway – it made the time pass that much faster, and I didn’t have to bother with spotty internet and data on my phone as the subway whizzed underground.
Take your book or Kindle to the gym, to the doctors, take it everywhere.
7. Join an online book club
Book clubs are a great way to motivate you to read, be critical of what you’re reading, and expand your horizons. However when you’re traveling or living a super busy lifestyle, finding and staying in a book club is challenging!
That’s why online book clubs are great. I recently joined the Beyond Words Bloggers book club, which holds discussions on Facebook and through a blog linkup, and would definitely recommend it! I really enjoy their book recommendations (although I think I’ll still be on the library wait list for the February book for a few more weeks…grr).
Ready to read more?
There ya go! I hope these tips are helpful – since getting my Kindle, I have really reinvigorated my love for reading. The cute case is just a cherry on top, and makes it all feel more personal. I hope I’ve inspired at least one person to read a book this month – and if I haven’t… tell me what’s stopping you! I’d also love to know all the other avid readers’ tips.
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