Life Hacks: Make Reading More Fun

life hacksDo you ever find yourself on an organizing spree?

My confession:

I rarely organize. I straighten and I clean when necessary. When piles in my study are taller than I am, or when I can no longer navigate the route to the love seat only three feet away, I know it’s time to clean and clear and I do it reluctantly. But I rarely take the necessary time to change things so cleaning and clearing will be easier or even unnecessary.

I cleaned my study this week, and this time I was in the mood to tear it apart and start again. I’m still working on it. The biggest change was moving a bookshelf into my study closet and emptying the many boxes of books secreted throughout the house so that I can see them and also free up a hall closet for small appliances.

There are a lot of books, and I’m considering ways to reduce them. We’ll see what I come up with in the new year. I’m thinking there will be a whole lot of post office trips in my future.

And in my file cabinet…

In the meantime I also cleared out my file cabinet to make room for some new file folders. I found a section of our local paper, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, that appears once a year titled Life Hacks. I can never make myself get rid of this. There are so many great tips. For instance the page entitled “Day at the Beach” recommends we use fitted sheets instead of blankets on the sand, anchored on the corners to make a little pen to keep out sand. And did you know that sprinkling your feet with baby powder dries the wet sand on them and makes it easy to brush off?

Neither did I.

I was pleased to see there was a page on reading. So I thought I’d paraphrase those for you today. How many of these do you already do? How many seem counter intuitive?

Presenting Life Hacks for Reading:

  • Speed up your reading by using a finger or different pointer to scan lines. Your brain then has to work harder to keep up. Eventually you’ll read faster and finish sooner.
  • Always turn off your phone or other devices to keep distractions at a minimum as you read.
  • If you read in bed to help yourself fall asleep, don’t read in bed at other times or you’ll be napping more than you want. Choose a comfy armchair or couch and be sure the light is good.
  • Keep a record of everything you read on your computer or in a journal. I know that sometimes I’m part of the way through a book before I realize I’ve already read it. A quick check can help with that. The app Goodreads lets you keep a book list. I did this for a year and it was fun, but I’m thinking now that a journal would be easier. One I keep beside my bed.
  • Forget all those lectures on not writing in your book and make a point of doing just that. Your notes, either on your eBooks or underlines/highlights in a print book, will bring back great memories the next time you pick it up.
  • Why are you plodding through that book? Reading something you’re not enjoying? Life is short. Don’t waste your time. I will add that sometimes pushing on just a bit will uncover a story you love. So don’t quit too soon, and, of course, never quit reading one of mine.
  • Have you heard of Project Gutenberg or Classics in the public domain (this means the author is no longer receiving royalties) are free in both places. Librivox even shares public domain books on audio read by volunteers. Check these out if you’re in the mood to read or listen to War and Peace.
  • And on the subject of audio books? Not in the mood to read or for some reason you can’t? Don’t forget to listen to your favorite authors. I listen to audio books when I walk, sew or travel. I wouldn’t be without them. And most of my recent books are available in audio now, along with your other favorite authors.

So what do you think? Have any other reading hacks you want to share? Or life hacks in general? We all need suggestions on making life that much easier.



  1. Cathy Norton on November 14, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I had read the Shenandoah Album series as they came out originally. Recently I started listening to Wedding Ring on Hoopla through my library. As I finished that one and each after it Hoopla sent me a message asking if I wanted the next one. I enjoyed that feature so I didn’t have to try to remember which one came next. It is very helpful when reading a series that I am not familiar with. Saves time from having to look up which one is next.

  2. Kim B. on November 14, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I’ve been keeping a journal of books read/audio books listened to in the drawer next to my bed since 2001. Every January 1st, I add the books I’ve read in past year to an Excel worksheet on my computer. This helps me easily keep track as to whether I’ve read something or not, I just sort by author’s name or title for a quick check!

    • Emilie Richards on November 14, 2019 at 8:10 pm

      How great to have that at your fingertips, Kim.

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