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8 Expert Tips for Becoming a More Regular, Active Reader

expert tips from the founder of virtual book club app Fable on how to read more books and become a more regular reader

After almost a year of lockdown and turning to binge television shows and podcast seasons, it is high time for the greatest escape of all – reading. Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum sat down with Padma Warrior, Founder and CEO of the new virtual book club app Fable, who shares her 8 expert tips for how to start reading more, becoming a regular, actively engaged reader.

how can you become a more dedicated reader?

We all could use a break from the never-ending doom-cycle of the news. It seems our collective ability to binge television shows and podcast seasons was built for this awful period of time – we know exactly how to distract ourselves, for however many days it takes.

And that’s great. But with the surfeit of excellent visual and audio content available to us, many people have forgotten to make time for the greatest escape of them all – reading.

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We understand. After a hard day, it may feel easier to press the play button than to crack the spine of a novel you haven’t touched in months. Once you’ve gotten out of the habit of reading, it can feel impossible to set aside that kind of time.

expert tips from the founder of virtual book club app Fable on how to read more books and become a more regular reader

But we believe that there is nothing more important than building a regular reading practice, and that’s why we brought in an expert to help us show you how. We spoke with Padmasree Warrior, who is the CEO and founder of Fable – the virtual book club app that is making it easier for people everywhere to become habitual readers.  We asked Warrior about the effect of COVID-19 on people’s reading habits.

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She was optimistic. “The pandemic gave us the time to stay home and read a book. On average people read more in 2020,” she said. That sounds like great news to us, but what about if you weren’t one of those people? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Here are eight tips for becoming a better, more active, and above all, more regular reader. We hope you enjoy reading, and then enjoy reading one of the books on your list.

tips for better reader

Expert tips on becoming an active reader from the founder of the Fable app. Courtesy Photo.

8 expert tips for becoming a more regular, active reader

1. set micro-goals

Warrior gave us some excellent and actionable suggestions about how to begin establishing your routine. “If you are trying to get back into the habit of reading, start small and set yourself a goal of reading 15 minutes every day consistently for a week, then keep up the streak for two weeks,” she said.

She explained that the goal is to increase the practice over time, like you would with an exercise routine. When you read fifteen minutes a day, you’ll finish a book a month. Then see if you can increase to thirty minutes a day – two books a month. Pace yourself, don’t push yourself, and see how easy the habit becomes.

virtual book club app Fable shares her 8 expert tips for how to start reading more, becoming a regular, active reader.

2. read with friends

Everything is easier when you do it with the people you love – which is part of what has made this past year so difficult. Maybe reading was easier before we stopped being able to meet with our local book clubs. But all hope is not lost.

Fable enables you to seamlessly create and join virtual book clubs on the app. You can read together, hold discussions, and share reactions as you go. Invite your friends, and you’ll have a brand-new way of connecting, even while you’re socially-distanced. And you’ll feel more motivated to keep up with your daily reading.

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3. balance hard books with easier ones

Give yourself a break. If you’re starting a new reading practice, you don’t have to challenge yourself all the time. While it’s certainly great to stretch outside of your comfort zone, you should also allow yourself the pleasure of escapist reading. If there’s a kind of book that you find is the easiest to lose yourself in, that is a great place to start. We love romance, fantasy, young adult – you name it. There’s no such thing as “guilty pleasure” reading. If a book brings you joy, then it has immense value.

How to achieve the goal of becoming a more regular reader.

4. read multiple books at once

Warrior says she will often be in the middle of several books at one time. “Something fun, something deep, an art book, and a poetry collection.” We think having that kind of variety is a great idea. You can toggle back and forth, picking up whatever you’re in the mood for when you do your fifteen minutes of reading. This is a beautiful way of dipping your toe into the pool of different genres, without forcing anything too strenuous.

5. don’t get stuck

With that being said – don’t get stuck in the middle of a book you don’t like. “Move on,” Warrior advised us, when we asked what to do about a book that just doesn’t grab you. There’s no shame in finding something else to read. Not every book will be for you, and that’s okay.  The goal is to avoid anything that makes you not want to do your daily reading.

6. read with intention

It’s one thing to read passively, distractedly, and entirely another to read with intention. Taking notes, highlighting passages you like – that’s the way you really absorb what you’re reading.

This is also a big benefit of reading in community, especially with an app like Fable.

“You tend to think more actively about what you have read,” Warrior said, describing to us the way Fable lets you share your annotations with other readers. The app’s discussion prompts make the experience all the more fulfilling.

Reading with intention will help the experience to enrich your life, and you’ll find you want to do it more and more.

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7. remember the benefits of reading

As Fable tells us, studies show that there are many benefits to reading. A regular practice can even rewire your brain for increased intelligence and empathy. There’s nothing quite like the experience of journeying in someone else’s imaginary shoes, and you’ll be able to see the changes in how you interact with the world.

Daily reading can also help to alleviate anxiety – which is something we could definitely all use right now. Taking an intentional break from reality each day will work wonders on every area of your life.

8. start with a great book, like one of these

Do you feel ready to dive back in? Yay! Of course, we want to make sure you start off with a great book, so we asked Warrior for her recommendations.  She suggested The Ministry For the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, and Circe by Madison Miller.

 

One is a story about climate change, set in the not-too-distant future, and the other is a modern rendition of the old tale – you won’t be able to put either one down.

virtual book club app Fable shares her 8 expert tips for how to start reading more, becoming a regular, active reader

The new virtual book club app, Fable. Courtesy Photo.

 

The 8 best tips for becoming a better more active reader

We hope these tips for how to become a better reader are helpful to you, and that you enjoy the virtual book clubs on the Fable app. We’ll see you there soon.

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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