9 ways HK students can read more in 2017

Karly Cox |

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If your #TBR pile is getting out of control, read on ...

If you are a fan of this page, it’s more than possible that one of your new year’s resolutions is read more. But it’s not easy to find time for leisure reading when your day is already so packed with school, extra-curricular activities, tutorials, homework, catching up on your social media ... But it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to help you get through your 2017 #tbr pile.

1. Don’t try to get through a chapter once you’re in bed on a school night. While reading in bed is definitely better for you than scrolling through your Insta feed with the light off (you know you’re going to be up til 2am), you’re tired enough by bedtime that reading will just make you fall asleep. There’s also the possibility you’ll get too wired by words to sleep. Instead, set aside 30 minutes for reading after your homework, preferably in a comfy chair. Enjoy the indulgence.

2. Step away from your phone. Yes, those notification beeps can feel like oxygen, but they’re not! Be strong! Put your phone in another room for an hour while you lose yourself between the pages.

3. When you have a free day in your sights – weekend, public holiday – schedule some time to read. Whether that’s first thing in the morning with breakfast, after yum cha with your grandparents, or before dinner. Pick an hour and stick to it.

4. If a book doesn’t grab you, give up. Give it a chance – say 25-50 pages, depending on the books length – but if it hasn’t grabbed you in that time, move along and feel no guilt. It’s the author’s responsibility to reel you in, not yours to finish something you don’t like. Don’t be left feeling bitter about time wasted on a book you really, really don’t enjoy.

5. When you’re tackling a big book, set aside a couple of hours to get into it. Finally tackling that Empress Dowager Cixi biography? Great. Get off to a good start and don’t try to read in short spurts until you’re hooked.

6. Don’t be afraid of genres. Sure, we all want to say we just polished off all the Dickens books or Cao Yu’s scripts, but let’s be honest: the latest from Johns Green or Grisham areprobably a lot more fun to read (and will take less time, too). Don’t feel guilty about enjoying thrillers or crime novels or sci fi or romance or horror or westerns or graphic novels or – well, anything.

7. Keep a record of what you read. You can do it via Goodreads, or set up an IG account just for your #bookstagrams, or keep your own online log or – in the spirit of bujos – get a nice journal and write down all the titles you’ve finished. It’s a weirdly effective incentive.

8. Speaking of Goodreads, join an online reading challenge. If you’re aiming for more specific goals sign up on Goodreads or check out sites like popsugar.com for new ways to challenge yourself.

9. Try audiobooks. Your cellphone is capable of more than just games and Snapping. If you can’t read on a bus because it makes you sick, try listening to a story instead. It’s bizarrely soothing, so a great thing to do before or after a stressful day at school.