“I don’t have time to read.” – Said the busy SLP
This is one of my favorite messages that I get from people on Instagram. Girl, you’re talking to a stranger right now on the internet…I think you have time LOL.
In all seriousness though, it’s hard to make time for ourselves. I know that. It’s a struggle for me a lot of the time, too. We’re constantly stretching ourselves way too thin, self-care and relaxation often get put on the backburner.
But here’s the thing, you just have to do it! Only you can take care of your own mental health! If reading more is a goal of yours this year, AWESOME! Let me help! I went from reading 0 books a year to 20 books a year.
Here are some of my tips!
1. Make a Routine – I read before bed every night. I used to scroll on social media for more than an hour each night right before bed and I wondered why I couldn’t fall asleep. (Uhmm, duhh!) Now when I go to bed I set my alarm and then put my phone away. NO SOCIAL MEDIA ONCE MY BOOTY HITS THAT BED. Just reading until I fall asleep. Some nights that means I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to read one chapter, other nights I get so sucked in I refuse to look at the clock when I finally put the book down because I know I stayed up far too late reading. That’s okay though. I enjoy it and I always survive waking up the next morning.
2. Find Your Genre – Read a few different books and narrow down what really sucks you in. Once you find out what you like, start reading multiple books by the same author. Go on Amazon and type in your favorite book titles and then see what other books come up in the suggestions below. That’s how I find a lot of books, through Amazon’s algorithm.
3. Hit Up Your Local Library – I get almost all my physical books from the library. I think I only bought 1 book in a 2-year period. Talk to the people at the library about setting up an online account. At my library, you can log into your account and reserve books ahead of time. When you’re about to finish a book you can hop onto your account, reserve a new book, and they will pull it aside and have it ready for you when you drop off the one you finish. You can be in and out in a minute.
4. Listen to Audio Versions of Books – There are a bunch of different options for this. Your library may offer books on CDs that you can listen to in your car. You can use the Libby/Overdrive app to access free audiobooks through your local library. Audible and Audiobooks often have free trials, just remember to cancel them if you don’t want to continue using them. The Kindle Unlimited service has some books that allow you to switch seamlessly between audio and digital versions of the book. You can read on your phone and then hit “listen” when you jump in your car.
5. Download the Goodreads App – Seriously, do it ASAP! It’s a free app that keeps track of all the books you’ve read, the books you want to read, let’s you rate books, see other people’s ratings, and connect with your friends to see what they’ve read and what they rated each book. It’s a MUST for avid readers. (If you want to add me on Goodreads – my username is under firstname.lastname@example.org).
6. Download the Kindle App on Your iPad or Phone – Did you know you don’t need to actually buy an expensive Kindle to use their services? You can download the app and have access to all Kindle books! I actually read one or two books on my phone, which I thought I wouldn’t be able to do, but I didn’t mind it at all! The text is a perfect size, just like a normal printed book. If you opt for no-rush shipping on Amazon, you usually have the option to earn $1 toward a digital product (aka – Kindle book!).
What do I like to read?
Thriller, suspense, mystery, drama, and personal development
My Top Recommendations for Addicting Fiction
These Are All My 5/5 Star Book Recommendations. To see ALL my book ratings, add me on the Goodreads app. I keep that current. There are so many great 4/5 star books that I share on that app!
1. “The Last Mrs. Parrish” – You may think the book starts a little slow, but hang in there. It is AMAZING! Mind-blowing! Everyone that I have suggested it to was OBSESSED!
2. “The Woman in the Window” – I absolutely loved the main character in this novel. She was a total mess, but I adored her. I couldn’t put this book down. It’s supposed to be remade into a movie in Spring 2020.
3. “Verity” – WOW! I finished this book in less than 24 hours! It was so addicting! It deserved all the hype it got.
4. “In a Dark, Dark Wood” – I blew through this one, too! It had me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing! I didn’t know who did what or why. It was great to see how it all unfolded. The author didn’t leave any loose ends.
5. “Gone Girl” – This one was FULL of twists and turns! I couldn’t believe how the plot unraveled! It was a bit long but worth every minute spent reading. It was kind of genius! This one is also a movie!
6. “The Last Time I Saw You” – Another one that will keep you guessing and trying to figure out what the heck is going on!
7. “The Turn of the Key” – This one is eerily good! I kept accusing everyone under the sun in this novel and was floored by the ending!
8. “Watching You” – This was very similar to “The Woman in the Window”. Things will unfold and you’ll be racing to the last page to see how it ends!
9. “Someone We Know” – This one hooks you from page ONE! That’s rare! The intensity remains right up until the last page!
10. “The Great Alone” – This one surprised me. I read it because it got incredible reviews, but it wasn’t exactly my preferred genre, more drama than suspense or mystery. Once I got through the first few chapters, I was hooked! The writing is excellent and the storyline is captivating. I now want to visit Alaska lol.
11. “It Ends with Us” – This one evokes every emotion in you. You fall in love with the characters, then hate them, get frustrated with them, and you end up fully invested in these made-up lives…THAT’S how good the writing and plot are!
12. “Big Little Lies” – You fall for the characters and feel like you’re actually part of their lives. You will be on the edge of your seat as you get a peek behind the curtain to see each family’s secrets! It’s an HBO show now and has tons of big stars. It was really good!
13. “What Alice Forgot” – I felt personally attacked with this novel lol. It highlights how we kind of lose ourselves as we become so busy and self-absorbed in our lives, we lose track of what’s really important. This one will have you reevaluating everything!
My Top Recommendations for Self-Development Books
1. “Rising Strong” – 4.5/5 – This book was fabulous! It was one that has stayed with me and really reshaped the way that I think about a lot of things. Rather than getting frustrated with some people, I now think to myself, “Maybe they’re doing the best they can.” I have Brene Brown to thank for a lot of mindset shifts.
2. “Atomic Habits” – 4/5 Stars – This book shows how little changes can make huge differences!
3. “The Power of Habit” – 4/5 Stars – I loved all of the side stories in this one. It really helped paint a picture and drive ideas home. It talks about habits more on a bigger-picture scale.
4. “Get Rich, Lucky B*tch” – 4/5 Stars – I loved this book! It’s what introduced me to manifesting, the Law of Attraction, and changing your mindset.
5. “The Art of Having it All” – 4/5 Stars – Another great book on the Law of Attraction. The author drives home the idea that women don’t need to sacrifice what they want because that’s what society says. You could have it all, exactly the way you want it.
6. “The Secret” – 4/5 Stars – This is pretty much the total guide to the Law of Attraction and manifesting. It’s a must-read for people who want to create a total mindset shift within themselves.
7. “Girl, Wash Your Face” – 4/5 Stars – This was a no-nonsense book that really makes you take a look at your life and stop making excuses.
8. “Mindset” – 4/5 – This is a must-read for all educators! It lays out tons of research about mindset, brain development, fixed mindset, and growth mindset.
9. “The Beautiful Brain” – 4/5 – This is a free Audible original about CTE in soccer.
There are more personal development books listed on my Goodreads profile.