A reader’s guide to self-care

Whilst finding time to read is kind of vital for a bibliophile and avid reader, self-care is so important.

Remembering to take care of ourselves and taking the time to slow down from the fast pace of life is vital. I’ll be honest, most days I forget to do this and it’s evident because I’ll be feeling stressed and anxious – it can drain all your energy! With work, family and friends, finding time for our hobbies and personal interests can always be in the background. I’ve found that allocating time in the beginning of my day always helps, whether that is reading a chapter of a book, taking the time to stretch or do some exercise, or creating a lovely breakfast and enjoying my coffee while hanging out with Luna (she is my cat, featured on my Instagram…definitely not a plug).

I’d say I am more of an early bird. I go to bed around 10-11pm every night and I wake up anywhere from 7:30, however, I’ve recently been staying awake after my Fajr prayer, around or before 6am.

You must be wondering, what am I doing with all of this spare time? I must have so many hours to write that book? I must have read all of the books on my unread list?

I’m being honest here, I’ll be lucky to squeeze in the time or find motivation. Some months, I’ll read ten books, other times it will only be one. My phone is definitely a big distraction because of scrolling that continues for hours.

While I am happy with last year’s reading goals, my reading rate has slowed significantly since April, which I kind of fixed during the lockdown. I definitely believe it was related to the books I was picking as I didn’t have any new books to read. Intrigue is a key factor to motivate reading.

Tips to read faster

  • Take breaks between reading sessions. I read until I feel myself become tired, usually intervals of 30 mins to an hour.
  • Keep food or water nearby. I also enjoy a nice cup of warm peppermint tea or coffee to keep me warm as this Winter was terribly cold. My hands and feet are always cold!
  • Light your favourite candle to create a warm and soft atmosphere. My favourite scents include cinnamon, vanilla and, of course, coffee xx
  • Read early in the morning before you start your day OR before bed as it can often help you relax.
  • Pick up an old favourite or a shorter book as I find this motivates me to continue a reading momentum.

I used to read a book a week but its reformed to anywhere from two weeks to a month to complete a 500 page novel. I just need something that is going to capture me in its story and characters.

I’ve been re-reading my favourite reads of 2019 to throw myself back into it. The prospect of classics is confronting. The length and language takes much longer for me to read. Fantasy books are easier for me to scan the pages and understand.

I need more books to read as I’m running out of books to read. Although, after some online shopping, I was able to find some great books to add. My next reads are, The Gilded Wolves, The Silvered Serpents, All the Light We Cannot See.

Let me know how you motivate yourself to read classics as I find myself pick them up but disconcerted by the sheer size of these books.

A Wandering Reader

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