Back in October 2017, I set myself a challenge to read for an hour every day. I had so many books at home that I intended to read, but I never got round to doing much reading. I’d been feeling the urge to do this challenge for a while, as I really liked the idea of spending a leisurely hour each day reading a book. I wanted to get through several books that I had owned for a long time and not read yet, as well as some others that I had recently purchased and was keen to read.
I also hoped that my reading speed might increase, and that I might get better at concentrating when I read. Often, I find that I get distracted, or read the same passage again and again.
I would set a timer for an hour each day, and I could either read for a solid hour, or break it up into multiple shorter slots. I thought this would be a really enjoyable challenge, and I was right! Here are the notes I wrote at the end of the month:
I have really loved this reading challenge. It’s been so much fun, and satisfying to get through books I’ve been meaning to read. This month I finished a book I had already started, read 4 more complete books, and got halfway through another.
On a couple of days, I was busy all day and didn’t read. I felt too tired to read in the evenings before bed. However, I caught up by doing 2 hours the following day.
I don’t know if my reading speed and concentration have improved, but I have certainly got into and enjoyed the books I read. When I know that I am in undisturbed and unquestionable reading time, I have tended to just get on and read, and been less prone to distractions.
I definitely plan to keep reading, but I will lower it to half an hour a day. Most days this month I split my reading time into roughly two half hour slots anyway, so I think that will work well. On some days I did the whole hour in one sitting, and it felt like a long stretch of reading. I got a bit physically uncomfortable from sitting still, but mentally I found it fine. I would be happy to keep reading for an hour every day, but I feel that it would be better to leave more time for other activities too. Of course, I can read more if I want to, especially if I’m on a train journey, or in other situations where I have a lot of time to read.
What’s happened since?
I was proud of how I did in this challenge. It’s amazing how many books you can get through in a month if you put in regular reading time! After finishing this challenge, I kept reading for half an hour each day for a while. But then I started to get busier and got behind with my reading. Gradually, I stopped reading as much. Since then I have had phases where I have done a lot of reading, and phases where I have done hardly any reading at all.
At the moment, I am not doing much reading, but I really want to get back into it. I could easily find the time to read, but I tend to get easily distracted by things such as social media and smartphone games. It would be better to cut down on these things and use that time to read instead.
Also, I keep buying books, at a faster rate than I read them! I like to look in charity shops and pick up books by my favourite authors for a low price. My bookshelves are getting very full, and I even have a pile of books on the floor because they don’t fit on my shelf! I usually give books away when I have finished reading them unless I think I would read them again. So by reading more, I will be able to clear some space!
I am aiming to do another ‘hour a day’ reading challenge soon. In fact, I was thinking of doing it in March but decided on other things. (I will be writing a post about my March challenges very soon!) But a reading challenge is definitely on my list for the near future.
Related post: My November Challenge – Read for an Hour Every Day