I’m certainly no literati, but I read a good amount and I’m here to offer some tips on being a better bookworm. (This, of course, excludes the obvious suggestion to open a paperback and scan your eyes across each page until the story’s over).
Put a laptop/tablet/iPhone embargo on your bed // I refuse to spoil my queen-size sanctuary with a MacBook and I purposely charge my cell phone on the other side of the room each night. I need that shit far from my clutches so I don’t mindlessly cruise social media channels (or subject myself to pre-slumber stress meltdowns via work emails.) Hell, I don’t even have a TV. Bottom line is my bed is for sleeping, reading, and well.. yeah. All about the zen, baby. If I didn’t force myself to unplug – PHYSICALLY distancing myself from all handheld technology – I’d go bananas. Try and set some similar boundaries. That way, you’ll reach for the book on your nightstand and not that evil portable stalking device.
Get a library card // Friends poke fun and call me a “gypsy” for enjoying the library (although this may also pertain to my transient existence that includes activities like selling incense in Las Vegas). I digress. I seriously love that holy House of Paper. Why the hell did I spend 20 years draining my bank account at Barnes & Noble – only to lend those purchases to friends and lose them forever down the black hole of borrowed books – when I could’ve been reading at the library?! For free?! Checking out books also encourages you to hurry. You can’t renew that shit forever. Maybe this will light a fire under your ass to crack that binding before you rack up late fees because let’s be honest, there’s no jankier debt than owing to the PUBLIC LIBRARY. Have some pride.
Be a curious person who wants to learn things // Reading a little bit more often expands your brain because, science. I recently crushed a JFK/RFK biography and schooled myself up and down on the Cold War. (Weird knowing that the Bay of Pigs wasn’t actually a bunch of swines floating belly-up in a body of water.) Right now I’m working my way through some historical fiction based on comic books, but I’ve learned a lot about WWII in the process. It’s fun knowing stuff. And even if you don’t technically care about knowing anything, reading helps you better participate in smart adult conversation beyond the vapid topics of Kimye and/or Flappy Bird. (Fuck if I know what you kids talk about these days.)
If all else fails, seek better sleep // Suffering from bouts of insomnia lately? TV may mellow you out before bed, but it’s not gonna summon the Sandman quite like flexing your brain muscles with a God-awful book. Pick up a piece of literature, particularly one that’s mind-numbing in its stupidity – say, The Unauthorized Biography of Kimye – and watch what happens live, because 15 minutes with your nose buried in that thing and I GUARANTEE you’ll be begging for some shut-eye, if for no other reason than to make the leather jogging pants and butt selfies stop. Hey, if you’re not gonna enjoy reading, you may as well use it to yawn your way into oblivion.