Vacations can be a great opportunity to do more reading. If you want to make sure you really crack the books you bring along, these are some steps you can take before you leave home and while you’re on your break.
Steps To Take Before Your Vacation
1. Read on a daily basis. You’re more likely to read on vacation if you’ve already made it a daily habit. Find whatever time works for you, like during your daily train ride to work or the hour before bed.
2. Surround yourself with people who read. Some surveys now find that one out of four Americans read less than one book a year. Join a book club or exchange paperbacks with your friends so you can talk about them.
3. Learn to read more effectively. It’s important to take care of your vision, but the most common obstacles to reading involve your skills. Take a class at a nearby university or train yourself to improve your speed and comprehension skills. There are lots of resources online and at your local library.
4. Get an e-book reader. Books weigh a lot so you may be reluctant to add all that weight to your luggage. E-book readers solve that issue by giving you one small device that provides a wide variety of titles.
5. Give yourself a reward. Reinforce your determination by treating yourself to something to look forward to when you get back home. Buy theater tickets and read the play while you’re on vacation. Pick up a book that’s soon to be released as a movie.
Steps To Take During Your Vacation
1. Set a specific goal. The more detailed your goals, the more likely you are to accomplish them. Commit to reading for at least a half hour a day or finishing 100 pages over a long weekend.
2. Bring earplugs. Planes and trains can get very noisy. Drown out the distractions with earplugs. You can also play a white noise recording on your MP3 player.
3. Make reading social. If you want to spend as much time as possible with your traveling companions, share your books. You can read to each other or pick the same titles and talk about them during dinner.
4. Select something light. Some paperbacks are just made for the beach. You may want to get something relaxing like a funny family saga or a mystery thriller that will keep you turning the pages.
5. Revisit old favorites. Bring along a work you already know and love. Even if you’re short on time, you can browse through classics and poetry and reflect on the passages you find most meaningful.
6. Use your destination as a theme. Pick material that relates to your vacation destination. If you’re going to Venice, get a copy of Henry James’ “The Wings of the Dove.” Try John Steinbeck for California or William Faulkner if you’re headed south.
7. Find a good spot. Check out your destination for a pleasant place to read. Old hotels often have libraries. Nearby parks may have a gazebo that will be empty during the usual office hours.
8. Schedule some free time. We often make our vacations stressful by trying to pack too much activity into too few days. Give yourself plenty of free time to enjoy a quieter pace and leisure reading so you’ll return to the office feeling mentally and physically refreshed.
Reading is a great habit that expands your mind and contributes to lifelong learning. Bring along some books on your next vacation and be sure to use them. It will make your time off from work more rewarding.