I read this article about reading in the morning and it sparked a memory for me from middle school. For almost all of 8th grade, my dad drove me to school each morning. I wasn’t a particular fan of my classmates on the bus that year, and my mom liked that it got my dad out the door a little earlier for work. But I still usually waited a good 10 minutes from when I was ready to go to when my dad was ready to go. I sat in our living room that had two full bookcases while I waited. I was a voracious reader at that age, and since my backpack was zipped and ready, I chose a book of my mother’s from the shelves — Sunday Nights at Seven: The Jack Benny Story, by Jack Benny and his daughter Joan.
My family listened to A LOT of “old-time radio” growing up, and Jack Benny was a particular favorite. We also watched a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000, so my sense of humor was somewhat advanced and old-fashioned for a tween. It wasn’t until college that more of my peers found me funny because of my references.
Anyway, I ended up reading this Jack Benny autobiography over the course of a few months, just from reading a few paragraphs every morning while waiting for my dad to take me to school. I got a simple joy from that. Normally I read books very fast at that age, whipping through heavy tomes of the esteemed classics in a week or less. It was novel to me that this book took so much longer and was read in a different manner.
Recently I did something similar with my reading habits. Last year I joined the Shakespeare Project 2020 on Facebook, with the goal to read all of the Bard’s works in 2020. Did I complete the challenge? I did not. I ended up participating for half the year before life got too crazy. However, I did develop a habit of waking up just a little earlier, getting my morning beverage, and reading an act of the current Shakespeare play every morning before beginning my day. I looked forward to my little ritual.
I downloaded the Shakespeare app with all the plays and a glossary integrated into it to explain the more antiquated terms. I didn’t have to jostle myself too much out of my reading to learn the context of a word or phrase, and I could keep going.
The Shakespeare App for Apple and Android
Shakespeare Pro Shakespeare Shakespeare for Android Shakespeare for Mac Shakespeare Pro includes all the features of…
I’ve shifted my morning reading to articles from magazines that I save but don’t always get to. Or getting another few pages (or just paragraphs) done in whatever book I’m currently reading. Or keeping one book just for the mornings so I have something to get up and look forward to.
People have varying opinions about reading off your smartphone, but for me, I’m a HUGE fan. It did take me a while to appreciate the convenience of having your latest book (or books) at the ready for whenever you have a few spare minutes, but I read so many books this way now. I’ve moved the apps on my phone so that when I unlock it I don’t see social media first. I see my reading apps first. My social media apps are hidden in a folder so instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and getting irritated with it (something that happens so much these days) I can instead open my Kindle app and get a few pages read of whatever book I’m reading and feel a little more productive.
Give yourself the pleasure of a few minutes in the morning for reading. Every little bit will help you tackle your reading goals, no matter how big they are.