March 23, 2017

Tips to Encourage More Reading in Your Life

This post is sponsored by U.S. Cellular.  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Ambassador program.  As always, all opinions are my own.  There are affiliate links in this post.  If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links I may receive a small commission.  Thank you for supporting Townsend House!

As long as I can remember, reading has always been a passion of mine.  I remember many many nights hiding under my covers with a flashlight to read just one more chapter…and I still am like that today.  When I find a good novel, I am hard pressed to find anything more important to do other than read it. 

When I welcomed my first baby, I realized how important reading was to me, and wanted to foster that same love in my daughter.  So I read, and I read, and I read some more.  Not the typical fairy tales and children’s books, but rather I read what I wanted to read, but aloud to her – Pride and Prejudice, the Harry Potter Series, the Narnia series, AnimalVegetable Miracle, and every homesteading book I could get my hands on.  Surprisingly she would listen, or fall asleep while I read something her mind found incredibly boring (win-win in my book).

Once she got a little bigger though, I realized that the ease of nursing and reading, or reading to a toddler from a real book became a bit more difficult.



How excited was I when I bought my first nook.  Wow, what a difference.  To have the ability to read anything I wanted, and not worrying about trying to turn the pages with a baby that grabs.

Technology has been my saving grace in my continued reading with littles in the house.

One of the biggest reasons I am able to read more is because I always have a book with me.  I just turn on my phone, or I bring my e-reader with me.  Instead of scrolling through Facebook at the Dr.’s office, or in line, I can open up a new or current book to read.  It is helping me get to my 100 books read goal this year.  Having a reliable network like U.S. Cellular allows me to always be able to access these books.

To be sure I still have a large library of *real* books, but the ability to use the library to check out e-books whenever, the never-ending samples I am able to acquire from the nook library or on my kindle, it is a new world for readers!

Reading and technology isn’t an adult exclusive opportunity, there are so many options available for kids.

There are a number of books available on the public library system in our state for my kids, as well as a number of e-books available through different e-book libraries.  Apps such as Homer and Hooked on Phonics give fun games and videos to help kids learn to read and to cultivate a lifelong love of learning – which is my primary goal for my kids in homeschooling.

I spend a large amount of time reading on my iPhone at night.  Having little ones it seems like I am always lying in bed, in the dark, waiting for someone to fall asleep.  Unfortunately it always seems like the brightness, even when turned all the way down, is too harsh in my dark bedroom.  I have two tips to help with this.

The first is to turn the nightshift on – just draw your finger up from the bottom of your iPhone to bring up the little screen, and then click night shift on.  It takes the blue light away from the phone, which is a huge help with getting to sleep if you read on your phone or another electronic device before bed.

The other tip I have is to dim the screen even more.  In order to do this you need to go to settings – general – accessibility.  Then you are going to want to turn on the “zoom” setting.  Press “zoom” and then when you get to that screen make sure your “zoom region” says full screen zoom, and the “zoom filter” says low light.  Once you turn the zoom on at the top, your screen will literally zoom and you will not be able to see anything on the screen besides one large button.  Not to worry!  Just double click on the screen with THREE fingers, and then move the zoom dial all the way to the left, it will dim your screen, and it will be a normal size screen.  This little trick has allowed me to read while my children sleep beside me many many nights.


Do you use tech to keep up with your reading goals?  Do you use night shift or the zoom function on your phone?

27 comments:

  1. Reading is a HUGE part of the curriculum at my boys school. They spend something like 2 hours of their day reading :)

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  2. I hate to admit but I seldom read for pleasure anymore. I've always enjoyed researching topics that interest me but I'm not one to just sit and read a book.

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  3. Great tips. I actually just joined a book club to try to encourage myself to read more.

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  4. I am a terrible reader. Meaning, I rarely read for pleasure. But, its a goal of mine to do more of this in the summer. I am just too overbooked to squeeze it in. Boo.

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  5. Reading is a big part of my life but I have found that since becoming a blogger I am reading less in terms of books which is something I need to work on. I like that you are encouraging your kids to read x

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  6. Loving the iPhone tip, I had no idea about it. I'm a super avid reader as well but I only like informational or nonfiction eBooks.

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  7. I love reading, but up keeping my blog can be a full time endeavor when I'm at home. I really need to work at not being distracted.

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  8. Reading is like therapy for me. I think it's awesome to be able to read more. I try as much as I can to squeeze some reading in my day or week.

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  9. I had a Nook and loved it. When it finally died, I got the Amazon Fire and I love it as well. I do prefer hard copy books, but I feel my e-reader helps me actually read more

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  10. Great tips, I am actually just finishing a really good book and have more to read after that book is finished!

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  11. I used to be an avid reader! I used to read 2-3 books a month and now it's hard to get through one in a year! How crazy is that! I need to read more! I love it!

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  12. I've never really used the night shift feature. However, I am guilty of using my phone right before bed. And it sometimes affects my ability to get to sleep. I am going to try this tonight and see if it works for me!

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  13. I used to love to read. It was my ultimate relaxation. Somewhere over the years I stopped and now my ADD is so awful it is hard to get back into it!

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  14. Yes! I use the Google Books app on my phone. Not as awesome as an Amazon Paperwhite, but you can dim the screen, change text to white on a black background, and I have my books everywhere with me now :)

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  15. I love reading but when life gets totally busy, reading is the first thing I will let fall by the wayside.

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  16. I like to read its relaxing and helps me escape for a little for the daily life routine. I usually read on the train on my way to work and on my way back home I get a good one hour read each way. I don't really have time to read any other time books that is. I do read a lot of blogs :-)

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  17. Technology has had a great impact on the ability to be able to read anywhere! I have a lot of friends who have kindles, I have not ventured off into that yet, I still really love the feel of paper.

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  18. I surely need to be reading more and sadly I haven't done much to make it a priority.

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  19. It's funny, when I lived in NYC and Chicago I did a ton of reading. Taking the train or the bus gave me quality reading time. Now I'm a bit of slacker, which makes me sad because i have a pile of good books to read, both hardcover and digital.

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  20. I used to drive an hour each way to get to work and my favorite thing to do was to listen to music or catch up with my thoughts. I actually like it.

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  21. I love reading! I really do, but I often find that I don't feel like I have time. If I had more hours in a day I'd love to squeeze in an hour or two of reading.

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  22. I've been taking my Kindle with me when I work out on the elliptical in the garage. And, it's a really good distraction because 30 minutes of reading really makes the time pass fast. Then, I switch up the last 30 minutes to catch up on a Netflix TV show.

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  23. On of my big things was starting to listen to books while walking the dog. I can get through a couple of chapters a day! Right now I'm into podcasts too!

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  24. I'm really trying to get back into reading this year. The app/site Goodreads really helps me do it too :)

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  25. I think the best thing parents can do to raise readers is to read themselves. Little kids always do what parents do, in my opinion. I always read in bed with a book light before going to bed and all my kids start doing the same as soon as they learn to read. I just think it's so cute when the lights go out and they all whip their book lights out and start reading.

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  26. I love reading! I just love getting lost in an amazing book and all their characters.

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  27. I really like the screen dimming tip! I will put it in practice immediately. Thanks!

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