Hey cHEwY gum gums

We’re halfway through 2019, and kids have got their half-yearly reports, I thought it’d be good to look back and see how I’m going with my reading. If I was to grade my reading in 2018, it would have to be a D. I was determined to find more time to read (see my previous post here)

So for the first half of 2019, I’m giving myself a C grade. Yay, I’m improving haha.

How did I get my groove back for reading? Let’s break it down into some tips.

When you read often, it makes you want to read more.

I know right? Easy way to enforce a habit is to do it again and again! But honestly, I found out that the more I read, the more eager I was to read again. Something in my brain clicked, and now I have an urge to dive back into a story.

Game-ify your reading

I dusted off my GoodReads account (feel free to add me) leaving reviews and ratings for books. It’s a nice way to keep track of my reading list and support other authors and readers too. I usually like to play games in 10 minute chunks, so I would treat books in the same way. I’m reading 3 different books at the same time, chipping away when I can. The feeling of joy and achievement (joyevement) that I get from finishing a game and book are pretty much the same.

Reading before bedtime is the best

A lot has been said about the benefits for off-screen downtime. Now I am a believer. I think reading before bedtime has done wonders for my sleep. It also means that I can make reading a habit, just 10-15 minutes or so before I hit the pillow, that’s all it takes for me to doze off.

Feel better going through your ‘to-read’ pile

You may see your stack of books at home as a ‘to-read’ list, but I call mine a shame pile. Over the years, it has morphed into a library of untouched ‘someday’ books and it keeps on growing as I pick up books from festivals and other bookish events like my friend, Lisa Nicol’s book launch for Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth (shameless plug hehe)

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There is a sense of relief and achievement (relievement), going through some books that I’ve been saving for ages…like The Rig from Joe Ducie, who I met at Somerset back in 2013. Yikes! Great guy, though I had to Goggle his name to see what else he’s written. He’s still going strong.

Challenge yourself to read a genre you may not like…

Speaking of old books, I have a pair of fantasy books by my comedian friend, Sam Bowing. I got them signed and they were on my shame pile for 5 years. Fantasy is a genre that is not my cup of bubble tea, but I decided to delve into The Legacy of Lord Regret, the first in his Strange Threads duology, and well…I’m hooked. Yes, I’m imagining Sam’s dry witty voice in my head as I read, but it’s an entertaining bedside table read. Is it going to get me into fantasy…maybe 🙂

We’ll see if I keep my reading up, as Book Month/Term looms. But there are sooooooo many books to read, not just from my fellow author pals, but just in general. Don’t let me anywhere a bookstore, please haha.

How do you keep the passion up for reading? Do you chunk your reading time? Make it a game or habit? And how’s your shame pile going?

Thanks for reading 🙂








About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree


  1. Elizabeth Klein says:

    09/07/19 @ 11:17 am 

    Hi Oliver,
    It was interesting the way you began this article about grading your reading. I must admit, my own reading often falls a little flat, but because I’ve joined the Traralgon Library, I’ve been borrowing 3 books each time, forcing me to read at least a book a week. I guess I can up my own reading mark to maybe a C + now as a result.
    Remember when we had to rate kids in the +- range as well? Yes, I well remember my teaching days, especially report writing with a grimace.
    Nowadays, I tend to fit reading in after lunch. I’m already sitting eating on the couch and so I place the books beside me. I’ll read for about an hour or two, then get back to writing. If I’m reading a very good book, then I may linger a while longer. It’s a great way to break up my writing time too.

  2. Oliver says:

    09/07/19 @ 11:21 am 

    Thanks for reading ELiZabeth! Yeah, I had flashbacks to my own teaching days with reports hehe. Reading is a great break in between writing sessions 🙂

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