Every year I commit to reading a certain number of books. Sometimes I break them out in genres, and sometimes I just read voraciously in a hammock for a nearly eight-hour stretch.
Hi, I'm Jessie (AKA Raggedy Auntie) and I'm obsessed with books! I have been a voracious reader since my big sister (Gretchen) handed me my first Amelia Bedelia, and I'm one of those people who never goes far without my Kindle. In fact, I'm listening to an Alice Hoffman book right now!
There are so many of us who get on Good Reads or another tracking site and say we will read 25 books each year, but then we get halfway through the year and realize we've been so busy that we haven't clocked over 5 of those books. Now we feel behind and wonder how we will meet our movement goals while we are also "playing catch up" to our book goals. I do that too!
BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO! WE CAN USE BOOKS TO MOTIVATE OUR MOVEMENT. And here's how...
Play the prediction game.
Agatha Christie, Charmain Zimmerman Brackett, M.C. Beaton... give me a fun and funny mystery any day! When the action heats up, I like to put my book down and go for a quick walk. I imagine the next steps for my main character - Poirot will walk into the back door of the kitchens and suddenly be bonked on the head! Agatha Raisin will, once again, make a scene of herself in a public area, but will she be right? Next thing I know I've walked for 15 minutes, raised my heart rate, and completely solved the mystery. Then I go back to my book and see if I'm right!
Take advantage of the break.
Thanks to e-readers and other apps - especially those associated with your local public library - you can take books with you almost everywhere. If you are a member of a gym that has a wait time between machines or you're waiting on a friend to join you at the pool, grab that book or open the app on your phone and read a chapter or two.
Listen while you move.
I don't know about you, but I really love having my hands free to do things. If I'm doing some speed cleaning or going for a walk, I will open up audible and listen to my book of the moment. If you haven't ventured into the world of audiobooks and you want to give it a shot, I've gotten you a FREE trial of Audible, one of my favorite listening apps:
Browse the stacks.
When was the last time you explored your local library? Pop in today and check out what has changed. Conveniently, many libraries have adult reading challenges in the summer, too - just like the Book It! program when we were kids!
Use what you've got!
There are plenty of ways to perch a book during a treadmill or stationary bike workout.
Take advantage of a Little Free Library.
If you get great foot traffic at work, home, church, or another area, consider installing a Little Free Library: https://littlefreelibrary.org
Got an abundance of books to donate? Looking for a new favorite? Use the same site above to map to your nearest LFL. It may be closer than you think!
Get into the action.
I saved the weirdest for last, y'all. And yes, I really do this.
If the person in my novel is walking, I will walk. If they are wading, I go wading. If the protagonist is running from zombies, I run from zombies. If they're fighting orcs, I learn some fighting skills from YouTube. (Y'all thought I fought trees, didn't you?) This is so much fun and I really want you to try it!
Go move. Go read. Your entire self will thank you for it. And if you give any of those a shot, take me on social media so I can rejoice with you!
BONUS TIP: Be like a vintage Sean Connery and read while planking or doing push ups. I wonder if he's reading a novelization of James Bond...
Jessie McKeon, DDiv, is a creative, innovative instructional designer and originator of the literacy project and podcast Raggedy Auntie Reads.
Through a virtual hands-on approach (you read that right!), Jessie can help learners of all ages and abilities discover balance and brilliance through mindfulness, hard work, and encouragement!
Find all things Jessie here: https://linktr.ee/shoelessjess