It was the last book I read, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, that brought this new habit about. I normally read before bed but for the last year or two, I (and particularly my eyes) have been so exhausted at the end of a day that I only ever managed to get through a few pages before falling asleep. It was taking me absolutely forever to get through a book and I never really got stuck in.

I had the time to get properly absorbed in the book towards the end of Christmas and was dying to know what was going to happen, so I started picking it up for half an hour every morning and it has since become something of a habit. I make sure my book is by my bed before I go to sleep and I try to make it the first thing I pick up in the morning. Sometimes I read for a full half hour, sometimes it’s just a couple of minutes before I feel the need to get up and start the day, but I absolutely love that it means I don’t pick up my phone first thing. I love that my eyes are rested after a night’s sleep and don’t feel strained, and I really cherish that moment of calm with a cup of tea and my book before a busy work day. On the days where I do have an early meeting, I have even started setting my alarm that little bit earlier so I have time to squeeze in a few pages! I’ll let you know how long that lasts…

Over the last few years – whilst getting my business off the ground – I was mainly reading business or “self-discovery” books which was probably my first mistake. The last thing I wanted to do before going to bed was engage my mind in avoiding the many pitfalls that can sink a budding business or how to streamline my life and business. My mind is already pretty much permanently thinking about work, optimising processes and ensuring my clients are all happy; I really don’t need more of that last thing at night, never mind first thing in the morning.

I have decided that if I want to read a business book, I can block out time in my work day. I’m now trying to only read fiction in my free time and ensure that I am reading to relax. I don’t worry about my mind being 100% engaged or about having a concrete learning from the book, and I think this has really helped. So, if you’re struggling to get stuck into your books or haven’t been reading as much as you’d like to, it might be worth trying to read something purely fictional and get lost in the story rather than the learning.

For those interested, here’s what’s currently on my bedside table:

The last book I read: I’m a little late (a little over 10 years late) to join the party on this one but the last book I read was Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which was a really good read. It is a novel about a journalist who teams up with a young hacker on a private investigation of a woman’s disappearance and I honestly couldn’t put it down. I’m not normally into thrillers (and I think this would qualify as a thriller) but this is the book that got me into reading first thing in the morning at the beginning of the year. I was just so impatient to know what Mikael and Lisbeth were going to find out.

What I’m currently reading: I am currently reading Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. Allan (the hundred-year-old man) escapes from the window of his room in an elderly home in his slippers and sets out on an adventure.  It’s loopy, unexpected and I love putting myself in the shoes of the author and wondering what lines he drew between the strange sequence of events. I wouldn’t say it’s a page turner and I’m kind of struggling with the parallel story that takes you back through the protagonist’s life but I think I haven’t got to the best bits yet. I’ll keep you posted. :)

And here are the two books I have lined up next:

My next read is Michelle Obama’s most recent book, Becoming. I picked this up on someone else’s coffee table over Christmas and started flicking through. There was a lull in energy between meals and I read the first chapter and really enjoyed it. It’s not the kind of book I would normally be drawn to but I’ve heard good things and the first chapter drew me in, which is always a good sign.

I feel like everyone I talk to has recently read or is currently reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and getting through it in a matter of days. I hear it’s an easy read and feels familiar, which is just what I’m looking for these days, especially first thing in the morning. It’s also exciting to think that this is Honeyman’s debut novel and that she has just been discovered through a writing competition.

Books I have recently been recommended include: This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay, Into The Water by Paula Hawkins, The Break by Marian Keyes and Milkman by Anna Burns, which I would all add to my Goodreads App if I didn’t have a 16GB phone with space for about 5 apps.

Yes, I know, I really need to buy a new phone this year.

I would absolutely love to know what you’re reading, what books you’ve loved, what’s on your reading list, or even how and when you make time to read. Any recommendations or tips are very welcome!

Thanks for stopping by for a read. See you back here soon. xS

Photos by Nicole Hertel