neatly organised bookshelf with lots of brightly coloured book spines

It’s 2019 and our homes are brimming with TVs, tablets, consoles and phones.

And that's exactly why so many of us are opting to choose to read more as part of our new year’s resolutions. After all, there are so many benefits to spending less time in front of a screen:

  • Better sleep – spending too much time on our phones can affect our sleep patterns. By using screens in the evening, we’re essentially telling our bodies that it’s still daytime and that we should be awake. So, it’s no surprise that by using them less – especially before bed – is going to help us get more, better-quality sleep.
  • Improved attention span – frequently flicking through social media and checking messages can shorten your attention span. This can then make it difficult when it comes to doing things that need a lot of concentration. By spending less time on your phone and more time reading, you can help to build up your ability to focus.
  • Feel more relaxed – spending lots of time at a screen can make us more susceptible to feelings of anxiety. We all need some quiet time away from the world to be able to process our thoughts. So, switching off your phone and picking up a good book is the perfect way to do this.
  • Feel more in control – social media is great for seeing what everyone’s up to. But sometimes it can be easy to just keep scrolling without really thinking. By switching off your gadgets, you are much more likely to choose what you’re doing, which will give you that sense of control back again.

And reading more isn’t just about spending less time away from a screen. It’s about putting some time aside to do something for yourself. Get some me-time and enjoy all the fantastic books that are out there. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s fact or fiction, there truly is something out there for everyone!

Not sure where to start?

If you’re not really a reader, then working out where to start can be tricky. But there are lots of ways you can get help and advice to make sure you stick to your new year’s resolution of reading more.

  • Join a book club – gone are the days of sitting around having intense discussions about characters and symbolism (unless you want to do this of course!). But today’s book clubs are actually much more varied so there are lots of types you can choose from. Many book clubs are social events based in bars and they’re a great opportunity to meet new people just as much as they are places to get good ideas for your reading list!
  • Ask a friend – if you have a friend who simply loves to read, they will be a great person to go for advice. Ask them what their favourite books are and tell them the sorts of things you think you’d like to read and if they have any suggestions.
  • Browse the shops – book shops are filled with people who love and know books. Pop into your local store and you’ll find tables stacked with bestsellers and classics. And if that doesn’t take your fancy, you can take some time browsing the sections and asking for advice to help you narrow down your decision.
  • Ask the internet – there are lots of online resources to help you find the right book. So, if you don’t fancy heading out the house, open up the laptop and get Googling!

Give your new books a home

Books aren’t just lovely to read, they look really nice too. Plus, once you’ve started reading regularly, you can show off your extensive new library to all your friends – as well as feel proud for getting through so many books!

And if the paperbacks are already starting to stack up, you’ll want to make sure you have somewhere to store them all.

We’ve picked out 6 of our favourite bookshelves to help you give your books a stylish home – in your home!

a frame white and bamboo four tier shelf with photo frames and ornaments on with a white bookcase to the right

Our classic White 3 Tier Bookcase is perfect for keeping hold of all your new reads. And as your collection grows, you can run more shelves alongside each other. Doing this looks great along the hallway or you can even section off your own cosy reading corner by using your shelves as a partition.

The 4 Tier A-Frame Ladder Bookshelf is a stylish choice and particularly good if you’re planning on reading a whole range of books. Neatly arrange the short stories at the top and stack up the chunky encyclopaedias at the bottom!

reclaimed wood with prism hairpin shelf brackets and on the right is a five tier black bookcase

Planning on doing lots of reading? Start out the year how you mean to go on with this gorgeous Black 5 Tier Bookcase. It’s the perfect backdrop for all your beautiful new books and there’s even room for a few extras such as small plants and photo frames!

If you’re looking for something that’s a little more subtle, how about these Hairpin Prism Shelf Brackets? They’re perfect for helping you bring a bespoke look to your home as well as give your favourite novels a home. And if you’re feeling really creative, why not make a book shelf out of books!

reclaimed wood sitting in suspended brackets and a five tier white and bamboo shelf

These White and Bamboo 5 Tier Bookcases are stylish and slimline making them ideal for smaller spaces. The open sides also make them softer which is perfect for a more subtle finish.

Got an idea in mind? These Suspended Metal Shelf Brackets are perfect for creating a unique look that’s also easy to achieve. And you don’t just have to save them for your favourite fiction either. You can use them to keep hold of any recipe folders or reference books – perfect!

How to make sure you stick to your new year’s resolution

If you’ve tried reading before but it hasn’t been for you, it might be that you need a little help to make sure you stay on track.

Try following these simple tricks to make sure you are still reading come next January!

  • Don't aim to read too much at once - new year’s resolutions can often start out sounding impressive, but that’s usually because they’re actually impossible for most people. Are you realistically going to finish a novel a week? Just aim to read for enjoyment rather than setting yourself too many goals.
  • Don’t force yourself to finish a book – the challenge element might make you feel like you need to carry on reading a book when actually, you don’t. Read what you enjoy and put down the ones you don’t. Not feeling it? Move onto the next!
  • Find a writer you like – if you find an author you’re really enjoying, that’s a great way to find a whole list of books to read next!Do a quick Google search and you’ll be able to find a list of books and related reviews.
  • Keep it easy going – starting out with a 500-page novel might not be the best idea if you’re new to reading. Start off with some short stories or shorter novels to help you get into the swing of things.
  • Try a variety – books are like wedding dresses. You won’t know you like one unless you try it! So even if you think you might not like something, give it a go. You never know, your favourite most life-changing book might be just around the corner!
  • Keep a journal of what you’ve read – books make us think and once you’ve finished one, it can take us a few days to reflect on the story. As you start reading more, make a note of each book you’ve read and underneath a few lines about what you thought about it. As your collection grows, you’ll be able to remember stories more easily as well as which books you might like to recommend to your friends.

Ready to get reading? Browse our full range of Bookcases here. And for more ideas and inspiration for your home, find us on Instagram and Facebook @HartleysDirect.