I am quite often told, “I wish I had the time to read books.” And I understand that because I wish it too! But I think what we all mean (particularly in Australia where books are expensive) is we wish we could afford to read more books. Which is why it’s time for a read more books holistic spending plan.
Vision, Mission, Virtues
When you come down to it, reading books is an investment, not just in money, but possibly more importantly in time. According to Goodreads, 38.1% of readers will read to the end of a book regardless of whether they like it or not. No matter how many years it takes. As opposed to tv watchers who (according to my observations) allow any given channel less than a second to impress.
That suggests to me that you need a clear and compelling reason to read at all. As an author, my main reasons for writing are to educate, entertain, and persuade. As a reader, I’m more likely to want education or entertainment – I don’t buy books to be persuaded to change my point of view, but now and again it happens. Let’s assume your purpose is education.
Grow knowledge and develop wisdom.
Read a variety of educational books.
Note: just because we’re calling them educational doesn’t mean they have to be textbooks. They’re just books you read to learn stuff whether that’s how the play the guitar, cook healthier food or get more productive.
Let’s say Wisdom, Focus, and Curiosity.
I think reading more should be a SMART goal because you won’t read at all if you don’t have some sort of prompt to get you going. If you’re not used to reading and are time poor, you might start with a book a month, or if you have time, you might try for one a week.
Consider joining the Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge to stay focused.
Basic Spending Plan
We’ll use the same basic proportional plan with the after-tax monthly income of $3,435.
While it might sound a bit nuts, let’s define what a book is. The traditional definition is a bunch of papers glued or sewn together. And for some strange reason, fiction (though I suppose technically nonfiction books are monographs). For our purposes, it can be fiction or nonfiction, and it can be printed, electronic, or audio. The main thing is that all the words connect a series of ideas in a logical narrative or story.
As I mentioned earlier, when it comes to reading books, you need time and money.
When I was younger, I used to read all the time; on the bus, queuing, sometimes even walking! If I had a spare minute, I had my nose in a book.
Reading as an adult is the same – you “only” need to find the spaces in between other activities. Simply commuting could give you a couple of hours a day whether that’s listening or reading. Download books to your phone and you could be reading while you wait for your latte or workout at the gym. Maybe spend half an hour or so reading in bed before sleep or when you first get up.
Just as there are several formats of books, there are now many ways to consume them:
- Borrow: From a library or your friends, for free! Just remember to give the books back otherwise there may be penalties.
- Subscription: Many online bookstores offer a subscription service, where for a monthly fee, you can read as much as you want. Some services provide tiered levels of access such that the more you pay, the more you can borrow, or access more recent or higher rated books.
- Buy: Again there are tiers of cost, the most expensive being new release hard and paperbacks from stores, then second-hand dealers and charity or thrift shops. Hardcovers are more expensive than paper, which is generally more expensive than electronic.
If you are not used to reading, you may be best to limit your financial exposure by joining a physical library. Or if you’re lucky, there might be a Street Library near you. Alternatively, consider downloading free or low-cost ebooks.
For a budget, you could allow $20 for one new paperback each month ($240), or $5 for a second-hand book a week ($260).
I’d be inclined to make it $300, but I’m a reader!
So that’s $25 a month to find.
- Food: No change. Be careful not to let it creep up with snacking while you read!
- Housing: No change.
- Clothing: No change.
- Operations: I shouldn’t think there would be much change, no significant reduction, and no significant increases.
- Happy Life: Depending what else you’ve got going on in the Happy Life bucket, you may or may not need to make some room in here. We’ve looked at some options for reducing your reading costs, though these may need extra time. Luckily for me, I can reserve local library books online and then pick them up during a commute because the library is open late and located close the train station.
Read More Books Holistic Spending Plan
So all up, one more no change plan. It’s funny how so many of them can be made to work out that way when you think things through.
Reading books can be entertaining and educational, sometimes at the same time! It doesn’t have to be an expensive past time unless you want it to be (hello first edition Harry Potter). And for some reason, people are less likely to interrupt you when you have an actual book than an electronic device. Plus, you can amuse yourself by swapping over the dust jackets, so you appear to be reading something more erudite than you actually are!