Questions I often receive are: “How have you been reading so many books? How can I read more? How can I possibly read when I don’t have the time?”
To put it simply, I make the time.
Today, I will provide you with 10 ways you can read more books, so that you have practical ideas to discover what works for you.
The Solution: 10 Ways to Read More Books
- Engage with a variety of mediums (physical, audio, e-book)
Reading for fun is not required in the traditional eggshell-white-pages-meet-eyes manner. Just like everyone learns differently, everyone reads differently. Mix things up and read physical books, audiobooks, and e-books. You have so many options!
I typically read physical books, but I listen to audiobooks when I’m running around getting things done (aka my [probably often failed] attempt at adulting) and then read on my Kindle after the lights are out before I go to sleep. Each format serves a valuable, enjoyable purpose for me, and thus I am able to consume more books. Delicious!
- Create a Routine – Read every day at the same time
Humans thrive on routine, especially when implementing a new habit. If you have a hard time remembering to read, pick a specific time every day. Maybe it’s ten minutes during your noon – 1pm lunch break; perhaps it’s for 15 minutes before bed.
If you read every day at the same time, it will become part of your expected daily routine and you will read more than before when you struggled to make time.
- Listen to audiobooks
Does anyone remember the books back in the day that came in a plastic bag with an accompanying cassette to listen to? *This ‘90s kid raises her hand*
I vote to bring this back for nostalgia’s sake.
Really, though – Audiobooks have been a lifesaver for me. Whether I’m driving to work, an appointment, or the grocery store, or folding the laundry, this is empty time for my ears. So why not listen to a book?
I use the Libby app on my phone to connect to the public library and check-out audiobooks for free. I’m not usually an audio learner, so I tend to choose things that are super intriguing – like thrillers – to keep me engaged and still digesting another good book!
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with lengthy books (variety is key!)
If I have too many long books waiting for me to read, I shut down. Avid readers get burnt out, too! I like to read books at a variety of lengths to keep things interesting. After I read a long one, I tend to follow it with one or two shorter books. Obviously, this is all relative to what you view as long vs. short, but as someone with a short attention span, the variety keeps me going to read more books.
Plus, let’s be honest… we all love the satisfaction of finishing several shorter books in a row.
- Try reading sprints
Reading sprints are similar to a popular study tip for students. Here is the the wash-rinse-repeat routine:
- Set a timer for a task that you need to get done, like a chore on your to-do list.
- For example, set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Stop or finish that task by the time the timer goes off.
- Reward yourself with reading for fun; set the timer for when you need to stop reading.
- For example, set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Repeat steps 1-3 until you are done with your to-do list or need to move on.
These steps will allow you to read more books because you will build in reading time instead of allowing yourself to draw out chores that get in the way of reading all because your to-do list is seemingly “more important.”
Guess what? Reading for fun IS self-care and YOU are important!
- Make a Goodreads account & set goals
Accountability can be fun! Setting goals can give you a sense of urgency to read.
A popular site – www.Goodreads.com – allows you to track what you’ve read, what you are currently reading, and what you want to read, as well as write reviews and engage with others. Goodreads provides a visual of where you are in your reading journey and where you want to go. Whether your goal is 10 books or 100 in a year, there is no right or wrong.
Just like the satisfaction of checking off a task on a to-do list, you will feel motivated to read more books to accomplish your goal.
- Join a book club or book club subscription, or participate in a “read-along”
There are several options for book subscriptions that will interest different readers. A popular one that provides a wide variety of options is Book of the Month. This subscription service warrants a whole blog post, so keep an eye out for an in-depth overview and review of it. Long-story-short, I’ve been quite pleased with it.
You can also follow read-alongs with celebrities and other influencers; there’s Reese’s Book Club and Oprah’s Book Club to name a few popular ones. For the latter two, there aren’t any fees to read-along. All you need to do is decide whether or not you want to read their current pick. If you don’t want to, no worries; if you do, get your hands on the book, and then you can find social media groups that allow you to discuss and get hyped about what you’re reading.
In the end, these outlets provide inspiration for what to read, and therefore can help you read more books, especially if you are an indecisive reader!
- Incentivize your reading
Give yourself something to look forward to once you finish each book. The reward for finishing a book could be anything from treating yourself to gelato or finally purchasing that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing at Nordstrom Rack.
If you are someone that gets excitement from figuring out surprises, keep an “Incentives Jar” filled with pieces of paper that have ideas of special treats you will enjoy. When you finish reading a book, you get to choose one piece of paper out of the jar and – *voila!* – you have a surprise reward.
The idea is this: treat yourself after treating yourself to a good book. You will read more books if you have something else to look forward to, as well.
- Don’t overthink while reading
I am notorious for being an overthinking reader. When working on my Master’s degree in English, I had to constantly read every. Single. Detail.
But guess what? If you are reading for fun, then you are not required to do this! Skim some pages, dive deeper into others. Don’t get caught up on minor things that don’t affect your understanding, in the end.
Whatever your reading style, let your pace be fluid. You will read more books if you actually let yourself freely enjoy them.
- Don’t read something you don’t like; read what YOU enjoy
Reading for fun isn’t…well… fun if you aren’t enjoying what you are reading.
This is an unpopular opinion for some, but you know what? You can stop reading a book if you don’t like it.
Let me repeat this for those in the back:
You don’t have to keep reading a book you don’t like!
Reading a book you hate will not get you far and will drain your desire to read at all. Don’t feel guilty about putting a book aside. End that struggling relationship with one book and find a new one.
The cliché phrase “there are other fish in the sea” also applies to reading.
I hope you found a few tips from this list that you will implement into your daily routine. Reading more books provides enjoyment, self-fulfillment, and whole new worlds to immerse yourself in.
Let me know which tips work best for you, or if you have any others to add.