Blog on reading

How to Read More Books

"How to Read More Books" by Jaylynn Korrell is a guide to increasing the amount of books you read each year. Tips include nighttime reading, audiobooks, and quitting books you don't like.

“How to Read More Books”

by Jaylynn Korrell

The words "How to Read More Books" are written in cursive on top of a blue background with a stack of books beside it.

What tips & tricks can you use to read more books?

With each book you read, your mind expands, your vocabulary grows, and your imagination gets a good exercise. But many people find themselves reading less books per year than they’d like, or they don’t read one at all. Actually, over 50% American adults haven’t read a book in the past year.

So…give yourself a break.

You’re not alone. And hey, there’s room to grow! And what better way to grow than books?

Reading more can help you to become an expert at a lot of things, help you find your newest passion, or get you into a hobby that could evolve into a business.

Simply put, reading more can change your life, but it’s not easy. 

Luckily there are ways to double, triple, and quadruple your reading goals for the year. As someone who is averaging 9 books a month, I can tell you that reading a lot might be more possible than you thought.

Here are a few tips to help you read more books this year.

#1. Read Multiple Books at a Time

I used to have a strict rule about reading only one book at a time. I had to completely finish one before I even considered picking up another. Reading two or more books would be too distracting–could hinder my reading experience of that particular book. 

I was wrong.

There is a way to read multiple books at a time in a way that isn’t confusing or unsatisfying. 

My first tip: choose to read books that have absolutely nothing to do with the other.

For instance, I’m currently reading Mars, which is a short fiction collection, The Hidden Life of Trees which is a nonfiction book about (you guessed it) trees, and Montessori Baby which is a nonfiction parenting book. It’s almost like taking different classes during the same semester. I don’t think about one while I’m reading the other. I also don’t have to keep track of different main characters. Making each book I’m reading completely different from the others has done wonders for increasing my books-finished count each year.

#2. Read Before You Go to Sleep

If you have a smartphone there’s a pretty good chance that you use it before bed. And if you use it before bed, you know how easy it is to accidentally scroll for an hour. Two.

Let’s repurpose those hours. Let’s make reading a habit.

I’m a big fan of audiobooks before bed instead of reading a physical book, just because it’s easier and it helps me to fall asleep. I particularly nonfiction at this time too, because it’s usually easier to stop in the middle of a chapter.

If you’re not the only one sleeping in your bed, you may need to find ways to keep it quiet or dark in your room. That’s not exactly possible if you’re flipping through a print book and using a night lamp to see it. To keep down the noise and the brightness, try using a Kindle! Ereaders let you press the screen to turn your page and have a night-mode light setting that can be adjusted to your liking. It’s also better on your eyes than a smartphone.

#3. Keep a Book on You

keep a book on you to make sure you read more books.

One of the best ways to make sure you’re reading as much as possible is to have a book on you at most (or all!) times. Eschew excuses for why you’re not reading more by just being prepared.

And believe me, there are usually times where you’ll have the opportunity to read. Maybe it’s while you wait in line to get a coffee or while you wait for your Uber or the bus. Basically anytime you would pull your phone out and scroll, you’ll also have the opportunity to pull your book out and read it.

And if you don’t like the bulkiness of a book you can always pull out that Kindle, which is slimmer and can hold thousands of books on it. Some of these devices can even fit in your pocket, and strangers don’t peer at you as much as they do with a book with a catchy cover.

#4. Don’t Be Afraid to Quit

It’s happened to the best of us. We pick up a book with the intent of finishing it in no time, but the story is just not for us. The main character may be unlikable, or the pace could be too slow. Whatever the reason we just don’t want to keep reading it. And that’s okay. 

When you just aren’t into a book, you should 100% quit reading it. 

Often times a bad book can hold us back from achieving our ultimate reading goals. And while the point isn’t exactly to speed through books to achieve a higher read count, it helps to move through them at a reasonable pace.

A bad book (or one that you’re just not vibing with) can make you stop wanting to pick it up when it’s time to read. If you only like to read one book at a time, a bad book can also prevent you from reading the next book.

You shouldn’t quit every book that doesn’t grab your attention right away, but knowing when to move on is a great way to help you read more books. 

#5. Listen to Your Books

How to read more? Listen to your books!

If you have a hard time following sentences on a page, you’re not alone. Plenty of people don’t like reading physical books, but they still like the experience of exploring new subjects and styles of storytelling.

Thankfully, audiobooks exist.

You can listen to an audiobook like you listen to a podcast. Do it while you’re running, while you’re traveling to work, while you’re doing the dishes, cleaning–the list goes on.

Apps like Audible allow you to keep a library of audiobooks in one place. Their membership options also give you access to a ton of free audiobooks in your Audible Membership. Try two months of Audible for free, and get two free books when you sign up for membership! 

Or, or, or, or, don’t forget about Hoopla or Libby! Most public libraries come with a digital platform where you can listen to audiobooks for free.

#6. Track Your Reading 

make a poster to track your reading more

Give yourself a goal of how many books you want to read for the year, then track your results is a visible way. Every time you finish a book write down the title on a numbered piece of paper.

Keep this paper in a visible place, one that you walk by each day. Being constantly reminded of the number of books you’ve read and have to read can help to motivate you to keep reading more. It’s also nice to see your progress and what you’ve accomplished so far. 

And that’s all I got for you for now! I’m glad you’re reading this and all, but…it’s time to go read some books.

About the Author

Jaylynn Korrell has been writing reviews and blog posts for IBR since the very beginning. She takes the photographs and manages the IBR Instagram page. In her spare time, she likes to play board games and take road trips around America. She is the founder of Good Gift Lists.

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