10 Easy Ways to Read More Books
by Jaylynn Korrell
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% of American adults haven’t read a book in the past year. But many of them want to read more.
So…give yourself a break.
You’re not alone. And hey, there’s room to grow! And what better way to grow than through books?
There are so many benefits of reading, and I’d love to help you reap them.
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 per month right now, 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. Give Yourself Plenty of Options
Not every novice reader has a library full of books at home, and that’s okay! But giving yourself a wide variety of books to choose from could help you find a book that’s perfect for you at every moment you choose to read.
This doesn’t mean you have to run to your favorite indie bookstore and purchase everything that catches your eye. On the contrary, there are plenty of ways to gain access to a wide variety of books without breaking the bank.
The library is your friend! Used bookstores & thrift stores are too. So is Hoopla, Libby, and Kindle Unlimited. If you like reading on an e-reader, you’ll likely benefit from the million+ titles found in their database. You can even try a 30 day Kindle Unlimited membership for free just to see if you like their selection.
#3. 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 eBooks before bed instead of reading a physical book, just because it’s easier and it helps me to fall asleep. I particularly like 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.
#4. Keep a Book on You
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 any time 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.
#5. Set a Daily Goal
Making a daily goal is a great way to create a reading habit. How much you should read a day is up to you in the end, but I like a sweet-spot of 20 minutes per day.
Sure, you may be able to read more during the day. And if you can, you should definitely go for it, but giving yourself a small daily goal will help you keep your new habit during busier days.
#6. 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.
#7. 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. Audible is another one that gives you the option to try a 30 day free trial!
#8. Read as Soon as You Wake Up
Everybody reads differently! I know that I already advised you to read before bed, but not everyone is a night person. If you find that you are most in the mood in the mornings, start your day with reading instead of ending it that way.
Mornings are often a time for clear thinking and coffee. What a romantic mood to set for the right book.
Even just a few pages could help you get closer to your goals to read more. You can break up your goal of 20 minutes a day into 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night to ensure that you’re not ever racing the clock to finish your pages.
#9. Track Your Reading
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.
#10. Find a Reading Community
It can help to have other people holding you accountable for reading more often, which is why finding a reading community can be so helpful. Things like book clubs are a great way to encourage you to keep up with your reading commitments while also allowing you a space to dive deeper into what you’re reading about. Someone else will likely catch something in the book that you missed completely.
Finding a reading community is easier than you think. Aside from the countless reading groups on the internet, many local bookstores and libraries host book clubs of their own. It’s a great way to get involved in your community while also finding people who enjoy the same hobbies as you.
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 more books.
About the Author
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