Reading more is a wish for many people but it can be difficult to change your reading habits. When experimenting with how to read more books, I trialled the following ideas to make reading a more regular part of my everyday routine. Now I’m reading more than ever and am certain it will never be my new years resolution ever again!
There are many tips and tricks here I’d never considered before, and for me, some work better than others. As different techniques work for different people, trial some of these varied approaches listed below and see what works best for you.
Good luck and happy reading! 🌟
How To Read More Books: Part 1 – Motivation
Choose books you’re excited about
It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to read the books we think we should be reading rather than those we’re into at the time! I’ve failed at reading numerous classics because I just wasn’t in the right mood. Choose materials that match your current interests, mood, season and location. Planning a trip somewhere? Try reading a book set in the place you’re visiting.
To get you into the swing of things, start small and try reading short books or light reads. Alternate your subject matter to create variety and keep things interesting. If you usually read fiction, try non-fiction for a change. Young adult reads can also be a good starting point.
Quit books you’re not enjoying
Are you struggling with the book you’re currently reading? Feel free to let it go! Don’t feel bad about not finishing, just put it down. Focus on reading what you love, there are so many other books you could be reading instead! You can always mark it as DNF (or did not finish).
Try an Audiobook
If you’re having trouble focusing on text, try out an Audiobook instead. Listening to stories can be an incredible experience; in Japan I would listen to novels while looking out the bullet train window, taking in the rice fields as they flashed by. Audiobooks allow for multitasking, you can listen while knitting, crocheting, coloring and so on. Audible subscriptions can be great value too (and make an excellent gift)!
How To Read More Books: Part 2 – Manage Your Time
Read for 20 minutes every day
Setting daily reading goals can help, try and aim for 20 minutes of reading a day – that’s about 120 hours of reading in a year! Set a timer on your phone to keep you focused and make sure you meet your target.
Create a morning routine
Making reading a part of your daily routine can be highly effective. Set your alarm to wake up earlier than usual, pour a hot drink and take some time to sit down and read before you start your day. I’ve taken to grabbing a blanket and coffee; and spending the first hour of my day outdoors.
Create an evening routine
If you’re not a morning person, try incorporating reading into your evenings instead. Set an evening alarm to alert you when it’s time to start reading, it’s a great routine before sleep. I personally find it easy to lose track of time in the evenings, so this little reminder works a treat for me.
Always carry something to read
There are more spare minutes in a day than you’d think! It’s possible to read a page anywhere; in line at the grocery store, waiting for a meeting, on your lunch break, sitting on the train or while dinner is simmering. If you’re always carrying reading material, you can make the most of every single opportunity. Reading on a device makes this super easy, it’s impossible to run out of material!
Change your priorities
Instead of assuming there isn’t enough time for reading, adjust your priorities. There’s always time if you make it! Instead of spending hours on the internet, browsing social media or reading the newspaper, dedicate that time to books instead.
How To Read More Books: Part 3 – Focus
One book vs. many books
Some readers focus better on one book at a time, while others prefer to shift between three at once – see what works best for you. I’m more focused when I’m totally absorbed in strictly one book at a time and highly recommend it.
The world is full of distractions. When you sit down to read, create a focused space. Put away your phone, turn off the television and if you read on a device; turn off the notifications. I haven’t owned a television in years, and it has directly resulted in higher productivity – reading included.
Try a focusing app
If you really struggle to stay away from your phone, try out productivity app Forest. Whenever you want to focus, open the app and plant a virtual tree. If you stay in the app, the tree will grow over time. However, the tree will die if you leave it. You can grow whole forests and donate your virtual coins to a real-tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future. How nice is that?
Underline key phrases
Underlining key phrases can help you remember quotes and ideas, due to interacting with the text itself. Keep a marker or pen handy when reading printed books and make the most of the highlights function in eBooks. I love that you can see the most popular highlights others have marked; I’m always a little eager when I see one coming in the next paragraph!
Try speed reading
How To Read More Books: Part 4 – Make A Space
A space at home
Having a comfortable space to read is important. I never cared much for reading nooks until I moved into my current home. There’s an outdoor patio with a comfortable chair and pretty garden view, so I’m constantly drawn to the spot. Create a little space you want to be.
Pillows & lighting
If you prefer to read in bed, make sure this is a comfortable space too. Do you have enough pillows to sit up and read? Do you have sufficient lighting? Be sure to get the basics right.
Find your local library
Seek out your local library. Even if you’re not there to borrow books, they have comfortable spaces for reading in peace. It’s nice to be surrounded by other readers! And if it’s near your workplace or school, even better. Whenever I arrive in a new city, this is one of the first things I seek out. I’ve even signed up for local libraries while I’ve been on vacation in foreign countries!
How To Read More Books: Part 5 – Be Accountable
Keep a list
There’s never quite enough time to read everything! Keeping book lists is good practice for keeping track of your wishlist and what you’ve read. I like to keep track using Amazon Wishlists, Good Reads and by blogging about my favorites.
Make a commitment
Take on a reading challenge, share your reading goal with the world and make it public. There’s nothing quite like pressure! Many readers set targets for the year and share their progress on Instagram and by blogging. Maybe even consider joining me for our World Reading Challenge!
Join a book club
Finally, if you want to be accountable, try joining a book club. These are a great way to meet fellow readers and discuss literature. There are plenty online, but meeting in person can be even better. To find book clubs in your local city Meetup is a great resource for finding like-minded people!
I hope these tips on how to read more have been helpful!
Have you tried any of these approaches before? Do you have other tips on how to read more books? I’d love to hear about your experiences with reading more below, please keep me updated if any of these tips and tricks work for you!