This article is NOT here to shame anyone, if you read one book this year or 300 books this year, you ARE a reader. I just wanted to share some of my tips and tricks to reading so much.
Make Reading A Priority
You do have to make an effort to read this much. You can’t keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing and expect to get different results. How you make it a priority is up to you.
- Maybe you wake up 30 minutes earlier to squeeze in some reading time before the day starts.
- Turn in at night 30 minutes earlier to give yourself some reading time.
- Put your phone away during lunch and read instead.
- Is this your only time to catch up on the internet/social media? Use headphones to listen to an audiobook while checking the internet!
- Turn off the music and/or television when cooking/cleaning/messing around the house and listen to an audiobook instead.
- Sitting around at doctor’s appointments or waiting for kids? Read a book on your phone or bring a book with you.
Those 15-30 minutes of reading will really add up over the course of a year.
Variety Is The Spice of Life
Mix things up! I LOVE giant fantasy books. If all I read was 500+ page doorstop fantasy books, my reading goal would be MUCH lower. I find I’m able to read more books and not get burnt out when I jump around with different types of books.
Contemporary fiction makes a great palate cleanser for me when I’ve been reading too much fantasy or science fiction. Graphic Novels are a quick brain reset when I’m growing weary with my reading.
Make Audiobooks Your Friend
I personally listen to them in my car. Just doing this allows me to read at least an additional 20 books a year.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about people not liking audiobooks is they have a hard time focusing on the story and they tune the book out. I was like that in the beginning too. I would recommend starting out with book you’re already familiar with. Did the newest book in a series just come out? Reread the previous books via audio to get caught up. Reread a story you haven’t read since you were a kid/teen.
Check out your local library to get started with audiobooks. They’re free and likely to have a decent selection.
Update: Since moving into my own place, I’ve discovered that always having an audiobook on my phone is awesome. Listening to it while I cook, clean, or any other thing that needs to be done makes the tasks much more bearable AND I’m getting more reading done!
Read Multiple Books At A Time
Having options makes it easy to find something to suit your mood. I always have at least an audiobook and ‘lunchtime’ book going. Sometimes I’ll have an additional book going at home for bedtime reading.
Having multiple books going allows me to have options. Even though I’m enjoying a book, I might not be in the mood to read that book right this second but I still want to read something. [I’m looking at you gory books. You really aren’t made for bedtime or lunch reading.]
My suggestion is to keep the books in different genres to help keep the stories straight in your head.
As an added bonus, when you finish these books it’s really awesome to see your reading goal go up a few books.
Try Serial Reader
Are you a fan of classic literature? Serial Reader might be a fun, free app for you to download.
Serial Reader has quite the library of classic books. You ‘subscribe’ to a book and set an alert time. The app breaks down the book into small sections that you can read in about 20 minutes and each day you get an alert to read the day’s section.
This is a painless way to read those classic titles you keep meaning to pick up. I like using it to get to those classics I’d likely never pick up.
Keep Books Around You
You’re more likely to read if you have something to read in arm’s reach. Load your phone/tablet up with books. [Look to your library for assistance here.] Take a book with you when you leave the house. Keep books next to your bed or the couch.
As a youth services ‘librarian’, this is also EXTREMELY helpful advice for getting your kids to read. Don’t force them to read. Just keep the house well supplied with books.
Stop Reading Books You Don’t Enjoy
You are an adult! There’s no reason to force yourself to continue reading a book that’s not grabbing your attention. A book doesn’t cease to exist or disappear because you stop reading it. Come back to it when you’re in a different state of mind. You’re more likely to enjoy it.