I’m always being asked how I manage to read so many books in a year (because I do read A LOT) and I thought I would share some of my “secrets” to help my fellow readers!
1) Designate a Specific Reading Time **My #1 Tip**
I know that life can get in the way when we would rather be reading book after book but creating a basic routine can reduce your stress levels and increase your reading time! I read for about 30 minutes before I go to bed and if I’m not working a day shift, I read right when I get up in the morning for 30-60 minutes. By doing this I get through a ~250 page (ebook version; ~375 pages print) in 2.5 days. It helps that I am a faster reader as well and “go to bed” around 10pm; and I understand that not everyone is able to do this. But try setting your alarm in the morning for 30 minutes earlier in the morning and use this extra time to read a chapter or two!
2) Read Instead of Watching TV
If your like me, you probably turn on the TV when you are eating alone or are bored and end up watching some silly reality show. Instead, try to pick up your book! I find in the 15 minutes it takes me to eat my breakfast in the morning, I can read a chapter of my book, getting me that little bit closer to finishing it!
3) Read on Your Commute –That is: if you don’t get motion sickness!
I’m lucky that I rarely get carsick/motion-sickness so I can read on the go. When I took the bus in high school I got in a lot of reading!
Audiobooks are a great alternative if you drive or get motion sickness. It took me awhile to get comfortable with audiobooks, but they are an everyday staple for me now!
4) Bring a Book When You know You will be Waiting!
I always pack my eReader when I go out to places that might have some downtime. If I go to the movies or the theatre (plays) by myself I use the time before (and intermission) to read a quick chapter or two on my Kobo. Bringing it to appointments is also a good idea. It’s Murphy’s Law that if you don’t bring a book, you’ll probably wait longer than if you did! Or at least it will feel like that 😉
5) Get Books from the Library!
I suggest this for two reasons: 1) It’s definitely cheaper than buying your own books and 2) It forces you to have a deadline, especially if you got the book after a lengthy time on the wait-list. I HATE having to return books unread and I hate it even more if I have to take out a book multiple times just to read it! I find that by taking multiple books out from the library, I better prioritize my reading and it gives me that push to finish the book in time. Having a calendar that tells you when each book is due will help you keep track of everything.
One of the reasons I am able to read so many books is because of my library’s eCatalogue. For really popular books my library with have 2-3X the number of eBooks as they do physical copies, so the waitlists for eBooks is way shorter than for physical books! I can instantly download them and instantly return them as soon as I am finished.
6) Join a Reading Challenge!
Again, if you’re competitive like me, a reading challenge is the perfect way to get your butt in gear! It can be as simple as challenging yourself to read X amount of books in a year or be as specific as reading a certain amount of sequels or books in a certain genre. Sometimes having more direction helps you focus on getting more done.
7) Create a TBR Jar!
Sometimes half the task can be trying to find out which book to read next. By having a TBR jar you can tackle your growing list of books and save yourself the trouble of trying to find that next book. Plus, you’ll have created this awesome craft that you actually want to use!
8) Find a Book Buddy!
Sometimes starting a book the same time your friend does can motivate you to finish it so you can talk about it; especially if your friend is a faster reader! This also works if you only have one copy and your friend wants to read it–again, it gives you a deadline to finish it!
9) Create a DNF Rule!
It sucks not to finish a book but what sucks even more is when you spend your time on a last lustre book. You aren’t going to love every book you read and it is OK to stop reading a book if you aren’t feeling it. I personally have a 50 Page Rule where if I don’t care what happens after page 50, I stop reading the book. And I go through a lot less reading slumps because of it.
10) Be Picky About the Books You Read!
This goes along the same vain as Tip #9: if your time is limited, make sure you are reading what you want to read! The great thing about the internet now is that there are a ton of sources to find book reviews so you can find that perfect read for yourself in a matter of seconds instead of simple word of mouth.
Additional Advice – Reading Multiple Books at Once
This isn’t something I recommend for everyone because I think sometimes this is counter intuitive. If you are a slower reader, it’s going to take you the same amount of time to read two books simultaneously as it would to read them separately. However, some people like reading two different stories just to keep them excited about reading. I’m often reading two to three books at once but not all the time. I usually have an audiobook on the go as well as a text novel. But if I’m reading a particularly long novel (or one I’m not super into yet), I often start a second text novel.
It’s important to note that I originally wrote this when I was a full time student. I’ve since updated it since I joined the wonderful world of work, but a lot of this tips work for my fellow workers as well.
The key is to find what works for you and stick with it until it doesn’t work! Everyone has different priorities, responsibilities and schedules. There is nothing wrong with change and sometimes the best thing for your reading habits is to change them up every once and awhile! Plus, what might work for you, might not work for someone else: you just won’t know until you try!
What are some of your tips for reading more? Please share!