The Simple Way to Read More Books

January 16, 2020

The Simple Way to Read More Books

Every time I post another book I've read on Instagram Stories, I get messages asking me "how do you read so much?!" My secret isn't much of a secret at all, and it's something all of us can do. I started putting down my phone and picking up a book instead. I developed a morning reading habit because if I had time to waste scrolling on my phone I had time to read a few pages of a book.

I aim to read for an hour a day or at least 50 pages. I end up reading around 50-100 books a year. But it really doesn't mater how many books you read or even what you read at all. The point is: if there's something you wish you could do more often, make time for it by working on forming better habits. If you want to read more books this year, here are my strategies.



Read What You Enjoy

I used to force myself to finish reading every book I started but now, if I don't enjoy a book after reading 25% of its pages, I give up. Life is too short for bad books. Reading stories you know you're likely to enjoy helps make reading a whole lot easier. I know I'm more likely to enjoy (and finish) non-fictional books than fictional ones, so I lean heavily into the topics I'm interested in. That's not to say you shouldn't ever read outside of your comfort zone though. There are a lot of great books you might miss if you don't explore other genres. I look through the best books of the year on Good Reads for recommendations and browse the shelves of my local library for books that take my fancy.



Make It A Habit

The only way you're going to read more books is to prioritise reading by choosing to pick up a book instead of your phone or read for an hour instead of watching another episode on Netflix. Find a time to read that works for you, whether that's first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Reading at the same time every day will help form a habit but reading a few pages whenever you can is better than nothing. I made it a habit by dedicating the first hour of my day to reading. The first thing I do when I wake up is make a coffee and drink it with a book in my hand. Find a habit that works for your daily routine. Setting a target might help, even if it's a certain amount of minutes or number of pages per day. Don't be too ambitious; challenging yourself to read 100 books a year when you currently don't read at all is likely to end in failure. Track your progress either by writing down the books you've read or logging them on Good Reads.



Borrow (Instead Of Buy) Books

Making use of your local library is beneficial in a few ways. It's the most environmentally friendly way to read and the time pressure of having to return a book within a few weeks might encourage you to read more. Whenever I've dropping books back to the library, I always find myself leaving with a few more unexpected finds. Friends and family might have a stack of unwanted books for you to read from too. With borrowing books there's no fear of wasting money so you can take the risk on something you might otherwise never read.



Listen And Read

If you're struggling to find time to sit down with a physical book, audio books are a great alternative. You can listen to them on your commute or play them while you do work or chores. It's not something I do much of (I prefer podcasts, if I'm honest) but there are plenty of services I've heard great things about. Audible is the obvious choice but you can also buy them from Kobo and individual publishers like Penguin as well as free from open sources like the BBC, YouTube, and VibriVox.



Join A Book Club

This isn't something I've ever done but co-reading with others (even if it's just with a friend) can encourage you to read more than you usually would. It might be especially good for kick starting a new reading habit. Find local book clubs that are within easy travelling distance and that works with your schedule. There may be online reading groups too; start your own or ask a friend to read along with you with a book you'd both enjoy. Some book stores arrange their own more formal meet-ups, which might be worth exploring as an option.




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