10 Ways to Read More Books This Year
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- “The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as long swallows.” This idea from Stephen King’s memoir On Writing really stuck with me. I realized that even if you don’t always have hours to spend reading, there are always free moments that could be spent reading if you learn to recognize them and take advantage of them. Think of all the time you normally spend browsing Facebook, Twitter, etc. while standing in lines, sitting in waiting rooms, sitting on a bus or train, lying in bed before going to sleep, etc. Start carrying a book with you, and during those brief moments, read instead. A little bit of reading here and there adds up.
- Reread your favorites. Rereads are my favorite way to get out of a slump, because rereading a book I love helps remind me why I love reading in the first place. I also love revisiting old favorites because matter how many times I’ve read a book, I always find something new in it and every reading experience is different in some way.
- Commit to reading every day. Whether you read three hundred pages or just three pages, try to read something every single day.
- Invest in an e-reader. Of course, nothing can replace the feeling of holding a printed book, but e-readers can make reading much more convenient. They are generally lighter and smaller than a physical book, so they are easier to carry around, and they allow you to carry an entire library with you everywhere, as well as purchase and download new books instantly.
- Audiobooks. Audiobooks really changed the game for me. Since I started listening to them, I’ve doubled the number of books I’ve read. You can listen while driving, running, walking, cooking, and cleaning. I also love to listen to audio versions of books I’ve already read since I don’t have to focus as much to keep up with what’s going on, and having a narrator acting out the different characters adds a new element to a familiar story.
- Switch it up. This approach is not for everyone, but I often read a few different books at a time, usually in a variety of genres. That way, depending on what I’m in the mood for, I have a lot of options I can choose from.
- Talk about it. Tell others about what you’re reading, and find out what they’re reading. In 2015, I created an Instagram account to share the books I’m reading and I discovered a whole community of readers who were doing the same thing (aka the “bookstagram” community). Not only have I enjoyed sharing what I’m reading with others, but seeing what other people are reading and how much they are reading really inspires me to read more and to branch out more with my reading choices. You can also try joining a book club or even just asking the people you know, “What are you reading?” or “What was the last great book you read?” Finding others who like the same kinds of books as you means you’ll always have someone to get recommendations from, talk about a shared favorite book with, or even swap books with.
- Make a list. Keep an ongoing list of books you want to read to prevent getting overwhelmed by all the books out there. Just don’t let your list get too long! I often use Goodreads to keep track of books I want to read, books I’m currently reading, and books I’ve read. You can also set a goal for how many books you want to read each year and keep track of your progress throughout the year.
- Find good deals. Reading a lot doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a lot of ways to read a lot of books for free or for very little money. You can borrow books for free from your local library, or if you have an e-reader or tablet, you can often find ebooks on sale for just a couple bucks. You can also try used bookstores or simply borrowing books from friends.
- Read what you like. Don’t read bestsellers or classics just because they are bestsellers or classics. Read what interests you and what gets you excited about reading. And don’t feel like you have to finish every book you start. If you aren’t enjoying a book, stop reading it and read something else instead. Life is too short to suffer through a bad book.