September 8, 2017

Five Ways to Read More Books This Year

Finding the time to read can be a challenge for anyone, despite how much of how much (or little) of an avid reader you may be. A lot of us can struggle to find the time to read amid work and home demands, side hustles etc. However, I’ve found simple and easy steps that you can take that will help anyone to read more books.

How well do these tips work? Well, I set a goal to read 60 books this year, and at the beginning of the month, I had already surpassed that goal (shout out to Goodreads for keeping me on track). I’ve already exceeded my goal, not too shabby!

So many books, so little time! The year is flying by but there’s still no time like the present. Here are five ways to read more books this year.

Make a public commitment

Reading challenges are really good to participate in when you want to read more books. Various websites (including this one) have reading challenges available every year. Whether you participate in one presented by Goodreads or make up your own challenge, publicly stating that you will read x number of books has a certain way of tracking accountability. No one wants to be left behind, or reneging on a deal. Write it down, make it plain, and broadcast it.  

Read physical books

I like to see physically touch or see things as I mark them off my to-do list. This is why no matter how much I love and adore e-calendars, I keep a planner with me everywhere I go. I have to physically write down appointments. I love a good project management app but I absolutely must write down my to-do lists in places where I constantly see them and mark off the tasks as they have been completed. The same thing happens to me with books. Very few people love their e-reader as much as I do, however, physical books have always been close to my heart. I like to finish a book, and find a space for it on my bookshelf. Books that have yet to be read are always put in a special place and so when I see that book pile not dwindling, it encourages me to put my ass in gear and start reading more.

Set aside reading time

You block off times on your calendar for doctor’s appointments, writing assignments, grocery shopping etc. so how about blocking off an hour or two during the day/week to read? Early mornings were crucial for me when I wanted to increase the number of non-fiction books I read.

Create a reading corner

This is your reading sanctuary, your designated spot to read books. My reading corner happens to be on the right side of my couch in my living room. To keep focused, I have to read in a particular corner. When I grab a glass of wine, my favorite blanket and the book to situate myself in that corner, I know that I will be getting quite a bit of reading done.

Be fully present

When you want to read a book (or read more books), it helps to be fully present and this may mean turning off your cell phone and the television. I don’t know about all of you but I need quiet time when I’m reading. While I do leave the television’s volume really low at times if my phone is buzzing all the time or I’m constantly checking social media I can’t concentrate.

If you take so many breaks during your reading time, I don’t think you fully absorb the information and that may mean having to flip back through pages to catch an important detail you may have missed. This means that you may be doubling your reading time, taking longer than anticipated to finish a book.

 

Try one (or more) of these hacks over a three month period and let me know how the quantity and quality of your reading has changed.

If you have any other tips for reading more, let me know! I’m always looking for ways to squeeze an extra book into my schedule.

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Natalya

Natalya is an Account Manager by day and an editor and author's assistant to passionate creatives by night. When she is not adding to her enormous book collection or stationery supply, she is catching up on her favorite television shows.

Natalya is the author of All The Things I Never Said, a soul-stirring collection of short stories, prose and love letters for the soulful wanderers, the brokenhearted and the hopeless romantics.

You can follow her rantings and occasional sparks of brilliance on Twitter @NatalyaMuncuff.
Natalya