This post is for my friend Lisette who commented ‘how?!’ on my completed Goodreads challenge in July. It took some time to finish this post, soz.
There are quite a few guides to help you read more out there, but I’m going to add my two cents. Here are 8 tips for reading more books:
- Ask yourself whether you really want to read more. ‘I should read more..’ is quite a common thought. However, take a second to ask yourself whether this is really something you want, or whether it’s just something you feel like you should be doing. Especially in the book blogging world, where some people read 100 or 200 books a year (!) it is easy to feel inadequate, but try not to compare yourself. Read however much YOU want to read.
- Pick books you actually enjoy reading. This sounds very obvious, but I think the main reason that I have been reading more lately is that I have been careful to choose books I actually enjoyed and not books that ‘might be good for me’ (the broccoli’s on my bookshelf, so to speak). When you feel excited about a book, it’s much easier to pick it up. For the same reasons, I think it is very important to DNF books you don’t like and move on. When a book doesn’t manage to draw you in within 50 pages, chances are the rest won’t get any better.
- Consider which habits you’re willing to kick instead of reading. I’m mainly thinking of habits like scrolling on your phone or binging Netflix here. However, going back to my first point, if these habits actually make you happier than forcing yourself to read, keep them! No shame in that.
- And/or schedule moment in the day to read. This way, you don’t have to think so much about when you’re going to read. I like to read before bed or during breakfast.
- Listen to audio books. I’m a big advocate of the audio-books-are-books movement. I listen to audio books when I bike, do the dishes or paint in my art journal. It really helps get through more books, especially through longer classics. I recently had a little Austen binge where I devoured three of her books in two weeks.
- Keep a mental TBR. I’m very susceptible to the ‘post-book gap’ where I mourn being parted from beloved characters and don’t really know what to do with myself for a while. Recently, I have been deciding which book to read next BEFORE the end of my current read, which has helped avoid a lot of misery.
- Read more YA. I’m alternating Big Books with light and cosy Young Adult Fiction. I’m so happy to discover that there are so many more books out there with good representation than when I was a teenager! At the moment, I’m really enjoying books by Becky Albertalli – they’re such a treat that I can tear through one of them in one or two days.
- Travel a lot. Okay, I do understand that this might not be so easy for everyone, but looking back at my year I did a lot of my reading on the train. Going for a weekend trip to see family or friends and getting a few uninterrupted hours of reading in really helps to finish a few more books.
Then there are a few contributing factors where I’m just lucky; I think it’s important to acknowledge that. I’m lucky that I have enough spare time to read, I’m lucky that I read quite quickly and I’m lucky that I have easy access to a lot of good books. I know that talking about reading books can sometimes feel like a quantitative competition to reach as high as possible a number each year and I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about reading at their own pace. It’s so much more important that we enjoy ourselves!
Just in case you were looking for some tips, though, I hope these helped 😊.