6 (+1) Ways to Read More Books
One of the questions I get asked all the time is “How you do you read so much?!”
The general answer to the question is that I prioritize reading. I certainly understand that a flexible schedule and the fact that I have very few responsibilities are a huge reason for my freedom to read as much as I do. Still, like anything else, I believe that to read more, we need to be intentional about making time for reading.
Here are six ways (+1) you can make time in your schedule to read more!
1. Read What You Like
Reading what you like is crucial to reading more. Even professional readers can easily begin to feel a reading slump coming when they force themselves to push through a book they are not enjoying. So, give yourself the freedom to put books aside (for a later time) or away completely if you’re really not in the mood for them. Books are just like food. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a good pizza and other times, you just need pounded yam or a Sunday roast to hit the spot. Feed yourself the right books, especially if you read purely for fun. Don’t feel guilty about remaining in your comfort zone.
2. Take Books Everywhere
Perhaps your schedule does not allow for “sit down by the fire for three hours” reading time, but do you have a commute? What about your lunch hour? Is there a lot of time spent waiting around while you run errands? Do you use a laundromat? What do you do while you wait? Most people have at least thirty minutes or more of spare time during their work days. A chapter here and there counts, so be prepared. Bring the book you’re reading everywhere you go! Besides, depending on your preference, a good book could either tell people you’re closed for small talk or could be a great conversation starter.
3. Try non-traditional ways
What if your book weighs a ton or you drive the entire journey of your commute? Then it may be a time to try unconventional reading options. Many people, myself included, prefer the feel of a good ol’ book, the smell of pages and all that, but there are other ways to enjoy books. If you drive to work or like me, get motion sick reading in moving vehicles, give audiobooks a shot.
Tip: start with fun/inspirational non-fiction or chick lit.
If your work bag simply won’t fit your current read, you could either leave one book at the office and one at home or invest in an e-reader of your choice. Some people even love using the Kindle app on their phones and tablets - the app itself is free, but you’d need to buy the books!
4. Add reading to your schedule
I am a huge scheduling nerd: I make daily to-do lists and have a virtual weekly timetable in my brain. On evenings when I’m not writing, my favorite thing to do is to curl up on the sofa with a good book. I’m often on the go for the most part of my days, so I try to spend at least an hour every other evening reading. In the mornings, I usually listen to an audiobook for about 30 minutes while I get ready. Everyone has a different schedule, but carving out time in your day to read will help you to read more. You may have to reduce the aimless scrolls through Instagram and read some nights instead of watch TV. But thirty minutes of reading beats zero minutes.
5. Set a Goodreads goal
If you are a naturally competitive person who has recently slacked off on reading, this may be the best or worst option for you. Goodreads encourages its users to set a reading goal at the start of every year, although you can set one at any point during the year. Then, every book you read throughout the year, counts toward that goal. It’s inspiring because you can also see how your friends are doing with their goals and it makes you more intentional and attentive to the fact that you need to constantly be reading. I recommend baby steps. For example, start with 12 books - one for every month of the year just because it feels better to reach your goal and then exceed it, than not to reach it at all.
6. Join a virtual or IRL (In Real Life) book club
Personally, I’m not the greatest fan of book clubs and I cringe at the idea of sitting in a room dissecting a book for hours but book clubs can be useful, especially when done right. A good book club doesn’t have to include too many people - it could be just you and a couple of friends. Choose books you all enjoy and set page goals together. I think talking about the book is a form of accountability, even if all you do is rave and gush about the book together or just hate it together. Book clubs make reading less solitary. Nowadays, there are so many online book clubs, especially on Instagram (maybe Kachee will create one soon, haha!) to choose from. Just choose wisely.
7. Read with/ to your child/spouse
Reading together is such an intimacy-building experience, in my opinion. Reading to your children, even picture books count toward your Goodreads goal and if your spouse loves stories, you can both read to each other in bed too. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea (maybe you’re more of a movie together kind of couple), but it’s worth a shot!
I’d love to know, which of these tips would be practical for you - Are you an old school reader, or would you be willing to try ebooks and audiobooks? Have you ever been a book club member?