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I have always been a voracious reader and usually read over 100 books a year. During graduate school, I still read at least 100 new books during that 3 year period and that included studying for boards nonstop for 6 months.
Post graduate school, I still manage to read A LOT of books with:
- a demanding full-time job
- a sort-of social life (or as much as you can have during COVID)
- hobbies that don’t involve books or blogging. #hikinglife #bikinglife #coloradooutdoors
Now, these numbers may sound impossible for you or even potentially underwhelming (I see you, 200-books-a-year reader). It is important not to focus on the exact number of books, but to consider what is possible if you are unsatisfied with your reading life and desire to make reading a priority.
Ultimately, we have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone else is gifted with, so how can we use those hours to finally get to the book that has been sitting on your shelf for the past 6 months?
Here are 10 steps that I have used and still use to help make consistent, high quality reading easier to implement in my life.
10 STEPS TO READ ALOT MORE BOOKS
For me, number 6 was absolutely game-changing to keep the reading momentum going. Frequently, I would finish one book and have NO IDEA which book to read next. Number 6 fixed that for me.
Getting to over a hundred books a year isn’t easy, but these steps can make the process a little less intimidating. Pick and choose which strategies you are inspired to implement in your life, whether it is just 1 or all 10! Let’s get reading!
Always Have A Book With You
Channel your inner Rory Gilmore and always have a book with you, either a digital or a physical copy. That way you can make use of those 15-20 mins that you would be scrolling on your phone aimlessly at the doctor’s office, on your lunch break at work, or even waiting in a giant line at the grocery store.
Over time, those several short bursts of reading add up to multiple books a year! My current strategy is having at least one electronic library book on my phone to recapture those moments, though reading on my phone isn’t my favorite method.
Several bloggers and bookstagrammers use these Book Sleeves (@readingowlcreations on Insta) to carry around a paperback book for protection instead of a phone or E-Reader.
Don't Be Afraid to DNF (Do Not Finish)
I am a moody reader, and I typically jump around to different genres throughout the month. I never force myself to read a book I’m just “not into” or else it makes reading feel more like a chore. It is supposed to be fun :D!
Instead, I’ll pick up the next book on my TBR (To Be Read) list that inspires me and come back to that book when it feels right. Even though it is rare that I actually DNF a book, I’m not afraid to do it if I think the book is just awful.
My goal is to never ever create an atmosphere where I dread reading.
Read Several Books at Once
Part of being a moody reader, I typically read around 3-4 books at one time. Usually, the books span very different genres as it helps me to keep the plots separate in my mind. It is normal for me to have 1-2 physical books, at least 1 borrowed electronic book, and 1 audiobook that I am reading at the same time.
When I have collected a fairly large book haul from our local bookshop, I have been known to become so excited that I try to start reading them all at the same time!
Listen to Audiobooks
Audiobooks are absolutely amazing inventions. You can read AND do the dishes. Read AND workout. Read AND drive. Read AND walk the dog. You can make mundane tasks so much more fun by adding an audiobook. I painted the entire inside of our 1400 sq foot home listening to the entire “Winternight Trilogy” by Katherine Arden.
The perfect audiobook is one that is interesting enough but not so complicated of a storyline that if your neighbor starts talking to you on your daily walks, you don’t lose track of the story.
My suggestions to get started:
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
- Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon
- Blue Smoke By Nora Roberts
- Beach Read By Emily Henry
- Bookish Life of Nina Hill By Abbi Waxman
- Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
- A Very Punchable Face By Colin Jost
Follow Book Bloggers & Bookstagrammers for Inspiration
Finding Book Bloggers several years ago is what got me out of a very long reading slump and inspired me to try different genres rather than fantasy and YA all the time. Some of my favorite Book Bloggers are listed here. I encourage you to use our site and other fantastic book bloggers to help curate a reading list for you to get inspired to read.
Bookstagram is such a welcoming community with beautiful pictures that inspire you to get reading. You can simply follow different bookstagram accounts from your personal account or consider creating your own bookstagram account to record your own reading adventures!
Here is a great resource from the Uncorked Librarian if you want to get started with your own bookstagram account. It’s seriously the nicest community on Instagram!
Click to check out our bookstagram account below:
Keep Track of Your Book Recommendations
This is my absolute number one tip!
Find a method, that works for you, to keep track of interesting book recommendations. Until I started becoming more organized about my TBR, I could never actually remember which books to purchase when I finally made it to the bookstore or library.
I have a whole blog post with different reading log options and the link to our FREE TBR book tracker on Google Sheets.
For the last several months, this has been my primary avenue for keeping track of books. I have the Google Sheets App located next to my Instagram App on my phone, and it just takes moments to update the list with more recommendations.
Carve Out Time Every Day to Read
Modern life is incredibly busy and it can feel impossible to fit everything into a 24 hour day without cutting into your sleep.
However, we all have 15-20 minutes of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook that we can turn into dedicated reading time. 15-20 minutes may not seem like much but on average, that’s 1-2 books a month!
When to read for 15-20 minutes:
- morning coffee break
- lunch hour at work
- a short afternoon ritual to decompress after work
- the commute into work (if you are still commuting); listen to an audiobook on your drive or read a book on the subway/train
My dedicated reading time is the hour before I go to sleep. I finish my evening routine (tomorrow’s lunch & outfit, clean the kitchen, brush teeth) at 830pm and read until I fall asleep around 930-10pm. It has become such a habit that I CANNOT fall asleep without reading for at least a few minutes.
Learn to Read Faster
I have been accused of skimming books instead of reading books based on how fast I finish them. The more excited I am about the story, the faster I read the book. I read at approximately 486 words per minute which is about double the normal adult (curious about your own score? Try it here).
Over time, I have developed a technique that is VERY similar to this technique discussed by Tim Ferris. Highly encourage reading his blog post if you would like to speed up your reading. Imagine reading two books in the time you normally took to read one!
Make a Goal
Create a reading goal this year!
Make it a little audacious but not so far out of your comfort zone that it becomes discouraging. If you read 10 books last year, make it 25 for 2021. If it was 25 books, make it 50!
While you are at it, find a way that works for you to track your reading victories. I love that on our TBR tracker, the books read automatically updates. There is something inherently validating about seeing that number going up!
Create a Book Nook
A comfy book nook was a high priority for me at the beginning of quarantine. We live in a small comfy house, and it never felt stuffy until I was attempting to read on my days off with my spouse participating in Zoom meetings at max volume.
Very quickly I relocated my favorite chair to the other side of the house and surrounded it with books, art, a small table for coffee/wine, and a lamp. I now spend HOURS reading in that chair. I even have a soft, cozy blanket that is reserved only for that chair.
I hope these 10 steps inspire you to start reading more and maybe helps you hit that goal reading goal this year!
For more book inspiration, check out these reading lists to get started on your journey.
- The 20 Five Star Reads of 2020
- 26 New Releases for 2021 to Get You Excited
- Introduction to the World of True Crime
- 13 Series with Badass Female Leads
- 30 Queer New Releases for 2021