It seems to be a common New Year’s resolution, wanting to read more. I am actually trying to read less this year, but as the number of books I have read over the last three years has gone up and up, and I thought I could share some tips.
1. Read Shorter Books
This tip might seem rather like cheating, but if you’re aiming for a certain number of books, then reader shorter books might help. I find that not only do shorter books take less time to read, but they also seem less daunting. I’m more prone to read them – and read lots of them – so I end up reading more pages as well as more books because I’m not afraid to pick up the books.
I also find that young adult books tend to be shorter, and easier to read since the subject matter and language is often lighter. If you’re finding it hard to get started with reading or you’re often killing time on social media or watching TV, why not try a YA book. There is no shame in reading YA. Many adults really enjoy young adult novels.
2. Be Open to Other Book Formats
I would never read the number of books I do if I didn’t use a variety of formats. I am always listening to audiobooks, while driving or doing mindless chores. Listening to a book counts as reading, and it allows you to add more stories to your life. Many studies have shown that reading or being read to spark the same activity in our brains.
I also rely heavily on Kindle books – read exclusively on my iPhone 6. Most of the ebooks I read are ARCs from NetGalley, but I also read an occasional library loan via Overdrive. The amazing thing about reading on my phone is that I always have a book with me, so I can read literally wherever I am. Standing in a line at the grocery store…I’m usually reading. Waiting in a conference room for other meeting participants to arrive at work…again, most likely I’m reading. You do have to get used to consuming books in small chunks – 5-10 minutes at a time, but if you can do that, those minutes really add up.
Of the 12 books I read so far in January, 3 of them were eARCs read on my phone, and 2 of them were audiobooks listened to in my car or while doing things around the house.
3. Have A Steady Supply of Books Available
I hear a lot of people talk about being mood readers. I find that getting many books out of the library at once allows me easy access to books that I can read depending on my mood. I usually have multiple books going at once, and then I choose which of those books to read based on how I’m feeling when I sit down to read. Sometimes I just grab for whatever’s nearest to me, but usually it’s a conscious choice based on which of the books is striking me at the moment.
Having more books readily available also helps when none of the books I am reading is appealing to me at the time. Sometimes I’ll give up on a book entirely, but sometimes it’s just not what I want to be reading right then. Also, there’s nothing like a stack of books on my nightstand to motivate me to read instead of watching TV.
4. Read Interesting Books
All of this advice goes out the window if you’re in a slump or can’t seem to motivate yourself to read. I find that a compelling read always gets me reading again when I’m having trouble. You’ll never want to turn off the TV or put down social media if you are trying to read the books you think you ought be reading vs. books that actually appeal to you.
If you want to read more, and you don’t know where to start, here are some riveting books that might help you get going.
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
What tips do you have for getting more reading done?
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