Do you ever find yourself wishing you could read more books? I used to feel the same way, so I made a few changes and went from occasionally finishing a book to reading over fifteen novels every single month.
I’m often met with shocked replies when I tell people that I read so much every month. I run a full-time business from home and do freelance work on the side. It’s quite the busy life I lead, but somehow, I read over 250 books in 2023. There have been a few times where I’ve mentioned some of the tips I utilize to read more, but I wanted to go a bit more in-depth in this article.
If you’ve ever said, “I wish I could read more books,” this post is definitely for you. Say goodbye to the days of wishful thinking and say hello to finally finishing all the titles on your reading list!
How Using the Library Can Help You Read More Books // Why You Should Plan a Monthly Reading List // Books You Should Listen to Rather Than Read
7 Tips That Will Help You Read More Books
The library is your best friend. Do you really need to buy that entire special edition box set for a series you’ve never read and you aren’t sure you’ll even like? Save your money and stop racking up a massive physical TBR. I realize not everyone is privileged enough to live in a place where lots of libraries are an option, but there are still ways to make use of the library without a physical library nearby. Check out the Libby App (or Overdrive) and Hoopla to borrow e-books and audiobooks from your library without leaving your home.
Read a book before bed. I’ve said this one a million times and I’ll say it again: staring at a screen before you sleep is not good for you. It keeps your mind awake and active and makes it challenging for you to actually enter REM. Rather than scrolling through social media, pick up a book. Read a chapter or two (or the whole book) and you’ll find your mind relaxing as you prepare to rest. It’s great for a bedtime routine and it helps you get further in that book!
*Update: I’ve been using a Kindle Paperwhite for the last year and love that it doesn’t have blue light. I would say that this is an okay swap for a paper novel, but be mindful of what kind of digital device you’re reading on!
Listen to audiobooks. You may think you won’t like audiobooks, but have you actually tried them? Adding audiobooks into my reading routine gave me the ability to read on the go! I listen while I’m driving, cleaning, showering, and sometimes even while I’m working (if it’s a more mindless task). If you like podcasts, you’ll probably like audiobooks. If you typically listen to music while doing these things, try switching it out for an audiobook sometimes and see what happens. Not sure where to start with audiobooks? Here are some suggestions.
Read multiple books simultaneously. I like to listen to one audiobook and read one physical book. This has quite literally doubled the number of books I read in a month. Sometimes I can get through a few audiobooks in a week (I worked my way up to 2.75x speed over the years, but even listening at average speed still adds to your book count) if they’re not super long. Keep your book or e-reader in your bag and read on your lunch break, while you’re having coffee, or when you need to wind down. Try to mix up the genres so you don’t get too confused going back and forth.
Prioritize reading. If you just keep saying, “I wish I read more books,” but don’t actually make time for it, then you’re never going to read more. You may want to even schedule it into your day. If you use a planner or practice time-blocking, try just scheduling 15-30 minutes of reading time, and then when you sit down to fulfill that, put your phone in another room. If you read without distractions for just a small portion of every day, you’ll form a habit and it’ll become much easier – and more desirable – to read more often!
Have an accountability partner. This could mean joining a reading club, buddy reading, or picking up a book with your significant other. Knowing that there are others involved in the reading process can give you that little nudge in the right direction and spur you into reading more frequently!
Set up a reading list each month. If you are very goal-driven, having these lists can be really helpful. I set up a “high priority” list each year to give myself a goal. Then, each month, I write down 10-15 books I plan to pick up. I check them off as I go and share my ratings on The StoryGraph so that later on, I can see how many I’ve read and what I thought about them. This is a great encouragement and keeps me motivated.