If you’re like me, you are constantly finding new books you want to read at a much faster rate than you can absorb them all.
Even when reading is something you genuinely love and know enriches you, it can be easy for time to get away from us when so much else is fighting for our attention.
Thankfully, there are some easy tricks to reading more books in less time. As someone who has struggled with this very issue, I use a lot of the methods in this post to keep me on track. Try them out and see which ones work best for you.
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How to Read More Books
Step #1 ─ Make it convenient
One of the biggest tricks to creating any habit is to remove as much resistance as possible from the task.
Keep them handy
“Out of sight, out of mind” applies here. If you keep the book you’re reading or digital reader (like a Kindle) within reach, you’re much more likely to pick it up.
Keep it on your nightstand to do some reading before bed or when you first wake up, carry it with you in your bag, and place it on your desk at work to read on breaks.
Ebooks and audiobooks make it really easy to have your books handy at all times because they’re right inside something most of us keep close by all the time ─ our smartphone.
Look for opportunities
When you have some time to kill, train yourself to open up your book instead of something else, like scrolling through TikTok or social media. You don’t need to have a lot of time; you can easily get in a few pages here and there.
Schedule time for reading
If you typically have a packed schedule and reading is important to you, make it a priority by blocking out time for it in your daily agenda. Think about at what time of day you most like to read and put it in as an actual task. Personally, I love to read during breakfast and at night before bed to wind down.
Don’t only stop at the end of chapters
This may feel counterintuitive, but you could be leaving some valuable reading time on the table if you stop reading a few minutes before you need to just because you’ve reached the end of a chapter and you don’t want to commit to another one.
You can get more reading in if you are willing to stop before finishing a chapter. This is easier to do with non-fiction, but it’s possible with fiction, too, depending on how much willpower you have. 😉
Step #2 ─ Read multiple books at a time
If you tend to find yourself taking a while to get through a book because you “aren’t in the mood” for it, reading multiple books at a time can be a game-changer.
There is no rule that you have to read one book at a time. I used to stand firmly in the camp of wanting to devote myself fully to one book at a time, but I realized it took me too long to get through some books because I didn’t always feel like going into that particular headspace when I had time to read, so I’d end up doing something else instead.
When you have a few in rotation, you can choose what you feel like reading at the moment and don’t have to skip a reading session because you aren’t in the mood for one specific book.
Mix up the genres
Include books in different genres and topics to offer yourself some variety to suit whatever mood you’re in at any given time.
Usually, I’ll have a business-related book, a personal development book, and a fiction book in my rotation. However, you can do whatever works for you. Maybe you’re reading two fiction books from different genres (one horror, one romantic comedy) and you toss in an autobiography, educational, or self-growth book when you’re feeling spicy.
Use different mediums
Carrying a physical book with you won’t always be convenient, so consider switching up the mediums.
You can dedicate a different book to each medium (physical, audiobook, and ebook) or have a copy of each book you’re reading available in all forms. However, the latter may not be very budget-friendly depending on how you’re acquiring the books.
- Audiobooks are great to listen to while driving, taking a walk, doing your makeup, cooking, or cleaning the house.
- Ebooks can literally be with you all the time in your pocket on your smartphone, which you can whip out while standing in line at the grocery store, waiting at the doctor’s office, or getting your hair done.
Don’t finish a book you aren’t enjoying
There is no point in forcing yourself to trudge through a book you aren’t connecting with. There are so many books out there to read and there will never be enough time to read them all, so why waste what little time you have on ones that aren’t enriching your life in some way?
Thank the book for your time with it and move on to the next!
Step #3 ─ Set challenges & accountability
If you’re the type of person who responds well to a little bit of pressure, these ideas could help you get into the habit of reading more often.
Set a reading challenge
Giving yourself a measurable goal makes it easier to stay on track. GoodReads hosts an annual book challenge that allows you to set your own goal and then log your progress right within the website/app. Or, you could log your own challenge in a journal, wall calendar, or on your social media.
Find an accountability partner
See if one of your book lover friends would be up for holding each other accountable for your reading goals. You could even set up your own mini-book club and read the same book.
Join a book club
Besides local book clubs, there are myriad book clubs online for every genre and focus you can imagine. Not only is this a great way to stay motivated to finish a book, but you’ll also get to have discussions about what you’re reading to enrich the experience and meet some like-minded people along the way.
Set notifications on your phone to remind you to read
This can help you get into the habit of making time to read if it easily slips your mind throughout the day.