We stack books with full intent to read them all, but then time escapes us while our To Be Read pile grows ever taller. Luckily, there are ways we can make time for reading.
Reading for pure enjoyment has been on a sad decline for a while now, with reports saying 24% of Americans haven’t read at all for pleasure this last year.
Life gets busy; books don’t get prioritized. Pew Research Center states the average American is still likely to read around 12 books a year.
But with over a million books being published each year, the undeniable fact is: we need to find more time to read.
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If you love eBooks then make sure you have an eReading app on your phone! There: you’ve got a whole library in your pocket.
If you prefer physical books, put one in your bag every time you go out.
You never know when you’ll have a spare 10 minutes that could be filled with another chapter.
There is nothing as satisfying as tucking a new book under your arm and being desperate to get home and start reading.
Keeping your reading pile fresh and bolstered with new options is a foolproof way to keep your motivation to read high.
We all like new things, shiny things.
Put your headphones in and listen to your chosen story while traveling, exercising, shopping, waiting in lines, cleaning, etc.
An added bonus is that physical action mixed with auditory input means you have a better chance of remembering and engaging with what you’re listening to!
You’ll be amazed at how fast a book flies by when you listen for 30 minutes during your daily commute.
The important thing is to identify what makes reading uncomfortable for you, or what turns it into a chore.
Wave goodbye to your productive reading hour.
A big one for many people is picking up a book in the evening but falling asleep while reading. Do this too often and your brain will start associating reading with sleeping.
Eliminate these issues and turn reading into a safe place.
There’s nothing like being a little competitive to get you motivated to read more. Try focusing your reading intentions by setting a specific yearly reading goal!
You can sign up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge and pledge to read any number of books you like.
Pop Sugar also hosts a yearly challenge with over 16,000+ participants and Epic Reads hosts a 2019 reading challenge specifically geared to Young Adult books.
Another way to keep your on track with reading goals is to share your opinions in the form of reviews.
You can use any social media platform for this or even start a blog .
Not to mention you can always find someone who has the same opinion as you and it’s often exciting to see your views validated or articulated.
The truth is, most people don’t “have enough time” for anything. I technically do not have time to look at memes on twitter, but somehow I fit it in. (Hey no judgment; the meme life is important too!)
If you really want something, you learn to prioritize it — like making a purposeful healthy meal in the evening or setting your alarm before going to sleep.
Chase down 15-20 minutes and set it apart, untouchable and sacred, as your reading-time. Turn it into a habit.
Quality vs quantity is a valid opinion and I won’t argue against it! But if you’re picking up your 3rd novel that’s 1,000 pages and a deep sort of reading fatigue is settling into your bones, try choosing a few reads that are shorter.
Finishing books fast can kick-start you into feeling productive and speedy, which in turn encourages you to read more books. We want positive book experiences to motivate us to read more!
So make a purposeful decision to try books that aren’t always energy-intensive to absorb.
When you have someone keeping you accountable for getting through a set amount of chapters per day, it can help you stay on track.
Not to mention, reading doesn’t have to be a lonely activity! Buddy-reading promotes discussion and gathering other perspectives.
The discussion also helps me to absorb the story better and analyze the content… and also inspires my competitive streak so I end up reading twice as fast to “finish first.” Shh… Don’t tell my friend!
There is no shame in putting aside a book that isn’t working for you.
“It might get better!” your inner self whines softly, but be honest with yourself. Will it?
If a certain book makes you grind your teeth, set it aside and pick up something else. It’s too easy to neglect reading when you’re not enjoying it.
I don’t know about you, but I love having a different book for every occasion.
If I’m going out? I have an eBook ready to go. If I’m setting off for a walk, I grab my headphones and audiobook.
Reading multiple books at once can stop you stalling if you’re not in the mood for one of your current reads.
I always have a new book to reach for as soon as I finish an old one. This helps keep your momentum going.
If you get caught in a space of “Oh…I have nothing to read,” you’re going to lose time waiting to go to the bookstore or library.
Find a list and work your way through it.
But if they don’t make your heart beat faster or maybe even fill you with a deep sense of tired dread, then perhaps try exploring new genres and options.
Read what you love. There is no need for book elitism.
You’ll also be surprised when trying new genres… you might discover a new favorite.
I’m not saying stop doing these things altogether, because life is best when all your pleasures are balanced, but if you really want to read more, try purposefully reorganizing where you put your time.
Instead of rewatching Stranger Things for the twelfth time, read a book. Ten minutes on Twitter, then ten minutes with your book.
Discipline yourself to reach for a book first.
Everyone’s day is full of wasted minutes. Usually, it happens when we’re waiting on a person or waiting between activities or jobs.
So why not squeeze a few chapters into these spaces?
Pull it out and read! It shouldn’t be a big deal to be reading through a chapter while you wait for your coffee to be made.
Reading is a habit of compounding growth. Learn more and you’ll generate ideas and enthusiasm for making other changes.
Reading books, not just random online articles, is especially helpful. when you read a book, you’re getting more concentrated thinking on a topic than shorter essays.
Books, however, are also harder to read. They require patience and attention that is often in short supply. As a result, I think it makes sense to single out some specific strategies for increasing the amount of books you read.
Many of us have a desire to read. We buy books, but then the demands of work and family catch up with us, and we never get round to reading the books. The Japanese calls it tsundoku.
A US survey found that more than one-third of adults report a desire to read more books. If you're one of these people, even though you love books, reading them is the least important thing in your life. You may do it at the end of the day, or perhaps when you're on holiday.
Reading is a habit of compounding growth. When reading, you'll learn more, and you'll generate ideas and motivation for making other changes.
Reading books means you're getting more concentrated thinking on a topic. It's also harder and requires patience and attention than reading an article for example.
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