How To Read More

How To Read More
Photo from Daniel Horacio on Flickr.

A long time ago someone asked if I could write some tips on how to read more, it took me far too long but finally here it is.

The first thing I need to say is this, reading is not a competition. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others, you shouldn’t feel like you need to read more just because other people do. No one cares if you read 3 books or 300 in a year. I mean just a few years ago I only read 2 or 3 books in a year and I was totally okay with that because I was reading the books I wanted to read. It just happened to be a time where reading wasn’t a priority for me.

That is the best piece of advice I can give you, make reading a priority. Set aside a time every day where you sit down for an hour and just read. Nothing else. But you can also look for times during the day where you could read, if you get a bus or train to work/ school read a book instead of playing games on your phone. If you drive a car listen to audiobooks while you drive. Look for times during your day where you could fit reading in.

The next thing I have to say is, it doesn’t matter how fast you read. There are websites that can tell you your reading speed and ways to improve it but I’ve found that the more you read the faster you get. You also have to take into consideration how long the book is. Its going to take someone far longer to read a 1000 page book than a 100 page graphic novel. You also need to remember that some books are easier to read than others. For example, you’re probably going to read a Harry Potter book faster than a Jane Austen novel.

I’ve also found its best to not make a TBR list every month (I know this is very popular in the book blog/tube community). If you decide at the start of the month that you want to read a particular book you could possibly change your mind by the time you actually get around to reading it. You’re going to get through a book you want to read much faster than something you’re forcing yourself to read.

Finally there are some methods that can help you concentrate on the book when you do decide to sit down and read. First, music, on or off depending on your preferences. Where you sit, or to be more specific the things around you are important too. I like to pick somewhere quiet and preferably not looking out a window. Hiding your phone/ laptop helps too. Don’t just turn them on silent mode, actually move them so you can’t see them while you read. If you can’t see your phone you won’t be tempted to check Twitter/ Facebook etc.

That is all the tips I can give. Just remember that no one will judge you based on the number of books you read (that’s if you actually read books, if you don’t read anything then yes we are going to judge a little bit!).

Thanks for reading.
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39 thoughts on “How To Read More

  1. So much agreement with the idea of reading what you want to read. I tend to pick up books for cheap at used bookstores and rummage sales thinking “Well, I wouldn’t mind reading that.” But I read a heck of a lot faster when I pick out a book that really interests me and download it on my Kindle. It feels like a special treat to myself, even though I still have a limit on how much I’m willing to pay.

    1. Yeah thats the only problem with used book stores. You can’t go in knowing what you want to buy because everything changes. Sometimes in cases like that I would use the goodreads app on my phone to see if a book was on my TBR list and what the ratings are like.

  2. Sometimes I got lost with ”What am I suppose to read?” Any tips then? Thanks!

    But great post and tips!! I’m startng a new book now so this comes in handy! <3

  3. I read every night before bed, and I try to read during my lunch at work. I’m often tempted to keep working through lunch (I’m an English professor, so that means grading), but it’s nice to squeeze in more reading time and to have a mental break from work.

  4. Thanks for this! I felt in competition a few months ago during my internship (in a library, would you believe) because my fellow interns would get through two or three books a month while I was still stuck on the same one. I used to be a really fast reader, but in the past few years it hasn’t been a priority at all. After the internship I sped up a bit, but now I’ve slowed again with a hard-going classic (hard-going for me, anyway). Very good tips here, so thanks! πŸ™‚

    1. I would agree with you but there has been a number of authors, Neal Stephenson for example, where I haven’t enjoyed all the books they write. It really just depends on the book.

      1. bluchickenninja, I know you ca’t bulk all authors in there together but for people who don’t read a lot that’s a good way to get started. I was an English teacher for 30 years and I would get the kids interested in an author just to get them reading… then we branched out. I love Rosemary Rogers, AWTozer, Beth Moore, Karen Anna Vogel, Grace Livingston Hill,
        Tracie Peterson, Janette Oak,Karen Kingsbury, and especially Francine Rivers.

  5. The TBR thing is interesting. Mainly because I’m a list obsessed person. I love a TBR and I love sticking to it and just having that variety assured in my monthly reading… however this month I have 100% failed and have successfully read no book of my 6 or 7 high pile. I’ve read about 10 books or so and I’m really happy with what I’ve read. The key thing with a TBR, if you do make one, is to not berate yourself if come the end of the month and haven’t completed it! I actually got to the 17th or 18th of this month having read nothing of of it and decided, actively, to ignore it for the rest of the month!

    Anyway, this was very interesting to read! πŸ˜€

    1. Yeah I’ve tried making a TBR list for every month before and haven’t stuck to it. I have a really bad habit of stopping half way through a book and starting something else.

      Thanks πŸ™‚

  6. Since finding FB and blogging, reading has dramatically decreased! Miss getting lost in a book, though, so am going to try to schedule it in. Thanks for your post!

  7. It is lovely to see someone else who thinks To Be Read lists are a generally bad idea. It puts obligation on you that you honestly don’t need and instead of treating reading as an experience, you will treat it as a chore.
    My sister has a TBR list, but it’s not small, it’s vast so that she may chose which book to read in a particular month without being bogged down by them. πŸ™‚

  8. Great post and good suggestions. I set a goal in January to read a certain number of books by December 31st and I challenged my friends to do the same. Everyone picked their own number and genre of books. The goal is simply to read more. Most days, I commute by train so that I can read in the mornings/afternoons (and so that I can get in some steps on Fitbit). I may not reach my target but I am okay with that, too. Like I said, my objective was to read more. (I’ll have to try hiding my phone, too.)

  9. These competitions to see how many books one can read in a month or a year really irritate me. It is like seeing how many doughnuts you can eat in a minute. Do you really enjoy the experience? I read about three to five books a month, unless it’s a Stephen King, but I don’t remember most of them after I have finished. How can anyone in a reading race remember anything? Still, each to their own, I suppose.

    1. I set myself a goal to read 52 books every year, have done for the past 3 years. If I hit that goal, great, if I don’t hit that goal thats also fine. Its just a way to encourage me to read a little more. I’ve also found its helped me realise just how much time I waste on Twitter/ Facebook/ Netflix ect. When I started the challenge in 2013 it was a good month if I read 4 books.

      I don’t feel like I’m in competition with anyone apart from myself. Its not even really a competition since you don’t win anything.

      1. I appreciate that it can be self motivating but I find it difficult to find more than one hour in the day when I can read, and that’s without facebook, twitter etc!

        1. On a typical day I spend about an hour reading, but there are also days where I read more and days where I read less. Everyone is different I suppose.

          You don’t have to challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in a year, its just a little bit of fun!

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