“I wish I could read more books but I just don’t have the time. “
I have heard it or said it many times over. I long to read more books. I dream about the perfect reading scenario. Can you see it? It’s raining outside and I am curled up on the couch by a roaring fire with a warm blanket and a warm beverage as I adventure through an amazing world on the pages of my book. Or, I a sitting in an artsy coffee shop, sipping on my latte, as I read some deep, soul-searching book.
I have my daydreams about reading but the real-world truth is that most days go by without me ever picking up a book. I hate to admit the truth especially as someone who knows and shares the joys and importance of reading.
Here’s the truth.
We all have the same 24-hours in a day.
So, how do some people read stacks and stacks of books each year but some people struggle to read news headlines or even a single comic strip?
It comes down to making reading more books a priority and then creating habits that support that priority.
The good news is these habits are not hard to form and you will read more books too.
How to Read more Books Like a Pro: 15 Tips
1: Put Phone In a Centralized Location
Pick a good spot in your home or office where you can put your phone and keep it there. That way you don’t have your phone vying for your attention all the time. Leave the ringtone on and turn the notifications off.
Keeping your phone in a centralized location will help you not be distracted by constantly checking it. You will be in control when you choose to tune it. Being in control of your phone will help you read more books instead of unnecessary emails and random news stories.
2: Turn Off Social Media
We can all agree that social media is an insane time sucker. I will be the first to raise my hand when asked if social media eats too much of my time.
While keeping the phone in a centralized location helps keep social media in check, it doesn’t totally solve the problem. Social media needs to be turned off completely except for pre-determined times of the day. Otherwise
3: Carry A Book Everywhere
Here’s a super practical one for you.
I have lost count of the number of times that I have been in a situation when I’ve had to wait an extended amount of time and so wished I had a book. It ranges from doctor offices to carpool lines to terrible stopped traffic.
In just about every one of those situations, I have thought to myself, “I bet I could have finished that book by now if I only had it with me!!
It is a very common sight to see people whip out their phones in these kinds of waiting scenarios. Why is that? Because their phones are always available!
What if we always had a book available instead?
You could carry a book in your purse if it’s big enough or you could just keep the book in your car so that it’s easily retrievable in the time of need. No matter how you choose to do it, You get to read more books instead of constantly scrolling through your phone.
4: Schedule Reading Time
Put reading time into your daily calendar.
Just like you need to schedule
Treat your reading time like you would treat any important engagement, like a doctor’s appointment.
You make time for things that take priority in your life. If you want to read more books like a pro then you need to schedule reading time every day.Do you want to read more books? Here are14 easy habits to help you along the way. Click To Tweet
5: Make Reading a Part of Your
If you have kids, you may remember the bedtime routine or at least you heard people talk about the bedtime routine and you thought what a wonderful idea it was.
One aspect that is part of almost every suggested nighttime routine is to read a book to your child.
Adults need nighttime routines too. The ritual of it helps our bodies and minds settle down to a point where sleep becomes more productive and restorative.
Start winding down about an hour before your chosen bedtime. Include cozying up with a good book and some decaffeinated beverage. Before you know it, you will be feeling some heavy
Note: There is one warning to this tip. Be careful what book you pick for your bedtime routine. If you pick a very engaging and adventurous book then you might end up staying awake for way too long.
6: Place Books All Over Your House
Put books in strategic places all over your house so that a book is readily available at all the right moments.
Try the bedside table, coffee table, kitchen table, home office desk, inside the car, and…ahem….by the toilet or bathtub.
By having books placed all over the house you bust the excuse of not wanting to go get the book you were reading.
You also create an environment that is open and friendly to reading. By living in such an environment your desire to actually read more books will go up.
Yes, audio books do count as reading more books. Why not?
Put Audible or any other audiobook reader on your phone and load it up with great audio books.
You can sign up with Audible if you want an easy way to get buy audio books or you can check audio books out from your library. Check to see if your library offers Overdrive or Libby. You can borrow audio books for your Audible app just like you borrow books.
Play the audiobooks while driving in the car, doing housework, or exercising. These are all great times to read more books.
You can even use your Alexa to pick up where you left off in your Audible app. I have done that quite a few times while I’m cooking. “Alexa, play ‘book XYZ’.” and I am right where I left off. Easy reading.
8: Use a Kindle (or eReader)
I have recently gotten a Kindle Paperwhite and I can’t tell you why I waited so long to get one. For a very long time, I was of the opinion that I needed to hold the book and feel the book to be truly reading.
Forget that hogwash.
I have been reading more books so much ever since I got my Kindle.
- It fits perfectly in my purse so I always have a few books with me.
- My Kindle syncs up with my Audible app so that I can be listening to the audiobook version and then effortlessly switch over to the ebook version and vice versa without missing a word.
- I can easily switch between books with the flip of a finger.
- Having Kindle has helped me kill the notion that I have to read a book to completion before I start the next one.
- I can read my Kindle in the dark. All I have to do is dim the lights to a more comfortable glow for my eyes.
- If you are a Prime Member on Amazon you can “borrow” awesome books curated by Amazon editors through their Prime Reading program. You can borrow up to 10 books at a time. And there is no limit on how long you can borrow them. This is a great way to add to your book pile without actually taking up space in your house.
9: Reading Apps
There are some other great reading apps you can have on your phone. It is better to just put the phone down but we do live in a time when phones are always around. Why not redeem that time with some good reading too.
My favorite reading app is Serial Reader.
Do you ever wish you could read more Classics?
Serial Reader takes those books (often public domain) and breaks them up into serials. You subscribe to a book and you get a notice every day saying that day’s serial is available. Each serial takes twenty minutes or less to read. Day by day, bit by bit, you will get that awesome class book read. And it’s free.
If you don’t have a physical Kindle, you can still have the Kindle App. For years I used the Kindle app for all my eBook needs. I have read countless books this way and most of them for free by taking advantage of sales and giveaways.
There are countless other apps in the Play Store or App Store you can check out to fit your needs.
10: Schedule Reading Dates
Are you an introvert like me? But, you still love to meet up with close friends and family members.
Schedule a reading date with your favorite reading buddy. Meet up at a coffee shop, bookstore, or library and read together.
This way you are being social and reading more books. It’s a win-win situation!!
11: Set up Reading Challenges
Are you competitive? Are you one to compete with other people or are you one to compete with yourself?
No matter your flavor of competition, reading challenges are a great way to get your blood going and read more books.
You can challenge your friends to read a certain number of books in a given amount of time. Or, challenge them to books from a certain book list.
If you like running solo then consider challenging yourself in the same way.
GoodReads puts on a great challenge every year. On January 1, you set a number of books you desire to read in that calendar year. Pick an easily achievable number of books or pick a stretch number. Whatever your circumstances are you can challenge yourself to read more books.
12: Join a Book Club or Start Your Own
Joining a book club provides group accountability and fun to reading.
It is no fun showing up for book club having not read the book.
Book clubs also provide a new level of understanding to the book as you discuss and hear other peoples thoughts on the book.
13: Track Your Progress
Keep a log of some sort of all your reading.
It is so encouraging to see your reading list grow and grow as you read more books.
Again, GoodReads is an excellent app for tracking your progress. Not only can you keep track of what books you have read you can also keep track of books you want to read as you find them. There have been many times I have been in a library or bookstore and I see a book I want to read. All I have to do is scan the ISBN number and it’s added to my want to read list.
14: Only Read Books You Enjoy
Please do not give into the notion that you have to read books just because they are classics or famous.
It is a simple truth that if you are not enjoying a book then you will take forever reading it. And that is not how you read more books. It is possible to even end up resenting that book.
Do yourself a favor and focus only on books you actually enjoy.
And it is perfectly OKAY to stop a book halfway through. Stop wasting your time and energy believing you have to always finish
Reading is supposed to be enjoyed not suffered.
You have all the tools you need to make reading more books a priority this year. I know it can be hard at times. We are all busy but we also all have the same 24 hours a day. With the proper