6 Quick and Easy Ways To Read More
One question I’m frequently asked is how a person can read more books. I had a few ideas but wanted to see what other suggestions were out there in the internet world. So I combed through more than 500 articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, and podcasts to see what people were suggesting. I came away with a stack of index cards 6 inches thick of ideas. I’ll break them down over several blog posts but here are the six most recommended ideas.
1. Set a Goal
Whether your goal is to read one book a month or one book a week, having a goal in mind will help you be more mindful of reaching it.
Some people suggested setting crazy high goals to inspire you to read more. Stretch yourself beyond what you’re capable of doing.
Others suggested that you don’t set goals too high lest you get overwhelmed and not try at all.
I think it comes down to knowing yourself. Do big, hairy audacious goals motivate you or intimidate you? Spend sometime thinking about it and set your reading goals accordingly.
2. Always, always, always have a book with you.
This was the most suggested way to read more. If you have a book with you at all times, you can read a few pages here, a paragraph or two there. Having a book with you at all times allows you to take advantages of little pockets of time throughout your day where you can read a few pages or paragraphs. A little at a time adds up.
3. E-readers, audiobooks & apps
Related to always having a book with you is to use e-readers and audio books. As much as I adore physical books (and prefer them), sometimes it’s more convenient to carry a Kindle. Or an iPad. Or even your phone. I personally, cannot stand reading on my phone, but if it doesn’t bother you, it’s an excellent way to sneak in some additional reading time.
You can use audiobooks on commutes, while working out, walking the dog, cleaning the house, folding the laundry. There are plenty of opportunities to get reading done while your hands are busy doing other things. And yes, audiobooks count as reading.
4. Quit books you don’t like.
Don’t be afraid to give up on a book. Sometimes the author’s style doesn’t mesh with yours. Sometimes it’s a case of “right book, wrong time.” Sometimes you need to hear the message differently. Maybe the book wasn’t what you expected. Maybe it’s not giving you the answers you need. Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to stop reading a book you don’t like. You can always try it another time or find a different book on the same topic. There are too many great books out there to spend time struggling through a bad one.
5. Track your reading.
Along the same lines of setting goals, tracking how much you read each day can help motivate you to read more. If you aim to read 30 minutes each day, and you’re on a 25-day streak, you’ll want to keep that streak going. In addition, when you track your reading, you can look back and see the progress you are making.
6. Read more than one book at a time.
I was a little surprised to see this idea mentioned so frequently. It’s one I follow, but I didn’t realize so many other people do as well.
Some books are best read when the day is new. For example, you should be careful about what you read right before bed. You don’t want to lay awake all night, pondering what you’ve read.
The same goes for reading that takes mental concentration. If you try reading that material when you’re tired or sleepy, your comprehension will be lower. You might have to reread the same passage multiple times to “get” it. You want to do that reading in the morning or when your mind is at its sharpest.
It’s also nice to have variety in your reading time. If you start your day with a book about writing sales copy, you might be tired of the topic at the end of the day.
Instead of reading the same book throughout the day, try to find a different book to read during other parts of the day. You’re still reading but giving yourself a “break” from the regular content.
The way I structure my reading of multiple books is I do my “serious” reading first thing in the morning and throughout the day. At night before bed, I usually read from a biography. Then on weekend nights, I read fiction, usually a thriller.
There you have it. Six of the most commonly suggested ways to read more. Do you already use any of these methods? Any of them you’ll incorporate into your reading life? Let me know in the comments.