How To Read More Books Starting Today
About three years ago, I promised myself that I would read more books. I had just graduated and was moving to New York City to begin my first real-world job. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but this would be the first time in years that I would finally get to read what I wanted, when I wanted, and how much I wanted. There were no more tests over the material or expectations to finish before a certain deadline. I also wouldn’t have any homework or projects to do in the evenings, freeing up even more time to read and enjoy a great book. Bringing tons of books with me to NYC, I was fully ready and prepared to tear through books I had been wanting to read for years.
And it’s been a truly awesome experience.
In the time since I made this promise about three years ago, I’ve read about 100 books, roughly 30–35 per year. There was no way I ever imagined reading that many books a year; but somehow, it just happened. Book after book, I found myself reading faster, understanding more, and becoming accustomed to always being ready to read more.
As I’ve taken up the habit of posting about the books that I read, people have asked me — “How do you find the time to read so many books?” There’s not one easy answer, but I do have a few tips and tricks for you on how to read more books and enjoy it at the same time.
- Read the books you want to read
This may sound simple, but it’s one of the biggest things that keeps people from truly enjoying reading. Too often, we pick out books that we think we should be reading, whether it be classic literature, popular non-fiction, New York Times bestsellers, or Oprah’s Book Club. But if you’re going to spend time reading, you should read what interests you. Don’t just mindlessly pick up a book because you’ve seen it everywhere or everyone is talking about it. Really think about the things you’re interested in and what you want to learn more about and use that to figure out a book to try. Also, if you start a book, and you find yourself not enjoying it, stop reading it. It’s okay to not finish a book, seriously. Reading should bring meaning to your life, and you’ll end up hating it more if you pick out books you don’t like.
- Keep yourself surrounded by more books
If you want to eat healthier, you should have healthy food in your kitchen. The same goes for books. If you want to read more, have books around you ready to read! There’s just something about having your book with you that can keep you excited for the opportunity to read. I would also recommend having a stack of books (or a least a list) ready to go, that way you’re thinking about what books you’ll read next and can start it as soon you finish your current book.
- Set aside time for it
If you want to prioritize something, set aside time to make it happen. You can make a certain time each day “reading time” or set a reminder so that you don’t forget. (Also, by following the first two tips, you’ll have a book that you’re excited about with you already). And even a small amount of time each day can really add up. Let’s say you have a book that is 300 pages. If you were to reach 10 pages each day, you would finish that book in a month. If you did each month, that’s 12 books a year — that’s huge! Again, it just starts with making a little bit of time for it.
- Read with other people
Starting a new habit is always easier with other people working to hold you accountable. So whether you do it with a friend, join a book club, or sign-up for a Goodreads account, you should find some way to track your success with reading. However, as you begin to read with other people, make sure you’re sticking with the first principle outlined here — only read books that you actually want to read. Especially in book clubs, it can be really easy to get stuck with a book that doesn’t interest you. So either stick to a small group of friends or join a book club that focuses on a genre you love. In addition to accountability, reading with other people will help with your comprehension and is just more fun!
Those are my tips and tricks for reading more books! As you begin this journey, just take it one page and book at a time. And be sure to have fun with it too. Reading should be a meaningful activity that adds some more depth and joy into your life. And if you’re looking for books to get started with, check out my favorite book lists. Happy reading!