I often hear people ask myself and others "How do you read so much? I'd love to read more but..."Some of the most common reasons are "I have kids" or "I work a lot". These are absolutly valid! Life is hard and some things just take a lot of time out of our day. By the time we get home from work, get dinner made and eaten, our loved ones cared for and had a moment to breath, it's almost time for bed!
I know these ideas won't work for everyone. Our lives are unique as we are and there's nothing wrong with that. I just hope that one or two of these will help you find a way to help you reach your reading and self care goals.
Before we start, I want to start by reminding you of a few things. First of all, you're reading goals should not be "work" or something stressful. If you don't reach them, you don't reach them. You'll try again next week or month or year. Reading should be enjoyable. Second of all, there's no judgement here. If you pick up a book and read for fun and enjoyment, you're a reader. It doesn't matter how many books you finish in a year or how often or fast you read. It doesn't even matter what genre or level the books you pick up are at! So, please, don't go into this thinking it's going to make you a reader because chances are, you already are one!
So, with that said, we've compiled 15 tips and tricks to help you read more from all over. Some came from our own brain, others came from discussions we've had/seen with others in person or on the internet and some came from articles that we've read. And some came from or brain but was inspired by something we saw elsewhere.
So, without further ado, in no particular order, 15 tips and tricks to reading more:
Schedule time daily- This is my go-to and, for me, it works well! I read (almost) every night after dinner and up until my youngest's bed time routine. Sometimes I go to my book right after dinner, sometimes I wait a while if I have more to do. Anyway, the point is, it's part of my daily routine and everyone in my house knows it. I can't say that my kids and husband leave me alone completely, but it is a part of the routine. For you, the best time might be when you get home from work or in the morning. It doesn't matter so much when you read, just that it's a time that works well for you.
Put it on your To-Do list- If you're like me, that to-do list becomes the gospel for the day. I feel like I have to get as much done on that list as possible and if it's not on the list, it's not a priority. If I do something not on the list, I'm failing. (I'm not saying that's a healthy mindset). So, I put the things that are my self care and wind down time on my to-do list. It's kind of like giving myself permission to go do those things and feeling accomplised and rewarded when I acheive them, even if I only got half of my to-do list done that day. It sets the intent and helps to keep us accountable to follow through.
Diversify your reading- I know that some people pretty much only read one genre. If that's you awesome, we'll talk about ways to diversify in your genre, too. But, if you're like me and will read a plethera of genres and sub-genres, play with that. Allow yourself to jump genres when you're feeling bored with one, or jump authors even if you love that author. Other fun ways to diversify your reading (even if you're one of those who like only reading one genre) are to explore different time eras, different locations, and different authors. You can also explore a diversity in characters and authors, reading more that represent different gender ethnic groups, cultures, and sexual identities. Try reading something that has more spice or gore or something in it, or if that's what you tend to read, something with less of that stuff in it. Even play around with sub-genres. There are so many ways to diversify and explore!
Keep a reading journal or track your reading- This doesn't have to be official. You don't even need to show it to others if you don't want to. I've tried journaling and I really liked it, but it was hard for me to keep up on. I found myself getting behind a lot and then having to spend an hour catching up. However, I do use apps ( thestorygraph.com is my favorite.) to track what I read. I can tell you from experience that there is something oddly satisfying about marking a book as finished and seeing how many books you've read in a year. Even more so when you can track how close you are to your goal! It might just surprise you and show you that you read more then you thought! I've also really enjoyed doing a digital reading wrap up at the end of each month for my social medias and I printed out a coloring sheet of a book shelf to track my reading for the year, too. These tools also can help you keep on track in your goals.
Find a reading buddy or book club- First of all, reading with a friend who loves to read, too, is just so much fun! There's something amazing about getting to talk with someone who's also a book nerd, share thoughts on books you're both read/are reading and give recomendations! Also, it's a really cool feeling to reomend and share a book with a friend that they fall in love with. Book clubs are a great place to find this community if you don't have anyone, or enough, people in your life that can do this for you. (we have a fun book club called virtually bookish, too! Feel free to check us out if you're looking for a book club). Groups like this also help make you accountable, encourage you and turn reading into a more social event. Plus, it's also a great way to help you diversify your reading!
Don't be afraid of technology- We live in a world where technology seems to be everywhere and that's not always a bad thing. In the context of reading, technology can be extreamly helpful! The technology we have today allows us easier access to resources like audiobooks (we love our libro account and are proud to be connected with them! If you haven't already, check out our libro store front here ). Many libraries also have audiobooks available to borrow as well. e-books are also available and there are apps for your mobile devices that wouldn't require you to purchase an ereader to partake. By using these types of technology, you're able to take many books with you on the go, and listen to stories while you're completing mundane everyday tasks like commuting, waiting for your kids in the pick-up lines, working out, doing chores, maybe e a sven working! While I prefer physical books, personally, I'm also a huge fan of audiobooks! It's truly the reason I can read so many books in a year and it helps inspire me to do the everyday tasks I don't want to do, like dishes.
Always have a book with you- There are so many points in the day that can offer a chance to read a little. If you car pool or use public transport systems to comute, waiting for appointments, during your lunch break, ect. and when you have a book with you, you also have the perfect activity to keep you occupied and entertained while you're in those boring situations.
Reading space- When you've found your favorite place to read, turn it into you're own little reading space. This will look differnt for each of us. For years, my reading space was my bed, in my P.J's under my favorite blanket with a stack of books (or two stacks) on my headboard and a lamp on my bedside table. Now it's in my confy reading chair in our family library surrounded by books, a better lamp for lighting, an end table for my drinks and to put my bookmark and a blanket just in case I need it. Having a reading space provides comfort, relaxation and helps set the routine. Plus, it's so nice to just have all of your supplies in one place. And, when you're comfortable and relaxed, it's easier to get into a good rhythm while reading (at least for me). Another plus side is, that it can also act as a signal to your family that you are reading and to leave you alone. If you're lucky, they might just do it.
Celebrate your acheivments- And I mean all of them! Those acheivments may not seem like a lot to someone else, or they may seem impossible but embrace it! You did it! When you hit milestones or reach your goals, allow yourself to be proud of yourself, happy dance, share the news with others, gift yourself another book or a big fancy coffee from your favorite coffee shop! You set your goals and you know what feels like an accomplishment to you! Allow yourself the time to acknowledge and celebrate it in a way that feels rewarding to you!
Set acheivable goals- Speaking of goals...set yourself goals that you will have to work a little for, but are acheivable. For me, that generally looks like setting a goal for reading 1 physical book a week and 1 or 2 audiobooks a month. This takes into account my reading speed, my reading habits and the variety of reading levels and book sizes that I pick up. I also try to read 50 pages a night. Now, I do need to reevaluate this for 2024 as I've supassed my goal for 2022 and 2023, but when I set these goals, I felt like I'd have to work for them, but that I could do it. For someone else, it might be to read 1 book a month or 10 pages a day. That's totally ok and reaching those goals are just as big a deal as someone else reaching thier goal of 200 books a year! But, remember, if life gets in the way, or you're reading more 700 page books then the 400 page books you were reading and you don't reach the goal, that's ok. There's always next year. Celebrate what you did accomplish!
Read what you want- This is a huge one for me! There will always be people who feel that certain genres, authors, reading levels, ect. are supperior then the others; that adults should read books that are x amount of pages and only read adult books and not YA or middle school. Ignore them. If that's their reading prefrences, that's fine but we don't all have the same prefrences. I read children's lititure, middle school books, Young Adult books AND adult books with no shame and it's so freeing! If a book draws your attention and looks interesting to you, read the book. The more you enjoy what you read, the more you'll want to read and, therefor, the more you will read. It's great to try new things, but experiment because you want to, not because you feel like you need to.
Cast the characters- This idea I found online in a couple of different places and I was unsure at first, but then I thoght about it and realized how cool it sounds to me. The idea is to cast actors in the roles of the book characters, so when you imagine the story playing out, you're putting those celeberties in the roles and acting style, facial expressions, ect. I haven't tried it yet, but I totally see the appeal!
DNF- Don't be afraid to DNF a book (or Did Not Finish). I'm don't do this often because of my own reading habits and experiences, but I respect people who can just walk away from a book they don't like. Again, if you don't like a book and you dread reading it, DNF it and replace it with one you are excited to read. Like we said before, reading should be enjoyed and the more you enjoy it, the more you'll partake it in, so read what you like.
Make it interactive- I think I'm going to write a blog focusing on this concept alone, but find a way to feel more connected and active in what you're reading. Make a playlist of songs that comprise the soundtrack of the book in your head, bake or cook dishes that are in the book. Talk about the book, post about the book on social media or try activities that they partake in within the story. This can help you relate more closely with the characters and have a better understading of them and their environment.
Read book to movie works- And finally, especially for people who want to become readers, explore the book to movie/ T.V show or even video game world. There are so many great storeis that have trancended their original media format. Let them help guide you! Have you recently watched or played something that was based on a book? Read the book and see which one you like more and how they are different. Is there something you want to watch that you know came from a book? Read the book and then reward yourself (and maybe even your favorite person if you want company) to a movie night with your favorite drinks and snacks, curled up on the couch to watch the visual adaptation and see how it compares to the writen version! One of the things I love about this is that if you read books from movies/T.V shows or video games you enjoy, you already know that you like the story and some of the characters plus, it can be less intimidating when you have a general idea what is going to happen. This may also help you authors, genres, ect that you may not have found otherwise.
So there you have it, 15 tips and tricks to helping you read more in your life. I hope that one of these helped to inspire you.
But, those are just my thoughts. Did I leave your favorite tip or trick out? Let us know your favorite tip or trick to reading more in the comments!