How to Read More Books?

A common resolution is to read more books. This year, you may not have read as many books as you would have liked. There may be too many books on your TBR list. You may have read a great deal this year, but you want to do even better next year. 

However, by following these tips to read more books, you’ll be able to meet your reading goals.

When I tell my friends and family how many books I read each year, they are often shocked. 

You can read more books, I assure you. All you need is some commitment and, well, more reading.

Using the tips below, you will be able to fit more reading into your schedule, prevent burnout, and reach your reading goals. But not all tips will work for you. 

This list can be inspiring, but you don’t have to follow every tip here. You should enjoy reading, not endure it. Nevertheless, I hope this list inspires you to read more.

1. Always Keep A Book With You

You will never get bored when you have a book. When you have a book with you, you’ll be surprised at how many moments in your day can be filled with reading.

When you’re waiting for the bus, at the grocery store or even on an elevator ride, you can squeeze in a few more pages.

I recommend carrying an ereader or having reading apps on your phone if you don’t like carrying around a physical book.

2. Have A Goal In Mind

When you set a reading goal, reading more books is much easier. Staying motivated and on track to reach your goals is easy when you have a goal in mind. Using the Goodreads Reading Challenge is an excellent way to keep track of your progress and stay on track. But make sure your goal is attainable; if you set a goal you won’t be able to reach, it will only discourage you.

3. Join A Book Club

Holding yourself accountable to your reading goal is easy with book clubs. As a first step, scheduled book club meetings encourage you to complete a book by a certain date. 

In addition, book clubs can be a great way for you to interact with others and feel more engaged in your reading. 

A book club also relieves some of the “what should I read next?” pressure that can keep you from picking up your next book. You’ll read 12 books toward your annual reading goal if you join a book club monthly!

4. Make Reading A Part Of Your Daily Routine

By intentionally dedicating more time to reading, one can consistently read more. That seems straightforward, doesn’t it? Making reading part of your routine is the best way to keep your resolution to read throughout the year. 

Spend your lunch breaks reading, or get up half an hour earlier each day and read while you drink your coffee. Making reading a regular part of your schedule will help you develop the habit.

5. Read With Your Ears

It’s not cheating to listen to audiobooks. We all learn and retain information in different ways, and audiobooks are just one method of enjoying a good book.

It’s easy to multitask while listening to audiobooks. Audiobooks can be listened to while driving, exercising, walking, and so much more. Additionally, it prevents eye fatigue when you’re reading a lot of print or ebooks.

I recommend beginning with an audiobook by a celebrity author you admire, like Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine, if you’re new to audiobooks.

Consider listening to a collection of essays or short stories, such as Samantha Irby’s We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

6. Try Doubling Task

Isn’t it true that there are only so many hours in the day? Double-tasking, however, doubles your time. While you’re doing something else, you can read a book. 

Working out, cooking, cleaning, and even walking inspire me to read or listen to books. Keep the really complex books for when you have time to devote to them.

7. Mix Up The Genres

The book hangover is a common enemy of reading goals, or when you finish an excellent book and lack the motivation to read another. Changing up the genre I read is the best way for me to keep up my reading pace and avoid book hangovers.

Did you finish an amazing sci-fi series? Then check out true crime! Did you just finish reading a romance novel? Check out a humorous memoir next! It will keep you on your toes.

Furthermore, it eliminates confusion between similar plot lines or characters AND helps prevent direct comparisons between books of the same genre.

8. Try New Things

The more you read outside of your comfort zone, the better off you will be. New worlds and experiences are at the heart of books, so why not embrace everything the bookish world has to offer? Check out Rep. John Lewis’ March series of comics and graphic memoirs. Check out books like Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X or Robin Ryle’s She/He/They/Me that let you choose your own path. Your reading life will definitely be changed if you discover a new favorite thing.

9. Read Along With A Friend

Reading is a good example of why you should have a partner to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions. Having someone on your side is helpful, and even better if you can read together. 

You may be inspired to read to the end with the help of a friend when you talk about what you’re reading. 

A bookish friend may also have recommendations for books you’d enjoy based on your discussion. It’s a win-win situation!

10. Take On More Than One Book At A Time

You may enjoy a book, but sometimes you aren’t in the mood to read it. That can be a hindrance to completing your reading goal. That’s why reading multiple books at once can help you reach your reading goal.

Several tips can help you read several books at once, but for me the most important is to ensure each book is very different in genre and/or style. 

You can easily keep the plots of your historical mystery novel and contemporary romance novel separate, and keep both of those from a nonfiction book on politics. 

Having a variety of books can also ensure you don’t skip your reading time that day.

11. Make Use Of A Reading Tracker

Keep track of your book goal with a reading tracker, and analyze your reading style with one as well. There are a lot of reading trackers available, but I personally prefer Book Riot’s digital reading tracker and Read Harder journal. 

You need to find one that works for you to stay on track. You may even recognize patterns in your reading habits that will inspire you to read more books throughout the year.

12. Take Part In Readathons

Participating in a readathon will help you reach your reading goal in a fun and social way. Readathons are held throughout the year by bloggers and Bookstagrammers, where participants read for a set period of time. 

There are even readathons with themes and book recommendations. Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is a good place to start if you’re new to readathons. Getting involved in the bookish community is a great way to build excitement and read.

13. Read And Share What You Find

Keep your reading goals to yourself. Share your favorite books, though. As I am passing on the information or insights I just read, it becomes a part of the whole reading experience. 

In addition, I receive recommendations from others. Perhaps someone will say, “Well, if you liked that, then you should also check out this book.”

14. Avoid Burnout By Taking Breaks

Knowing your limits and avoiding burnout are important. Trying to read too much can lead to headaches, eye strain, and mental exhaustion. This is especially true while reading something that requires a lot of focus and concentration. 

Take a walk, have a snack, or watch an episode of your favorite TV show after reading so many pages or chapters. 

Take a day off from reading if you need to. You are on a marathon, not a sprint when it comes to your reading goal.

15. Save Money With The Library And Book Sales

Having a passion for books can be expensive. While it’s great to support authors by buying their books, it can add up if you buy enough to meet your reading goal. 

There are many affordable ways to achieve your reading goal. You can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your local library. 

Exchange an old book for a new one at a Little Free Library near you. Check out a local used bookstore or arrange a book swap with friends. You’ll be glad you did.

16. Replace Bad Habits With Reading

With your New Year’s Resolutions, are you trying to kick any bad habits? When you’re trying to cut out certain things from your life, reading can fill in the gaps. 

Perhaps you want to spend less time on social media, reduce your TV time, or quit smoking. All of that time can be used to read more. The next time you want to get lost in Twitter, set a timer for five minutes, and then spend the rest of the time reading instead.

17. You Should Read Books You Actually Enjoy

When you read books that you actually want to read, it will be more difficult to put them down. One of my favorite authors is Stephen King. Does reading the Dark Tower series make me a better father or entrepreneur? No. Reading makes me so immersed that I can’t stop.

Hold on a minute. I don’t think anyone can tell me whether reading the Dark Tower series helps me or not. It might make me a better entrepreneur. Look for my comments later.

Moreover, I also like mixing it-up. It’s not just Stevie-boy King for me. I read biographies and leadership books as well. I enjoy reading them regardless of whether or not they are useful.

18. Embrace The DNF

No reading goal can be reached by forcing yourself to finish a book you hate. You won’t enjoy reading a book you don’t enjoy, and you will be slow in your reading progress. 

Calling it quits early and without remorse is the key. You can declare a DNF (did not finish) if you’re not enjoying a book after 20-30 pages and move on to something you enjoy. Don’t waste your time reading things you hate.

19. Skim The Smart Way

Overly detailed or repetitive books can make you lose sight of the finish line, and that can lead to frustration. It’s okay to skim a little when it can help you get back into the book later. 

The major takeaway from my speed-reading guide is to read the beginning and end of each chapter, section, and paragraph. 

By doing so, you’ll be able to get the major points without getting bogged down in the details. However, if you find yourself skimming the whole book and not enjoying it at all, you might want to DNF.

20. Make The Most Of Your Travel Time

When I’m traveling, I love reading the most. Getting lost in a good book on the train, plane, or bus can make the time pass faster. Instead of watching in-flight movies, pick up a book next time you fly. 

If you have an ereader, make sure it is pre-loaded with exciting options so you can choose from a variety of books. Listen to an audiobook while driving on a road trip.

21. Receive Good Recommendations

When you enjoy the books you are reading, it’s easier to make time to read more. However, researching new books can consume a lot of your reading time. Talk to a librarian or bookseller in your area about book recommendations. 

Many of my favorite books are recommended here on Book Riot. You can also use a book subscription service, such as Book Riot’s TBR. Your TBR bibliologist will recommend books you’ll love based on your reading preferences.

22. Take Time Away From Something Less Important To Read

That makes sense to me. When you spend two or three hours reading a day, it might seem like a significant time commitment, but if you borrow time from something else, you’ll discover that it’s really not that hard.

Is it true that the average American watches five hours of television a day? Reduce your TV viewing to two hours per day if you fall into that category, and spend the rest of your time reading. It’s easier to read first, then watch TV, rather than the other way around.

23. Make Your Reading Environment Distraction-Free

Some distractions you can’t avoid, such as when your Amazon Prime delivery arrives and your dog starts barking. Others, however, are under your control.

Reading should be done in a quiet room without temptations, such as a television. Alternatively, you could put your phone on airplane mode or silent mode for a set period of time.

24. Take Advantage Of Technology

Physical books are my favorite. Nothing compares to holding an actual book in your hands. Moreover, studies have found that reading print leads to better comprehension and retention than using a computer screen.

However, carrying a book around is not always convenient. When traveling, you can read a book on your iPad or Kindle. Audible or iBook can be used to listen to audiobooks while exercising.

Utilizing technology allows you to consume more books throughout the year.

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