How to read more August 14, 2015

Most people read for personal enjoyment, educational purposes or self-improvement. Whatever reasons you have for wanting to read more, it will benefit you in a lot of ways.

But why is it that some people read a lot and you struggle to read as much as you would like? Only you can know the definite answer to that but I want to share 14 tips with you to achieve your personal reading goals and learn how to read more books.

So let’s get started, shall we?

1. Find the right books for you

I cannot stress this enough, you need to find the right books for you! Even avid readers stumble upon books they do not enjoy reading or have authors that are just not for them. Do not feel bad to abandon a book that you just cannot get into. Of course, if you are in college or have to read a certain book you need to stick with it. But you can always look for different books on the same subject, try to read different authors on the subject. Now, if you read for fun, try to read a different genre or just move on to a different book you always wanted to read. Maybe you stick to reading one book at a time, or four. Find out what works for you!

2. Read everywhere

Take a book with you wherever you go and make it a habit to read everywhere you go. When you are waiting on something or someone, when you wait in line at the bank, or depending on the reading format you choose (think audio books)read while you are doing chores or when you are driving home from work.

3. Plan your reading

Make a list of books you want to read and look for new books already even when you are still in the process of reading one. Plan your reading and think ahead of time. This way you never run out of reading material and ideas on what to possibly read next.

4. Set yourself goals

Setting up your own personal reading goals can be really motivating. You can do a reading challenge with friends, on Goodreads or just decide how many books you plan on reading this month or for the rest of the year. Try to keep up with your own reading goals. Just do not let it stress you out. It should be a motivation and not a struggle for you to keep up with.

5. Read and watch book reviews

There is so much book related content everywhere! You can read book reviews in magazines or read them online, watch book recommendation videos online on Youtube, for example. You can read book related blogs, and go to bookish events in your library or favorite bookstores. If this is new to you, you might be surprised about the amount of book content you will find!

6. Explore the book communities out there

There are book websites from publishers, book magazines, a whole Booktube community on Social Media (especially on Youtube, Goodreads, and on Instagram), online book stores, book related podcasts; there are local book clubs, libraries, a variety of bookstores and so many more ways to connect with people that love reading. Go explore them! It will inspire you to read more and help you to find new ideas about what to read next. You can connect with people that have the same or different reading interests than you do and expand your literary horizons.

7. Look and ask for recommendations

As already mentioned, book reviews and recommendations are very valuable to discover new reading material. You can look for recommendations online and also ask for recommendations from your friends, reading buddies, librarians, book sellers and so on. But you can also look for book recommendation websites online, or look for similar books when you browse books online. Nearly any website has recommended similar books next to the one you were initially interested in. A lot of bigger and independent bookstores also share their bookseller recommendations on their websites.

8. Consider different book formats

E-books and audio books can come in handy when you are on the road or cleaning your house. Try out different book formats you enjoy.

9. Make time to read and make reading a priority

This is probably the most important point! Make time to read. You choose how you spend your free time during the day and if you really dedicate more time to reading, you will be able to read more books. You could dedicate a certain hour every day to read, or read every evening before you go to bed and make that your reading time. Make reading a priority and simply choose to read more. You can also choose reading over watching TV, for instance.

10. Read whatever you want to read

I touched on this subject before, but I want to remind you that you should read whatever you want to read. Please do not be judgemental when it comes to your own or other people’s reading preferences. It is all personal taste and it goes without saying that being a book snob and looking down on other people for what they like to read is just plain rude and immature. Also do not feel embarrassed about your reading level or that you do not like reading classics, for example.This is just an example. Classics are great! But the thing is, if you do not enjoy them, do not read them if you do not want to. There are books that are difficult or challenging to read but you should only stick with books that you set up your mind to read for yourself. Because you want to challenge yourself or increase your reading comprehension further. Let go of your preconceived notions about reading and your reading choices. Do not compare yourself too much to other readers and try to read with an open mind and look for new books with an open heart. Be thoughtful about what it is you want to read and free yourself from the habit of making book choices because you are “supposed to read” something. Read what you really want to read next!

11. Find a library or bookstore you like

There is something special about browsing for books in a library or a bookstore. It can give you many ideas for new books to read and the people working there are passionate about books and give great recommendations if you ask them politely. You can go to book events there and if you are lucky, maybe you get to meet your favorite authors and have them sign your book?

12. Get excited about what you read

Find the joy in reading and explore books for knowledge and new ideas. Read and explore different books and genres and find inspiration in your reading. Reading should be enjoyable and great books can teach you a lot about yourself and the world around you. Think for yourself and learn something new from the books you read. Challenge yourself every now and then! Practice critical reading, too. But only read what you want.

13. Do some research and explore

Check out other books by authors you like and find out about new book releases online. You can also look at new authors that you might like, based on the ones you know you like. Authors also write about who inspires them and what books they love. There are so many ways to find out about authors and books you will come to love by exploring book reviews, recommendations and favorite lists, bestseller lists etc. If you are interested in a specific subject or you want to read a book from an author in a specific country, do some research. Diversify your reading! Explore new authors, genres and books and get excited about finding new books you haven’t even heard of before.

14. Read when you want to read

Do not force yourself to read when you do not feel like it. If you do not want to read, don’t read. Do something else! This way you can avoid reading slumps and stay motivated to read more books. Reading should not become a chore that you feel forced to do, because you want to read a number of X books this month. Free yourself from that! Reading can and should be something that you love and want to do.

I hope you got some ideas on how to read more and have fun with your books. Happy reading!

Photography by Foundry / Pixabay

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