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9 Ways to Read More Books

Get fit, save money, learn a language; we are setting ourselves goals all of the time. What’s another goal people are striving towards this year? ‘Read more’.

How exactly do you read more? Many people simply give up on reading. They reach a certain age or find themselves ‘too busy’, that reading falls down on their list of priorities. From reading daily to now merely skimming through bursts of 280 characters on Twitter and the odd motivational Instagram caption.

If you’re reading less than you want, you’re not the only one. University and the required lacklustre reading lists ruined my love for books. The stories in which I would relish were replaced with monster-looking anthologies and poetry collections. So what did I do? I set myself a reading goal.

In 2018 I thought I was over-ambitious by setting my goal at 50 books. However, one week into December I hit it. What’s more, I actually exceeded that, sneaking in another five novels at the end of the year. Now I’m reading more than ever. This year I’ve stepped my goal up to a lofty 60 books, gradually making my way through my ‘to be read’ pile.

You want to read more? Perfect. So, how exactly do you do it?

1. Make it a habit

As with any habit you wish to pursue, you should schedule time for reading. Be it twenty minutes while you’re eating your breakfast, or an hour before bed. By incorporating it into your daily routine, you will find little reason to make excuses. Before you know it, reading will become a habit, and you will feel all the better for it.

2. Take a book with you everywhere

Reading time doesn’t just have to be reserved for 20 minutes before bed. What do we do when we’re early to an appointment? We scroll aimlessly through Instagram. Or how about when we have a half an hour commute to work? Our hands instinctively reach for our phones. Instead, carry a book with you everywhere. Next time you find yourself with some time to grind, put down Candy Crush and pick up the book instead. 

3. Check Your Priorities 

A lot of people’s number one reason for not reading is because they’re ‘too busy’. Nonetheless, they’ll always find time for a couple of hours of Netflix or the habitual scroll through their Instagram feed. I’m not saying stop doing these things by any means. However, if you’re determined to read more reading has to take precedence.

Whatever it is you wish you could be doing, there is always time for it. You just have to make it happen. Prioritise whatever brings you joy, and if reading is one of those things, it shouldn’t be a question of ‘having time’ but rather ‘making time’. 

4. Don’t limit yourself

Reading doesn’t stop at the pristine hardback you bought at full price from Waterstones. Try going to your nearest library, many offering the luxury of recent releases free at your disposal. You could also browse e-stores which I find are often cheaper. Another option is the abundance of charity shops. You’ll not only be supporting a good cause, but you’ll be saving some pennies too. 
Having a larger budget for more books allows me to purchase more. Purchasing more means I’ll read more. It’s logical really.

5. Make a list 

Curating a  “to-read” list is fun, and it’s a continuous reminder that there’s always something I can’t wait to read. I must add to my TBR list every day, leaving me spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing my next title. Just make sure you compile a list of books and topics that you find interesting, not what everyone is talking about. You can find books you’re interested in everywhere, Goodreads and the book community on social media being my go-to.

Don’t overthink which book you should read next—you’ll end up reading reviews for hours, which is a waste of time ( guilty; I spend more time scrolling through bookstagrams and reading reviews than I do books sometimes).

6. Set a goal 

Telling yourself you’re going to ‘read more’ may seem like a goal, but how will you keep yourself accountable? Will you aim for one book a week? 6 books over summer? Or, if you’re serious about reading, will you set yourself the goal of 40 books for the year? Setting goals may be the push you need to jump start your reading habit.

There’s a sense of fulfilment and motivation tracking the books you’ve read, too. I love using Goodreads to track everything. It’s an excellent motivator and allows you to gamify your goal.

7. Read what you enjoy

This is important. Not all books are for everyone. A book might be a best-seller, but maybe you can’t stand the writing. Or maybe you cringe at lovey-dovey romance.
Don’t waste your time reading about subjects you have zero interest in. Instead, pick out the books that are about topics that intrigue you. Read books about people that you admire. Don’t read a book just because it’s a best-seller or a classic if it has no meaning to you.

8. Give Up

That being said, if you did pick up something you thought what you would enjoy, don’t be ashamed to give up on it. You’re not going to enjoy every book you read and that’s okay. You’ll only find yourself traipsing your way through a book which could take months if you’re not enjoying it. If you’re not enjoying a book, quit, and move onto something else. No big deal.

9. Make Notes

Now, this may not be for everyone. If you’re someone like me who likes to retain knowledge, making notes can be a big motivator while reading. You can make notes down the margin, or highlight parts of the text you find interesting. If you’re reading an eBook, you can highlight quotes you want to remember.

Be sure to follow me on Goodreads if you don’t already!

Do you intend on reading more this year? Do you have any tips on how to read more?

Evie

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How to read more books

36 Comments

  1. I had a goal to read 30 books in 2018, and I honestly could not form a solid plan. These tips are great! Here’s to more reading in 2019 📚🎉

    xo, Rebecca | http://www.15bex02.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      It’s so easy to form a solid reading habit once you start carrying a book with you everywhere! Best of luck with your reading goals x

  2. Abbs Abbs

    These are some really good tips! I’ve never thought about making a To Read list! Definitely going to go home and make myself one❤️

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Thank you! It’s so encouraging to have books that you want to read next. Although, it’s reached a point where my to read list is too long now haha, glad you found this useful x

  3. I think I will add reading more to my goals and give some of these other tips a go too because it seems I never have time!

    Jenny | localleo.co.uk

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Good luck!

  4. I definitely want to get back into reading again this year, so it’s one of my goals, too! However, I don’t think I’ll be setting myself a goal of 60 😂 that’s amazing, though, and it’s amazing that you managed to exceed your goal last year! I’ve set myself 5 books this year, considering I read like 1 for the whole of 2018 🙄 I used to read so much, so it makes me really sad to think that I don’t anymore! These are great tips though, and I’m definitely going to be popping my book in my bag to take with me everywhere! I never thought of that, but it is such a good idea ☺️

    Beka | http://www.bekadaisies.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      It honestly just depends on what your priorities are! Reading is my favourite way to spend some down-time, whereas for others it’s something different entirely haha so 5 books is a great goal! Thanks for reading Beka! Glad you found it useful x

  5. I have definitely made excuses for myself when it comes to reading. To kick myself out of the habit, I went into my local library and picked up a library card and two books. Maybe two books too ambitious! Lol – I’m working on it. Goals are easier to accomplish when you break them down in little steps like how you did here ❤ Thank you for the lovely read, Evie!

    Diana | The Golden Lining
    https://thegoldenlining.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Ah that’s great! The library is my favourite place for reading inspiration. Exactly! Good luck with your reading year, glad you found this useful x

  6. I definitely want to read more; I totally identify with how you described loving books as a child, but misplacing that love in the world of university reading lists! I have found consciously putting my phone away before bed and reading before I go to sleep a good way to incorporate more books into my day, and I think it’s better for my sleep health too!

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Yeah I always put my phone away before bed now too and pull out a book instead! Definitely helps to unwind a lot more rather than having my eyes glued to the screen right before I turn out the lights. Hope you found this useful! x

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Thank you!

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Thank you!

  7. Macey Gloria Macey Gloria

    Annotating is definitely not for me as I find I just write what I’m thinking, and since I already know what I’m thinking, why write it out? I really did want to be an annotative reader; it just wasn’t flowing for me 🙁 I still enjoy writing papers on lit and using that space to emphasize what I’m thinking about the themes, subject matter, characters, plot structure, etc. All of these tips are fantastic! I’m determined to be a happy little bookworm again this year, as college makes it so hard to read as much as I used to. These are things I’m happy to say that I’ve started doing already, and I’m reading so much more & happier for it xx

    twinklexthoughts.blogspot.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Haha I agree that it isn’t for everyone. I normally only annotate if I have to do a book analysis, or if it’s for my University course. Ah that’s so great to hear, I hope you have an amazing reading year! xx

  8. This is such a great read! I definitely need to read more, I even have a few new books from Christmas, just need to remember to pack in my bag before work! X

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Haha it’s so easy to get back into the habit of reading once you take your books with you everywhere! Thanks for reading x

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Even 20 minutes in the morning is enough for it to become a habit, thanks for reading! x

  9. I definitely need these tips to read more books. It is always neat to see others exceeding their book milestones! I know #3 resonates with me deeply – if I make something a priority, it will get done. Setting a goal can be helpful too. Thanks for sharing these tips! Ok, I need to go pick up a book, hehe.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Once it becomes a priority it’s so easy for it to turn into a habit. Haha, thanks for reading! x

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Thank you, hope they help! x

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Hope they help!

  10. I think writing a TBR is a great way to excite yourself about reading! I use Goodreads and regularly add books to my neverending TBR, but this year I’m starting to write monthly TBRs so that I can see them more concretely and make a real plan to read them! // Since I use Goodreads, I also set reading goals via Goodreads’ annual reading challenge! A great motivator for sure 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  11. Yes! I love these tips. I absolutely love reading but find myself making constant excuses for not reading. I do always carry a book around in my bag, already, so will definitely be taking everything else on board. My TBR list is extremely long and I keep adding to it, though 😅

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Haha my TBR continues to get longer every day. Glad you found this useful, thanks for reading! x

  12. Those are some really lovely and easy tips to follow if you want to read more. I made a goal to start reading more this year and hopefully I will, following these steps would certainly make it easier.

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Ah best of luck with your reading goal! x

  13. “Take a book with you everywhere” – i’ve started to do this, especially when i go into town as i nearly always end up in a coffee shop! You’re right though, it’s about finding the time, which i simply didn’t do last year or – admittedly – last month. But it’s a new month and I CAN find/create that time to immerse myself in the magical land of fiction again <3

    Bumble and Be

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Yes! It won’t be long before reading becomes a daily habit, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. Best of luck with your reading goals, I hope you discover some amazing new worlds x

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