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Plenty of people want to read more. They make New Year’s resolutions, they set goals, they even buy new books. Then they don’t read them.
Part of this is how busy our lives our, but we still manage to watch TV, play video games, listen to podcasts, and go to the movies. If we can manage all of this, surely we can read a few extra books in a year. All it takes is a change in mindset, but a few tips can’t hurt either.
1. Listen to Audio Books
We’ll leave the argument of whether listening to an audiobook is actually “reading” aside for the moment. You’ve probably seen or heard Audible advertisements before, but this is far from the only way to listen to audiobooks. You can even find a significant number of audiobooks to listen to for free via Scribl.
Personally, I listen to audiobooks whenever I can fit them. I actually look forward to monotonous tasks like folding laundry just because it gives me some more time with whatever my current book is. Listen to enough and you can easily double your number of read books in a year.
2. Focus on One Book at a Time
If you’re easily distracted or don’t think you have the best memory, it may be best to stick to reading one book at a time. This way you never have to decide what to read, as there’s only one book you’re reading at a given time. This may also help you enjoy a book more as you can truly immerse yourself in it.
Don’t worry about how fast you’re making progress, just make your way through the book at a natural pace. Remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
3. Read Multiple Books at a Time
Of course, reading one book at a time isn’t for everyone. Personally, I usually have three books going at any given time: a printed book, an ebook, and an audiobook. I usually mix up the genres too. This could mean a non-fiction audiobook, a sci-fi novel on my Kindle, and a history book in printed form.
If your tastes change with your moods, this can keep you reading no matter what you feel like doing. It also means you’ll probably always have a book to fit whatever situation you find yourself in. Three isn’t the magic number, either; you may prefer more or less. Find what works for you.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Give Up on a Book
Unless you’re an editor, literary agent, or review books for a living, reading isn’t your job. Don’t treat it like it is. If you’re not feeling a book, just toss it. Struggling through a book you’re not enjoying is going to have the opposite effect of helping you read more books in a year.
You can always come back to a book later, but in the meantime, don’t let it hold you back. There’s a better chance of finding your new favorite book if you don’t let the ones you’re not enjoying slow you down.
5. Plant Books
This is an interesting idea I haven’t personally used, but I’ve heard it recommended by a few people. The idea is to encourage reading by strategically placing books around your home or workplace. When you go there, it’s then easy to start reading instead of idly staring at your phone.
Is there a spot you have breakfast regularly? That’s not a bad place to put a book. Even better, put it somewhere you’re going to have to kill some time. This could mean by the oven, dishwasher, or washing machine. You’re not going to read a whole novel here, but it could help you get in some extra pages and maybe even an extra book or two a year.