How to Read More Books
I'd venture a guess that most readers of Pages to Passport would like to read more books. Seeing as we haven't figured out that whole time warp business yet, I've compiled a list of practical tips to help you read more and stress less.
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Develop a Reading Habit
Half of the battle in reading more is finding the time and energy to do so. Old habits and Netflix addictions die hard. We are all pulled in a thousand different directions and reading is often something that falls away in times of chaos or uncertainty. I find that's exactly when I need reading the most.
Here are a few tips that have helped me develop strong reading habits and have taught me how to read more books over the years.
Read Just Five Pages Every Single Day
Sometimes, you just don't feel like reading even when you know you'll be glad you did. For those days, tell yourself that five pages of reading is a win. Most days, you'll end up reading more than that after all. On the other days, you still will have made some progress towards your goal.
Set a Timer
When I worked a traditional 9-to-5 job, I still woke up earlier than necessary to fit in a few minutes of reading before tackling my commute. Because I was worried about time, I would often find myself checking my phone constantly and occasionally getting sucked into the dreaded instagram black hole.
If you have trouble disconnecting from your device long enough to read more books, set a 20-minute timer on your phone and don't touch it until it rings. Hide your phone or timer under a pillow or in the next room. You'll be amazed by how much more relaxed and focused you can be.
Always Keep a Book With You
Like many things in life, proximity is half the battle. I like to keep a book (or five) near my bed, digital books on my phone via the Kindle or Libby app (great for sneakily reading while in lines), and books on my Kindle Oasis that fits easily in just about any crossbody bag for on-the-go reading.
Be Flexible on Format
In the same vein, I've found that when I'm more flexible with the format of my reading life, I end up reading more. That means that I don't discount reading on my Kindle when I'm on the road and I listen to audiobooks on Scribd when my hands are full. It means that I'm open to dropping everything to read a library book when the hold comes in. Are you as flexible on format as you can be?
Track Your Reading
If checking a box or making a list motivates you like it does me, find a way to track your reading life. Some people track their reading lives in data-heavy spreadsheets. Others get creative with a book journal or book-focused pages in their bullet journals. Most commonly, readers track their book progress on Goodreads.
I'm still learning the best way to track my reading progress. Even if my many systems are imperfect, I'm sure that tracking the books that I've read does help me read more books overall.
Choose the Right Books
If you want to read more books over time, it's naturally important to choose books that excite and motivate you to keep reading. I've developed a few tips for choosing the right books at the right time.
Reread Books That Make You Giddy
I've read the Harry Potter series more times than I can count. It's the series that shakes me from reading slumps and throws me back into the habit of reading when I need it most. Don't shy away from children's books or past favorites. They can still teach you something new, even if the lesson is just to read books again.
Choose a Book in a Niche You're Irrationally Interested In
Replicate Your Netflix Binge in Book Form
Take note of the shows or movies you mindlessly choose after a long day. Those choices probably reflect what you're craving in your reading life too. Action movies? Choose books likely to be the next big blockbuster. Rom coms? Choose a light read that warms your heart. Teen dramas? Pick up something like Six of Crows.
Armchair Travel to a Place You're Dreaming of
This is the reading tip I use most often. If I'm daydreaming of travel to a certain location, I'll choose a book set there. This book trick never fails to keep me reading for longer.
If you'd like to find a book set in a certain destination, I've probably got a travel book list for that.