How to read more books
We like to read. Some of us love cuddling up to a good book to escape our busy lives or devour a book that helps us improve our career, be a better parent, or be more productive. The problem for many of us, including me, is finding the time to read more books.
Social media, on-demand TV and movies, podcasts, and bombardment of our email inbox creates a battle for our attention. The competition for our eyeballs is fierce. The question then becomes, how can we read more books with the demands of modern life?
I’ve fought this battle many times. When I’ve chosen a book over other distractions, it has led me to excellent mentors, brilliant guides, wise counselors, and the most accessible of teachers whose books have contributed to my many successes. Books to me are the gateway to knowledge and wisdom at my fingertips.
If you want your life enriched in ways that only books can do, here are a few ways how to read more books.
Determine what and why you want to read and then structure your habit
Define what you want to read. Ask yourself what you hope to get from your reading. For me, it is nearly always to learn something new. Structure your reading habit around your motivation, and you’ll get more out of it.
As with anything you want to accomplish, you have to spend time and discipline cultivating it into a habit. Every morning before I start my day, I include reading as part of my morning ritual. Whether it’s morning, noon, or nighttime, carve out a time every day when you can read that works best for you.
Set a goal
Start with the end in mind
Determine how many books you want to read in a year or if that’s too hard focus on just a month. I’ve found that picking a book from one of my favorite genres and rotating that sequence keeps me motivated in continuing to read. For example, if my goal is to read four books this month, I would pick one book to read for that week from one of four different genres from my reading list or book stack.
I use Goodreads.com and its companion smartphone application as my tool to cultivate my reading list and track progress. I set my reading challenge goal for the year, and Goodreads tracks that goal as I finish reading a book. It makes it pretty easy because Goodreads is connected with my Amazon Kindle accounts when I buy a book online. When you buy the book on Amazon, it goes on your Goodreads account.
The Goodreads smartphone application also includes a scan function. You can scan in a book’s barcode to add it to your library. This would be a great alternative if you borrowed the book from your local library. If all of this is too complicated, you can always use good old fashion pencil and paper! Whatever tool that you use, be intentional in developing your habit and setting a goal. Tracking your habit progress is a great way how you can read more books.
Determine your method
Define your favorite method to read and always have it near you
Choosing your favorite method can help you read more books. Whether you are a gadget geek with the latest smartphone or prefer the touch of paper, having your device or book readily at hand is key. If I’m reading a paper-based book, I keep it in my bag and pull it out when there is an opportunity. My preferred method is a smartphone, tablet or e-reader. I recommend using an Amazon Kindle or the Kindle application on a smartphone. No matter what device I pick up, I can continue where I left off on my book.
One of my daughters is a wickedly smart, and talented woman who reads voraciously. She maintains a reading a habit-maybe more of addiction-by reading books on her smartphone. When she was 16, she went off to a week-long summer camp and prepared herself for the trip by downloading books to her phone using our account with our permission.
Well, $272 later we discovered her appetite for books was greater than our appetite for funding her entertainment. Of course, that led to a life teaching moment for her, and she repaid a portion of her purchases. The upside, she read all of the books and more. Being intentional and having books ready when you have the time is the key. If you can’t direct your eyes to your favorite method for a text-based book, find an alternative.
Find an alternative
Find an alternative to reading text with an audiobook
An audiobook is a terrific alternative when you are not able to focus your eyes on text. A benefit with audiobooks is you can multitask. Whether it be mowing the lawn, picking up the kids from school, or your daily commute, audiobooks can help you read more books. Audiobooks tend to be more expensive than a book. I’ve found that by subscribing to an Audible subscription, the cost to read audiobooks is lower over time.
Another alternative to audiobooks is Blinkist. Think of Blinkist as the Cliff Notes for books. I found that for business or self-help type books this is a good way to go. Your subscription allows download of the abridged version of a book that you can read short “blinks “in text form or listen to in audio form. The company does a pretty good job of summarizing the main points of the book without the redundancy of case studies that business and self-improvement books tend to do. It’s a good way to consume a lot of content without dedicating the time to read the full book.
How can you read more books?
- Be intentional about why and what you want to read and cultivate it into a habit
- Set a reading goal that is achievable
- Define your preferred method to read and always have it nearby
- Find an alternative to text-based books with audiobooks
Here are links to help you on your reading journey. Some may be affiliate links.
Goodreads This is a terrific FREE site to keep track of your library and track your reading goals.
FREE Kindle Reading App read your favorite books on most devices. This is a must-have.
Kindle Unlimited This subscription allows you unlimited reading from over 1 million ebooks, unlimited listening to thousands of audiobooks and you can read on any device. I subscribe and love the access to great content.
Audible Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. A subscription is a great value if you commute and want to read more. Audible 30-day Free Trial is a great way to start.
NEW Kindle Oasis The new Kindle Oasis E-reader – 7″ High-Resolution Display, Waterproof, Built-In Audible. My wife gave me one for Christmas, and it is a step up from my previous model.
Blinkist This subscription is a great way to “level up” your reading habit.
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