Are you trying to find out how to read more books this year? Check out my tips below!
Since my friends and family know I’m an avid reader, one of the questions I heard most when I got pregnant was how I would find time to read! I typically read around 100 books a year while working a full time job, pursuing other hobbies, and running a book blog.
Now, I’m adding mom duties to that list. My son was born in March 2019, but using these tips I read over 100 books that year!
It may seem like an impossible task to find time to read with a schedule that’s packed full. My tips feature gradual and easy changes you can make to slowly improve your reading life.
Are you ready to find out how I find time to read? Let’s dive in!
How To Read More Books:
Read During Lunch (or Breakfast or Dinner) – Every day I’m at work I read during my lunch hour. Sometimes this means turning down lunch invitations, but I rely on that time each week. To make it easier, I leave a book at work so I’m not constantly lugging one back and forth. As a bonus, it helps give my eyes a break from the computer screen.
During nice weather you can also take your book and your lunch outside to enjoy some fresh air! In general, reading during any meal when you’re alone is a great option. This might mean an early breakfast before the kids wake up or a late dinner or ice cream after they go to bed. Whatever works for you!
Read More Than One Book at a Time – This is my favorite tip! I’m a huge proponent of reading multiple books at one time. The idea seems to scare everyone, but it’s not as hard or confusing as it sounds. Trust me. It helps if you pick books from different genres, so there’s no risk of mixing up the stories. If you have two or three options, you can turn to a different book when you’re not in the mood to read a certain one.
Set a Goal on Goodreads – Goals are supposed to be specific and measurable, so pick a number that you can reasonably achieve and write it down somewhere. Goodreads is a website/app that keeps track of what you read. You can almost make lists of books you want to read, which is handy when you’re deciding what to read next.
If you don’t use Goodreads or would rather use an Excel tracker, check out my Reading Tracker! It shows progress toward your yearly goal as well as loads of charts, graphs, and tables to analyze the books as you read!
Download the Kindle App – A necessity for reading when you’re out and about. I prefer to read eBooks on my Kindle when I’m at home, but I rarely bring a physical book or my Kindle with me on a regular day. So, if I’m waiting at an appointment, arrive somewhere too early, or just want a few minutes to myself before I walk in the house, I use my Kindle app. For these short snippets of time, it’s easiest to just read on your phone.
Listen to Audiobooks – Yes, this counts!!! I know some book people debate whether listening to a book on audio really “counts” as reading. Which is absurd. Are you absorbing the story? Yes. Ok then. Scribd is my favorite app for audiobooks since it’s only $9/month and has an incredible selection (including a bunch of new releases) of both audiobooks and ebooks. Plus, it’s unlimited. You can also find audiobooks for free through your library’s website. As a last resort, I’d suggest Audible, but that’s too expensive for me.
I often have an audiobook playing while I’m washing bottles, making dinner, or folding the endless amount of baby laundry. You can buy a cheap pair of wireless headphones to make it even easier. I really ramped up my audiobook game during maternity leave when I took a walk with the stroller every single day.
Mix Up Your Genres – If you need motivation to read more, try out new genres. This is also a useful tip for breaking out of a reading slump. Sometimes, it’s demotivational (is that a word??) to read the same type of story over and over again.
If you’re used to mysteries, give a contemporary romance like The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren a shot! Or branch out into a domestic thriller like The Couple Next Door if you only read chick lit! Often, you’ll be even more excited and eager to get back to your comfort zone afterward.
Replace One Episode of Your TV Show – Do you normally crash on the couch and watch a few episodes of your favorite show at night? Rather than giving up all of your TV time (which no one should be suggesting), replace just one episode of your show. I live for The Great British Baking Show so I would never recommend abandoning TV altogether.
However, finding the perfect mix of reading time and TV time is a must. Same goes for scrolling through apps on your phone. I hate to say it, but I could probably read a lot more if I cut my Pinterest and Instagram use in half. Sigh.
Don’t Always Stop at Chapter Endings – Many readers rely on chapters to naturally break up their reading time. So, if you know dinner needs to be started soon or the baby will be awake before long, you’ll stop when you get to the end of a chapter. This results in a few lost minutes of reading each time it happens!
Keep reading until you absolutely have to stop, even if you’re in the middle of the chapter. I know it’s a tough habit to break, but get some cute bookmarks and give yourself an excuse to use them. I promise you’ll still remember what’s happening. Plus, you most likely won’t get stuck with a cliffhanger!
Do Not Finish Books You Don’t Enjoy – Another controversial stance, but hear me out. When I’m not interested in or enjoying a book, I put off reading it in favor of almost anything. Kitchen needs cleaned? Perfect! Baby’s crying? Give him to me!! It might seem counterproductive to invest some time in a book and then discard it. However, you’ll ultimately end up reading more often and faster if you love the books you’re reading.
Use Amazon Shipping Credits to Buy Ebooks for Free – You’re more likely to read if you actually have options, right? Well here’s a tip to load up your Kindle with ebooks for free! The first few months with a newborn were a haze of late night feedings, quick naps, and lots and lots of Amazon orders. I realized there’s an option when you checkout to bypass the 2 day shipping and receive $1 toward your next digital purchase. Those $1 credits add up quickly and can be used in the Kindle store toward ebooks!
Do you have any helpful tips to read more books? Share in the comments!
If you need ideas for books to read, check out my most popular book list posts: