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How To Read More Books

The benefits of reading feature frequently in many of the posts I write whether it’s to expand your knowledge, improve your brain, spark creativity or just to make you feel less alone.

All of these remain desirable, in fact a US survey found that more than one-third of adults report a desire to read more books, with book reading second only to exercise as the most wished-for activity. Similarly, in France, 65 per cent of people aged 15 years and over said they wished they read more books, rising to 77 per cent among those already reading at average levels.

Yet reading doesn’t always come easy –at least not to everyone-, therefore in this article I propose a few methods to help you with reading more books – if you would be so kind to read on.

  1. Focus on Building the habit
  2. Always Have a Book on Deck
  3. Embrace Audio Books.
  4. Start small and Take your time
  5. Learn To Double Task
  6. Skim The Smart Way
  7. Quit Books You Don’t Like

1. Focus on Building the habit

It will take significant effort for you to read more books, at least at first. To succeed long-term, you need to develop new reading habits, so that reading is something you do without resorting to conscious effort and willpower.

You may decide on a night routine, reading a bedtime story to lull yourself to sleep. If you do this frequently enough, it can become a part of your nighttime routine.

“Even if you read the book for five minutes and fall asleep with it on your face—which has definitely happened to me—you have read it for five more minutes than you would have otherwise, and it just becomes a habit.” 

Sarah Gelman, the editorial director of Amazon Books.

Alternatively you may prefer a morning routine, If your schedule allows, instead of perusing your emails or immediately beginning the day’s to-do list, take a moment for yourself and dedicate anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for reading. And yes, you can stay in bed.

‘Read whatever the hell you want to read in the beginning’ because the real thing that you’re focused on is building the habit of reading, not necessarily the knowledge. Like if you just want to read romance novels. Awesome. Read that. If you just want to read fantasy, read that. Read whatever helps you fall in love with the act of being a reader or the habit of reading. And once you fall in love with the habit, then it’s easy … Now you’ve got a lot of options because it’s part of your life.

Indian-American entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.com

2. Always have a book on deck

You’d be surprised how many moments in your day can be filled with reading if you have a book handy. Waiting for the bus, in line at the grocery, at the doctor’s office, even in a long elevator ride—all are perfect opportunities to squeeze in a few more pages. You may choose to have have a dedicated space in your bag for your next read or use an ereader or having a reading app downloaded on your phone.

Also, it is helpful to have more than one book lined up to be read, so when you’re just not in the mood to read a one book, you can easily pick up a different one. This works particularly well if you each book is very different in genre and/or style.

3. Embrace Audio Books.

LISTENING TO AUDIOBOOKS IS NOT CHEATING. We all learn and retain information in different ways, and audiobooks are one of many ways to enjoy a good book. Audiobooks are amazing when it comes to multitasking. You can listen to an audiobook while driving, exercising, walking, and so much more. Plus it’s a great way to avoid eye fatigue when you’ve been reading a lot of print or ebooks.

 “Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”

 Stephen Fry

4. Start Small and Take your time

Oftentimes after purchasing a new book, the thought of even attempting to finish a multi-chapter novel can be intimidating. But remember, reading is not a race. You can finish a story as fast or as slow as you wish. To maintain your preferred pace, in addition to keeping yourself accountable, create personal goals. This could look like 20 pages a day, two chapters a week, or finishing the book by the end of the month.
Whatever works for your schedule is attainable.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

5. Learn To Double Task

There are only so many hours in the day, right? But if you learn to double task, you double your hours. Read a book while you’re doing something else that doesn’t require your full attention. I like to read or listen to books while working out, cooking, cleaning, and even walking. Just save the really complex books for when you can give them your undivided attention.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”

 James Baldwin

6. Skim The Smart Way

It’s easy to get frustrated with a book that’s repetitive or overly detailed, and that can make you lose sight of the finish line. There’s nothing wrong with a little educated skimming, especially if it can help you get back into the book down the road.

Read the beginning and end of each chapter, section, and paragraph. That way, you’ll still catch the major takeaways without getting bogged down in the details. But if you catch yourself skimming the whole book and not enjoying any of it, you might want to drop it and pick-up a different book.

7. Quit Books You Don’t Like

A related point is giving yourself permission to quit books that you’re not enjoying.

‘I had spent so many years picking up books that people had told me I “should” read. ‘I diligently ploughed my way through literature prize longlists and shortlists. I would try to push on until the end of every one, even when I really didn’t enjoy them. Then one day, I just put a book down I didn’t love, and picked up another one which I did.

Reynolds.

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one

George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Remember, to make an habit out of reading you need to pursue it at your own pace and comfort, reading is not something you should dread. Make it enjoyable, collect books that interest and excite you and you’ll find yourself escaping more frequently into these beautiful far flung worlds.

One reply on “How To Read More Books”

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