I hope this post will inspire you to read more and give you easy ways to add more reading to your day.
I am a dedicated Bookworm and have figured out many different ways to read a lot on the go. On average, I read anywhere from two to five books a week. During times of high stress, somehow, I manage to squeeze even more in. I average about 20 books a month while still living a busy life. Obviously, I do not expect everyone to read 2 books a week, but these strategies can help you find time to read in a busy schedule.
Something to think about before picking up a book is why are you reading? Are you starting to read to escape reality for a little bit? Are you reading to learn new strategies to improve your business? Do you want to learn how to be a better parent? Or, are you making your way through the list of books that millionaires recommend? These are all great reasons to read. But you might be reading the wrong book if you are struggling to find time to read.
Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you click on a link and decide to buy something, I will get pennies for referring you. This in no way changes the price for you. It just helps me make a bit for doing what I love.
I am going to let you in on a secret. I’ve read thousands of books. I’m not joking or exaggerating that number. The times when I was the busiest (Like during finals during my senior year of college with 40 pages of research essays to write in a week.) I still found time to read because the book I was reading was so engaging I could not put it down. Was I procrastinating? Definitely! But it worked because the book was engaging. If I had a book I was not as invested in, I probably would have spent more time writing during the day. Instead, I stayed up all night multiple times that week to meet my deadlines.
I have tried reading the biggest self-help book and the book on top of Amazon’s bestseller list. I’ve tried reading the books that everyone is always raving about. None of those books were able to reach out of the pages, hold onto my heart and demand my attention. So if you aren’t getting hooked, or falling in love with the book, get a new one! When you find a book you can’t put down, that is the book you read.
Tip 1 – Find a Book
The first tip is to find a book. This may seem like a dumb first step, but if you don’t know what to read or don’t like the book you currently are reading, you won’t read as much. Reread my rant above if you need a refresher course. Try out a few different genres if you are just starting out. If you are trying to escape go for a fiction book. If you are curious about something or find yourself googling a lot about a certain topic, find a non-fiction book about it. Whatever you decide on, get a copy and maybe have a couple of similar books or the rest of the series on hold or in your to-be-read pile (affectionately known as TBR pile in online book clubs).
If you are having a hard time finding books because of the pandemic, head over to this post. I walk you through the process of getting books from your couch.
Don’t be afraid to stop reading a book if you don’t like it or aren’t invested in it. If it’s boring, you do not have to read it. The only caveat is if the book is for school or work. The same thing goes for young readers. If you are fighting with your children to read, then it is time to find a different book.
Tip 2 – Take the book EVERWHERE
My second tip is to take the book with you everywhere! If you are going to the bathroom, bring it along. If you are heading to the doctors’ office and know you will have a few minutes to wait, grab it. Even if you are just heading into the kitchen to make a sandwich, take your book with you. There are so many small moments you can utilize in your day to read a paragraph or a sentence or two if you have your book with you. A few sentences turn into a paragraph. A couple of paragraphs become a page. Multiple pages move you through the book. Every little bit counts and will get you closer to your goal of reading more.
E-books and reader apps make bringing your book everywhere easy today. Fifteen years ago, I would carry around the 2 or 3 inch Harry Potter books that weighed a ton and didn’t fit in a purse. I made it work because I liked the book, but now I recommend using Libby or the Amazon Kindle app. Phones and e-readers are much lighter and easier to put in your pocket.
Tip 3 – Use a Bookmark
Tip number three is to use a bookmark. Bookmarks are great because they let you pick up right where you left off and save you time trying to find your place. Please use book-friendly bookmarks made from paper or some other thin material like ribbon, wood, or metal. Any kind of bookmark will work, as long as it isn’t warping your book and it stays put, allowing you to find your spot quickly.
Again, using digital platforms makes this really easy because they open right where you were reading last. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the bookmark falling out or being pulled out by someone trying to be funny. This happened frequently while I was growing up, and it was really annoying and not funny at all. So don’t be the person pulling the bookmark!
Tip 4 – Utilize the Little moments
The fourth tip is to use all the little moments to read. Whenever you would regularly pull up Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, videogame, etc., pull out your book and read. You will be amazed at how much reading you get done when you spent two hours reading instead of re-watching a Marvel movie for the third or fourth time. If you are having a hard time automatically opening what I call time-wasting apps on your phone, move your reading app to the same place.
As amazing as reading is, remember to take some of these little moments for yourself to just be and relax. Our modern world is all about the hustle and bustle. Don’t feel bad for taking time to relax without a book.
Tip 5 – Get the Audiobook
Tip number five is to get the audiobook. Listening to audiobooks is a game-changer when trying to read more! If you are on a budget, try checking it out from the local library, or asking your librarian to buy the audiobook version, if they don’t already have it. Chances are, if you are asking, there will be others who want to listen to that same book too.
Anytime you can listen to music, you can listen to an audiobook. Are you heading out for a run? Grab your headphones (Remember to be safe and only put in one earbud, so you are still aware of your surroundings.). If you are in your car, you can listen there. Hook it up to your stereo or grab a BlueTooth FM transmitter. These make any BlueTooth-enabled device into a radio station for older cars. This is how I listened to one and a half Harry Potter Books while moving cross-country this summer. I also like to listen to audiobooks while cleaning the house, doing laundry, washing dishes, or any other chore. For me, listening to an audiobook is my incentive to keep cleaning.
Bonus Tip! Kindle Magic
If you enjoy listening to audiobooks and aren’t put off by an electronic narrator, get a Kindle. It will change your life. I figured out how to hack any e-book and turn it into an audiobook without Audible. I love how seamless the transition is between listening to the book and physically reading it. Plus, it means I don’t have to fumble through a separate app or try and find my spot partway through the audiobook track. All I do is turn on the Accessibility setting, where it reads everything to me. This only works with an actual Kindle device. It will not work with the app, unfortunately.
I am thinking about doing another post, and potentially a video, walking you through the process. Comment down below if you are interested in seeing a tutorial of this hack, and I will send you the link when it is finished.
As you can probably tell from this post, I am a big supporter of digital books and audiobooks. This is what works the best for me in my lifestyle, but please use whatever medium works the best for you and encourages you to continue your reading journey.
Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I hope you can tell how enthusiastic I am about reading, and hopefully, some of that fire has rubbed off on you. Whatever you decide to read (non-fiction, self-help, fantasy, contemporary romance, etc.), remember to learn something from the experience and the characters you meet along the way.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.—Dr. Seuss
This is one of my favorite quotes by Dr. Seuss. He was a super cool guy. I wrote about his life and his mission to make reading fun for young readers in this post. You won’t want to miss the requirements he wrote some of his books with!
Are you lost?
If you are a little lost on where to get started, head over to this post. It has suggested books in a wide range of genres to help you find something new. If you are still having problems with your reading journey, reach out to me through my contact page, and we can brainstorm solutions together.
Until next time,