Hello! This post is going to be a little different to my usual posts, but I thought it was quite relevant. Many of my friends ask me how I read so much, and I see a lot of people saying similar things all over the internet, like struggling to escape reading slumps, for example. Thus, I have developed 8 ideas to help you read more books! Enjoy!
Step 1: Set a specific time to read.
This is a basic reading necessity. Of course, strive to read more throughout the day, but, failing that, ensure you have a specific, set time reserved for reading. Personally, I read before I go to sleep, and when I wake up. During the school year, I get into bed at around 9pm and start reading. Depending on how tired I am, I’ll read until 10 or 10:30pm, and then go to sleep. Then I have an alarm that wakes me up at 6:30am, and if I’m ready to read, I will until 7am, but if I’m not, I’ll go back to sleep until 7am, and then get ready for school at 7am in either circumstance. During the holidays, I usually read until I’m tired at night, and then read for as long as I feel in the morning. In doing this, I allow myself to read much more than I would if I didn’t read before bed/when I wake up. Also, because I have set times for doing this, my body is used to it, and my sleeping pattern hasn’t been affected. Reading before bed is also really beneficial because it tires your eyes out ready for sleeping.
Step 2: Replace unproductive activities with reading.
For example, I have abandoned watching multiple TV series in order to read more. In general, this works quite well, because you’re replacing one form of entertainment with another, and it prevents you from being unproductive, because reading is productive! Reading is also better for you than watching TV, for TV damages your eyes, whilst reading sharpens your mind. Here are some more ideas:
- Read instead of procrastinating. A good way to do this is to tell yourself to read a specific number of chapters (I usually go with 3, provided they’re not astronomically long) before doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
- Read when you’re waiting for something to cook/bake – I do this all the time!
- Read during ad breaks if you don’t want to give up TV.
- Read instead of checking Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.
- Read when you’re bored or have nothing else to do.
- If you get the bus/train to school/work, read there! This also works for walking if you’re exceptionally co-ordinated. This works especially well if you’re an eReader user, because you can just take your eReader with you, or download the app and read on the go!
Step 3: Set yourself a book related goal.
Having something to aim for is really motivating. Consider setting a number of books to read in a month or a year. For example, I challenged myself to read 30 books this year, and I’ve already beaten it because I was so determined to! You can do this and monitor your progress very easily through Goodreads – check out my 2015 page here. You could also set a date to finish a book series, or to have read so many books. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, though – simply strive and you will achieve!
Step 5: Make a reading list.
A very beneficial idea is to create a list of books in the order you want to read them. I started doing this recently, and it’s organised my reading so much more! It also gives the incentive to read the books you already own before buying more, and prevents your TBR pile growing too large! It also provides a nice feeling of accomplishment when you have to add more books to the list.
Step 6: Find a reading buddy.
Ways a reading buddy can be useful:
- You can share books! (Provided you both read physical books.) This can be useful, because it can save a lot of money, and also subjects you to new books that someone else has enjoyed.
- You can read books together! Whether it’s in their presence, or just reading at home, it’s really fun to discuss a book with someone at the very same time you’re both reading it. It’s also nice to discuss your likes and dislikes about the book so far, and what you think will happen next.
- You can race each other! I think it would be so much fun to race one another towards a specific number of books, and would motivate you just like a reading challenge would! Another idea is to race each other through a particular book, book series, or list of books.
- Failing the previous 3 steps, you could simply acquire a fellow book lover to merely talk to about books. This would be fun, because who doesn’t love talking about books? And you can also recommend books to one another, so as to vary what you’re reading.
Step 7: Take to the internet to find book recommendations!
Are you struggling with reading because you simply don’t know what to read? Here are some ideas for you:
- Find some BookTubers to subscribe to on YouTube. BookTubers are full of reading recommendations! It’s also nice hearing their reviews, and it makes you feel like you’re part of a community when you watch them. My favourites are ABookUtopia and ReadByZoe.
- Find some book bloggers (*winks*) – we’re full of book recommendations, too! If you really want to push the boat out, maybe start a book blog of your own, like I did! I’ve not been blogging for long, but I’ve already found so many good books to read through the blogosphere, as well as feeling like part of a community!
- Join a book related site – like Goodreads, for example. The majority of my TBR shelf of Goodreads has come from recommendations from the site itself. It takes into consideration what books you’ve read to give recommendations, and also tells you what other people enjoyed after reading some of the books you’ve read. You can also follow authors on there for updates on their upcoming books. Goodreads has an all-round thumbs up from me!
Step 8: Keep it varied!
The biggest piece of advice I can give you, is to keep it varied! If you stick to the same genre for too long, you’re definitely going to get bored! Also, try not to read really long book series consecutively, because you’ll get bored of that eventually, too! For example, I’m currently reading the Gossip Girl series, which consists of 13 books – intimidating! However, instead of reading them one after the other, I’m reading them as every other book I read, and injecting stand-alone books in-between. This way, I read them close enough together to remember what happened in the last book, but not all in one go, which would definitely bore me. Following these steps, you’ll avoid the dreaded ‘reading slump’, which – personally – I’ve never actually experienced. So, you know…this advice is good stuff!
“But I’m struggling to read because I simply cannot afford it!” I hear you shouting in frustration. Never fear, I was like you too, once! But if you follow these steps, reading will never be an expense worry again!
- Consider investing in an eReader, like a Kindle. Whether you save up for one, or ask for one for Christmas or your birthday, eReaders are a great buy, because digital books are so much cheaper than physical copies. You also save space which would otherwise be taken up by books, and can read on the go. What’s more, eReaders are generally cheap, especially the basic versions, which is all you really need to read! Personally, I have a Kindle, which I’ve found is really good, because Amazon commonly host multiple 1-time offers for eBooks only. Also, there’s the option to download the Kindle app to your phone, which is useful if you want to read, but forgot your Kindle.
- If you’re not a big re-reader, consider selling your books once you’ve read them. Amazon and eBay are really good platforms to complete this on. Even if you don’t get back what you paid, at least you’re getting some money back!
- Buy second hand. Amazon is a great platform for this, because you can choose between lots of different offers from different sellers. Failing that, some book shops sell second hand books, as well as some post offices, too.
- Visit charity shops, car boots/yard/garage sales, and book fairs: buying from charity shops means you’re giving money to a good cause for a good book, and you can find some really beautiful books if you’re lucky; car boot/yard/garage sales always have some cheap books on offer, and it’s like buying second hand, but for even cheaper; you can always find some good deals at book fairs, like 3 for 2 offers, or 50% off, etc.
- Ask for books for present giving occasions, like Christmas, your birthday, or Thanks Giving if you’re American. A particularly good holiday to ask for books is Easter, because you gain books instead of weight!
- If you’re a physical book reader, always buy paperbacks instead of hardbacks. I personally prefer paperbacks anyway, but hardbacks are generally more expensive.
- If you’re an eReader reader, don’t buy your eBooks until you’re ready to read them. Prices fluctuate all the time, and generally fall over time. Unless it’s explicitly stated that this is the lowest price the book will ever be, withhold from purchasing until a later date. (49-99p is usually the lowest books ever go.)
- Never buy duplicates! I know they’re pretty, and I know yours don’t always match, but buying duplicates is a big waste of money, especially if you’re struggling for money as it is.
- Join a library. It’s free, and there’s usually quite a good selection of books!
- If money really is tight, reread books! It’s always nice to dive back into an old favourite. Frankly, I’ve read The Hunger Games trilogy at least 8 times!
- Borrow books off friends and family. If your friend is raving about a book he/she enjoyed, ask him/her to borrow it – they’ll usually say yes. Also, consider asking your (grand)parents/aunts/uncles if they have any good books you can borrow – you never know, you might find something amazing you never even knew existed!
- Search around for the best deals on books before you buy! Buying books online is especially good for this. Some sites with good deals include: Amazon | The Book People | The Works | Book Depository. However, some book stores host in-store only offers, so make sure you check those out when you can, too!
- If you’re in a book store, and you see a book you want that you didn’t specifically set out to purchase on that day, withhold from buying! Simply take a photo of it to remind you, and then purchase it another day, or research online for places it’s cheaper – it might even be cheaper the next time you go in store to buy it!
I hope this post has helped you with your reading woes! As always, thanks for reading, and comment down below what you think is the best way to read more!