Aren’t you tired of telling people you want to read more books, but you ‘just don’t have the time to read’ anymore. Well, let me tell you this: I’ve been that person for way too long. This year, I’ve changed my ways, set a goal, and stuck to it! How I’ve done it? Here are my tips:
1. Set a goal – be realistic
The easiest thing to do, is to set a goal at the beginning of the year. How many books do you want to read that year? Then make it smaller. How many books do you have to read per month to reach that goal? How many books per week are that? Feeling like reading 2 books per week is too much? Then your goal of reading 100 books in a year might be a bit too much. My advice? Start low. Don’t set a goal of 200 books if normally you don’t even read 20 books per year. The easiest way to set a goal is on Goodreads!
2. Make a tbr
I usually don’t know what I want to read, because I have so many books on my bookshelf. So at the beginning of every month, I think to myself: what are the books I really feel like reading this month? I start with the book I really want to read because by that time, rummaging through my bookcase has gotten me all excited to read that specific book. Once I’ve finished it, I’ll stripe it off my Goodreads list and start on the second book of that month’s TBR. Before you know it, you’ve finished all the books on your list!
3. Don’t read a book you don’t like
If you want to read a certain amount of books per year, it might be helpful to read books you really like, as you tend to read them faster as opposed to books that don’t really spark your interest. I’d say: give it 25 percent of the book. If you still don’t like it, put it away. You can always finish it later if you really want to. And if not, it’s a DNF (Did Not Finish) and there’s nothing wrong with that. Why waste time on books you don’t like?
4. Find a really good reading spot
If you want to read, you need to be able to fully relax. Find a place that is most relaxing to you. For me, that’s the corner of the couch near the window. Plenty of cushions, a blanket to keep me warm and a relaxing green view of the park outside my house. Once you settle down and it’s time to read in that once specific place, you’ll find it’s easier to read. Basic science – your brains will recognize that spot as your reading spot. (Works the same with your bed – once my head touches the pillow, I immediately fall asleep).
5. Turn off ALL distractions
Yes – that also means you phone. How scary it might sound, you don’t need to be online 24/7. Putting down your phone will probably feel very freeing after a couple of hours of being offline. Put it away, turn it off, put it on airplane mode – just make sure you get NO notifications. Other things that might distract you are a messy room, the dishwasher you still need to turn on (just turn it on, it’s a freaking button you have to push!), have something to drink close to you, turn off (or turn on – whatever floats your boat) the music and tell your roommates/sisters/boyfriend to shut it. It’s reading time!
PS: still hard to concentrate? Try a focussing app like Forest!
6. ‘Make’ time to read
It might be hard to imagine yourself sitting down for 4 freaking hours to read, but many people can do it! Some might be naturally good at concentrating at books, some might not. I always tell people to sit for at least half an hour, especially right before you go to bed. You don’t need to rewatch Keeping Up with the Kardashians for the third time. Just sit down and read a book for half an hour. If that’s too hard for you, start with 10 minutes every night in bed before you go to sleep. If that is easy, the next night, try to read 15 minutes and so on. It will help you sleep better if you don’t use a screen before you go to bed! Reading is soooo healthy 😉
7. ALWAYS have a book with you
Sitting on a train for 30 minutes? Read a book! Waiting at the dentist for 15 minutes because of delays? Read a book. Flying to your next vacation destination (in 2021-ish)? Read a book. I think you get the message. Just take a book with you wherever you go. If you can squeeze 30 extra minutes of reading ‘on the go’ per day, you’re winning in life and will probably crush your reading goal!
8. Talk about books
Talking about books is the best way to keep inspired. Find a friend who loves to read too (even better: love the same genres as you), and discuss some of the books you’ve recently read. I always get FOMO when people talk about new/great books they’ve read, which really helps me to keep reading all the time. For me, this blog helps me to read more. So, find a friend or a book club, and lets talk books!
9. Variation is key!
If you love a certain specific genre (let’s say, YA books that take place in the future), you probably tend to only read that very specific type of books. The best way to read more books, is to vary a bit! I always try to read a very: I usually read a YA book, and then something else, so for instance, a non-fiction book or a romance novel or a classic. This really helps me to enjoy all books and reading never gets dull!
10. Start a bookstagram
Starting a bookstagram will probably add some extra time to your day, but it will help you share the books you read and meet new people in the bookstagram community. It will get you inspired instantly! Curious? You can follow me on Instagram: @dutchbookchick. Bookstagram will 100% help you read more books!
Hopefully these tips will help you read more books! If you have additional tips, let me know down below in the comments!