8 Ways to Read More This Year

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8 Ways to Read More This Year

How much do you read?

Well, I read a lot! I am the person who is reading everywhere, a few pages here… a few pages there… in a bus, in a train, in the doctor’s waiting area, in a queue, in bed, while eating alone and sometimes even in the loo. There are some days (I wish I have more such days!) when I have read from morn to night and have left the bed just for bare necessities. I read all the time, and I love it. You may like to know why I love reading so much. Well, you may check out this earlier post of mine which shares just that!

The other day, a friend asked me in an almost accusatory tone, “How do you read so much?” I’d like to answer that today in this post.

Before, I share my strategies to read more, let me clarify that this is a post for only those who want to read more than their current reading pace but are not able to do so due to various reasons and is for those who want to enhance the quality of their reading experience.

Here are some strategies that I use to read more:

  1. Read what you like. If you are getting back to books because you know it’s good for you, or you’ve challenged yourself to read more, the last thing you should do is pick up a bestseller which everyone is reading. The probability of you abandoning it even before you reach chapter 2 is high if it’s not of your liking. Read what you like, not what you’re told to like. Pick up an entertaining and engaging book, you will finish it faster and you will bask in the joy of achievement too.
  2. Follow the cat rule. It is said that a cat carries her newborn babies wherever she goes. You should do the same with your book. Take books with you everywhere… to work, business meetings, shopping, travel, vacations even when resting on a couch in front of the TV. Have a book with you. Sooner or later, you’ll open it and start reading and in no time you will be hooked to the book and would read even if you have a free time of 5 minutes. Reading like any other thing requires practice and dedication.
  3. Make a public commitment. There is this social norm called the rule of commitment. According to this norm, you typically feel obligated to follow through with something after you have made a public commitment. Making an open pledge would give you internal psychological pressure and of course you have that social pressure too, to stick to your commitment. It is an effective way of bringing urgency back to your goal. So sharing your goals on Goodreads or your blog is a good way to make your resolve to read more a bit stronger.
  4. Track your reading. Our brain loves lists. Mine is truly, madly and deeply in love with lists. Keeping a record of what you have read will not only give you instant gratification but will give you a renewed sense of purpose too. I have an excel sheet where I track the books read for the various prompts of the various reading challenges. Also, Goodreads is a good way to record your reading. A tip – Record the entry immediately after you have finished reading the book. This link for PopSugar Reading Challenge 2018 spreadsheet will get you started and you can make your own variations too. The idea is to record your reading!!
  5. Buy cheap books. Now don’t get me wrong here. You know that, books cost money and if you plan to read a lot, your book budget is certainly going to shoot up. Buy books online to get better discounts. Amazon is my go-to store for books and it has changed my book buying habit completely. I keep adding the books I want to read in my wish list on Amazon, so whenever there’s a price drop, I get a notification for that. Also go for Kindle books which are economical than physical books. Join groups like eBook Deals for Broke Bibliophiles – India or Book Deals for Broke Bibliophiles – India and get information on some amazing book deals. Buy second hand books from sites like BookChor and of course, join a local library.
  6. Get your priorities right. If you want to read more, reading has to be high on your priority list. So, it has to come before watching TV or spending time on Facebook/ Twitter or simply wasting time.
  7. Find a few trusted, curated lists. We all have different likes and dislikes. The genres and authors your friend reads may not interest you. Also there are SO MANY books to read, and you can’t possibly read all of them. So, it makes sense to pick books which aligns with your taste. There are quite a few curated lists to follow like Amazon’s list of 100 books to read in a lifetime or 74 Essential Books for Your Personal Library or Bill Gate’s reading list. You can find a lot many such lists on the internet. I follow some voracious readers on Goodreads who have reading taste similar to mine and pick books from their reading lists.
  8. Do reading sprints. There are times when you don’t feel like reading or have poor attention span. During such times, set a timer of 15 minutes on your phone and read for these 15 minutes. Take a 5 minute break and go for the next reading sprint of 15 minutes and you would have better reading focus and of course your reading mission would be accomplished too.

Leafing through a few pages all through the day adds up to a lot of reading and before you know it, reading will become a part of your daily routine.

Happy Reading!

These are my strategies to read more. Which of these would you like to adopt? Would you like to share your strategy to read more?

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35 thoughts on “8 Ways to Read More This Year

  1. Just what the doctor ordered Shilpa. I really need to formulate a strategy to read more. Unfortunately when I carry the books around, I seem to think I have read them by osmosis….. I will just HAVE to make a conscious effort to read more.

  2. Thank you shilpa, felt motivated after reading your post, 1 and 2 I used to follow, must renew myself to pick up what I like and take it around:) agree I should prioritise and look at the way time is spent:) I think I would try no 5 & 8 and see to give a boost to my reading habit. Appreciate you for sharing these strategies, they are good.

  3. Absolutely love this list, Shilpa. Full of practical and actionable tips. We all need to read more and your guidelines are perfect. I love the idea of e books too ever since I got my kindle. It’s saved me money and I can carry so many books at once. A dream come true! And your reading habit is inspiring. I hope everyone follows these tips 🙂

    • Thanks a lot, Shailaja. Glad that you find these strategies to read more practical. So agree with you. Kindle has changed my reading life and I sooo love it! 🙂

  4. Absolutely loved all these tips. I carry my books every where even when I am not sure if I can read it… But I do end up reading a page or two when I see it all the time. I am gonna use all these tips to catch up on my reading challenge. You, btw, are a legend when it comes to reading.

    • Yes, that’s the trick. A page here and a page there makes a difference. So, it’s worthwhile to carry books everywhere!
      Thanks Raj for your generous comment. Happy reading!

  5. ‘Read what you like, not what you’re told to like.’ How true!

    Cat rule I used to follow but not these days. I have a 5 yo (most of the times, he is with me when I am out) and I am sure he won’t let me read. But, will start doing that.

    Also, will put the books in my wishlist on Amazon. I prefer to buy used books on Amazon. They are cheaper.

    Great list for avid readers. You are one the most voracious readers I know. Thank you for this post! 🙂

    • Thank you, Tarang. Glad you find these reading tips useful.
      I know, reading with small kids around is a bit challenging, but do sneak in a few pages every now and then 😀
      Happy reading and writing too!! 🙂

  6. You are amazing when it comes to reading, Shilpa. I really am in awe of you. And those tips are excellent though I am not in favour of setting reading goals. Reading is a pleasurable activity that has always been a part of my life and somehow I don’t want to stress by attaching goals to it. 🙂

    • Thank you, Rachna, for your kind words.
      I know, what you mean and agree with it. But these reading challenges and goals have made a big difference in my reading habit and reading life in general. 🙂

  7. I agree with number 2, Shilp! In fact, I agree with all the pointers here. I have set a challenge of reading 25 books this year – a doable number (two books per month). May not be anything compared to others who read 50 and more, but I decided to not pay attention to any reading challenges as such and just concentrate on reading and enjoying. Till now, I have been able to stick to my schedule and this is my third book of 2018. I rarely watch TV, so apart from blogging related activities, and my fitness regimen, I read books – keeps me so busy – I love it!

  8. That’s a fantastic list, Shilpa. I have resolved to read 54 books this year and Goodreads and PopSugar challenge top my list of reading challenges. I go on a reading spree but then go without reading for weeks. But I am glad I’m picking out good and interesting books this year. Happy reading! 🙂

    • Yes, that happens with me too. Hectic reading pace and then complete silence. Guess, that’s ok.
      I have seen that I have been able to read pretty interesting books these past few years, all thanks to the various prompts of the reading challenges. Have a great time reading and let’s share our books for PopSugar sometimes soon 🙂

  9. You have lots of great posts, Shilpa. I really enjoyed this one too. With tracking reading, I find my goodreads helpful for tracking both personal and professional reading. I love the way your cart your reads around too. With ebooks now, that can be so much easier with the phones and tablets we carry around.

  10. I am following all your strategies except the excel sheet and reading in the loo. Another thing I do is read at least 10 pages of a book everyday even if I am terribly busy. Soon, the 10 gets to 20 and 50. And now I read only books I want to read.

  11. These are some easily doable strategies to increase the reading pace. I haven’t yet joined a reading challenge nor do I carry my book everywhere, reason being I want to be in the moment. I like observing ppl, their activities, the hustle-bustle of the day. But, yes, I have dedicated sometime for reading daily. I will definitely pick a few tips from.there though. Thanks. 🙂

  12. I do take in suggestions but still I pick to read what I truly desire. For many my choices may seem wierd/ not so interesting. But I do what I want to do. I have begun tracking my read on good reads from this year, and looking at the list, I am thrilled.

    • I know what you mean. I have picked up some highly recommended books but had to abandon them. It’s best to read what you truly enjoy but it’s good to explore too!!
      Goodreads is awesome and I love it too. Happy reading, Ramya! 🙂

  13. Awesome Shilpz- this is an amazing list of strategies to improve reading and I for one am taking a leaf outta here; actually more than a few leaves. Carrying my book around is the biggest thing and the best advice you got here!!
    Loved the humour and wit in this post!

  14. Great strategies. Although it’s obvious, I’ve been negligent on #1, “Read what you like.” I’ve been reading more for work, and those books have slowed me down. Just yesterday I purchased three books for pure pleasure. The minute I got home I started and picked it up in between tasks. Now I’m back!

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