Ten Tips to get you Reading More
This year, I set myself a goal to read 40 books. To some, this may seem like an unmanageable load. To others, this may seem far too easy. As someone who loves reading but does it sporadically and frequently falls into reading slumps, I have really made an effort to prioritise reading this year and try to achieve this goal.
Here, I have collated 10 tips which I have tried to follow to get myself reading consistently and reading more. Hopefully, this list will inspire you to read more too, whether that is 10 books a year or 100!
- Set realistic reading goals
If you think it will be difficult for you to even read one book per month, don’t set a target of
one book per week, as this is likely to overwhelm you and make it harder for you to read at all. Instead, realistic goals are much more achievable, and when you begin hitting these goals you will feel motivated to continue.
- Take a book everywhere you go
Many of us don’t realise how many minutes are lost every day just by waiting. I realised a few months ago that I would often be sat thinking ‘I wish I had my book on me now’. Now, I try to always bring a book in my bag, as you never know when the opportunity to read may arise. This can be a physical book, digital, or audiobook, just something to dip into whilst you’re waiting for the bus or have a spare 15 minutes on your lunch break. These minutes really do add up!
- Stop reading boring books
If you’re 50 pages into a book and really aren’t getting along with it, just stop. It’s much easier to read 400 pages of a book you like, than the next 100 pages of a book you cannot stand. I’m guilty of trying to persevere with a book once I’ve started it, feeling that giving up would waste the time I’ve already spent on that book. However, ditching a boring book means that you can get stuck in to a brilliant one, which is definitely worth it.
- Identify the best time of day to read and build it into your routine
Reading regularly at a time that suits you is the best way to get the most out of the time you spend reading. Personally, reading in the afternoon when I get home from work is best, as my brain wants to relax and switch off from real-life demands. In contrast, if I read just before bed when I’m tired, I find it hard to engage with the content and would rather just go to sleep. This is different for everyone, and usually takes some trial and error to get it right.
- Turn off your phone
Today there are so many distractions that make it hard to switch off and read without interruption. I have to really make the effort to put my phone away, often in another room, to focus solely on my book. I’m also trying to read during the time that I would usually spend mindlessly scrolling on TikTok or watching YouTube, which is effective but a hard habit to break.
- A book doesn’t have to be a ‘classic’ for it to be worth your time
Many people have the opinion that being a ‘reader’ entails loving classic literature and poetry anthologies. I have definitely been guilty of having this mindset. However, it’s much easier to feel excited about reading when you read genres you enjoy, such as crime thrillers and romance books, rather than reading to fit these expectations.
- Make a reading list
Every time I see or hear about a book that I think sounds interesting, I write it down. This means that I always have a collection of books that I want to read, and feel excited about what I could read next.
- Read shorter books
This is such a simple way to boost your reading numbers and feel motivated whilst achieving your reading goals. Short books build your reading momentum, and the satisfaction of finishing a book makes me want to get straight into the next one.
- Swap books with friends
If you have friends or family members who love the same sort of books as you, use it to your advantage! My friends always recommend me books and usually let me borrow them, which is a great way to read more for free and discuss what you’ve read with others. Even if you like different genres, it can be fun to do a book swap to read something new and discover new authors and styles.
- Second-hand books
As a university student, I don’t have lots of spare money to buy brand new releases. Instead, I try to embrace charity shops, used bookstores, and online sites such as eBay and World of Books. These places enable me to read books I’m interested in cheaply, so I can read more and grow my collection!
Words by Abigail Manley