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How to read more books // ft. foolproof tricks because I totally know what I’m doing

Hello, sweet peas!

The new year is here and I know as well as you do that there is one New Year’s resolution that every bookworm makes every single year:

This year I’m gonna read more.

The thing is, after the first month or two, when the initial motivation we all feel at the beginning of a new year has worn off, it often get’s exceedingly harder to keep at it. We suddenly read less and get frustrated, when the tally for March says 7 instead of 20. (Which are numbers I just made up. In no way, I would show you real numbers. I mean, why would I put real numbers there and expose myself like that? She said while laughing nervously.)

But fear not! I got you. At the beginning of the year I bring you some shiny and new tips and tricks to help you achieve that goal and read more books. (And with shiny and new I mean stuff you probably already know and I’m gonna repeat them anyway because we all know that repetition is key.)

DECIDE IF YOU ARE A TBR PERSON OR NOT

That’s were we’re gonna start. This point actually already has two sub-points which will we discuss now. Just choose which one of those applies to you:

a) You are a moodreader

Because there is no reason to actually make a tbr at the beginning of every month and then getting frustrated over never sticking to it. It costs energy and somehow dragging yourself through a book that you don’t feel like reading that day. Or the next day. Or the next.

I am a mood reader myself and let me tell you: trying to drag yourself through the books on your self-made tbr, just takes away time from books you could read. Books that interest you and that you actually feel like reading. You will definitely get more reading done when you read what you feel like and not what you have to. If you have mandatory reading, then that’s different of course. I think I will put a tip for that one down below, so don’t run away yet!

b) You are a stickler for monthly tbrs

If you love your monthly tbr pile – great! You are definitely more advanced than me. My tip for this one is to stick to a small tbr at first. This way you are don’t feel overwhelmed when looking at it the next day and think OMG, what have I been thinking, I will never be able to read this all! and will start self-sabotaging.

Start small, because the great thing is, that you can always put more books on that tbr when you run out or you can just freestyle and read whatever your shelf throws at you. There’s a great feeling of accompliment behind that which in turn will fuel your motivation for the next month.

When you have made the decision if you are a moodreader or rather stick to a neat tbr it’s much easier to get more reading done.

CARRY A BOOK WITH YOU LIKE A MOMMA BAT CARRIES HER BABY

Okay, I might suck at analogies. Sorry. Not gonna be sorry for the bats, though. I love bats.

Truth is, that nothing is set in stone. No day, no matter how carefully planned will ever completely work out the way you thought. Maybe your train/bus is late. Maybe the capacity of people that are allowed in the shop you wanted to buy groceries is already reached – thanks, corona – or maybe your lunchbreak can use a little cheering up. What I mean is, that you never know when you will find some time to whip out a book and get some reading in.

And you don’t have to lug around an 800 pager. Just download a reading app for your phone or pack your ereader.

READ A LITTLE BIT EVERY DAY

This ties into the previous point. Obviously. It’s nevertheless worth mentioning in its own bulletin.

Did you know that reading reduces stress and can improve your memory? Yep, that’s right. Read for your lives!

Even if you are not the planning type, it’s still a good idea to make sure that you read a little every day. Even it’s just ten or twenty pages.

By the way, this works great for mandatory reading too. Take stock of how many pages the book in question has and how many days you have to read it. Then divide the page count by days to figure out how many pages you have to read every day. It’s much easier and more manageable to read a little bit every day than read in big chunks, especially if the reading material is boring.

Make a use of all the different medias at your disposal

I know that this point might not be doable all the time and not for everybody but it’s my favourite point on this whole list because it has really helped me out and made me read so much more.

The thing is, some books don’t necessarily work in the medium you have. Have a book with a truckload of footnotes? Don’t use the ebook and trade it for the paperback instead. Have a book that confuses you with all it’s perspective changes? Switch to the audiobook!

I have found that some books are easier to read in ebook format than as a hardcopy and that for some books I prefer the physical book over the ebook. With some books it can make all the difference. Furthermore, when you read this 800 page pounder as an ebook you finally have no excuses not to read it, so get crackin!

Look through your tbr for the books that give you a hard time and maybe you’ll find that they might be easier to read via a different medium. Now go to your local library and borrow these books! Many libraries have an Overdrive or something similar to it, so you can borrow ebooks or audiobooks as well.

Should that not be possible, you might wanna think about getting a Scribd or Audible membership. Don’t worry. I’m not trying to sell you anything here but make a suggestion. I honestly prefer Scribd, since it has both audiobooks and ebooks (also sheet music and podcasts if you are into that kind of thing) and it’s honestly cheaper than buying all the ebooks. Since my library is unfortunately rubbish, Scribd was a good alternative for me. I’ll leave you my link here, so you can take two months free and try it out if you want.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT DNF-ING BOOKS THAT YOU DON’T ENJOY

One thing, that we surely can all agree on, is that not everybody can like every book ever written. There are bound to be books that you don’t enjoy. It doesn’t matter if your best friend/bookstabuddies/spouse/mother/neighbour loved the book. If you don’t like it and you feel that you are just dragging yourself through it, then put it away. I’m not saying that you should just throw it against the wall and set fire to it. But maybe I do. I’m saying that it maybe just isn’t for you. That’s not a bad thing. We are readers and we are all different and we like different books. Simple as that.

Don’t feel pressured to like a book just because everybody else likes it. Don’t waste reading time and get all annoyed over a book you don’t enjoy and feel free to dnf them.

READ MULTIPLE BOOKS AT ONCE

Again, this might not be doable for everybody. But sometimes you get more reading done, when you are reading two or more books at once. You can easily have one of the books on your nightstand as your primary (and maybe physical) book and one you take with you during the day. Ebooks are great for that.

If you are worried that you get the plot lines mixed up, try and pick two different genres to read. For example, it will be easy to keep a fiction and a non-fiction book apart or a thriller and a romance book. Switch around however you like and see if this helps you progress.

LEARN SOME SPEED READING TECHNIQUES

I’m pretty sure that everybody who ever wanted to read more books, has looked up speed reading techniques. There are a few. I myself, have not really mastered the whole thing but I have upped my word count about 20 words per minute. That doesn’t sound much but I want to believe that it makes a difference.

Eliminating subvocalization, grouping lines or understanding eye movement – you can pick whatever suits you best.

DON’T STRESS AND HAVE FUN

This is probably the most important part of this post. And concerning reading in general. Look, it doesn’t matter how many books you read in a year. It also doesn’t matter how many books everybody else reads in a year. What matters is that you have fun reading the books you get done. Don’t stress yourself out over the numbers.

What do you think of my tipps? Do you maybe have suggestions of your own? How many books do you want to read this year?

2 thoughts on “How to read more books // ft. foolproof tricks because I totally know what I’m doing

    1. I do it with an app but acutally, you just gotta put “how to speed read” in any search engine. There are many useful articles. I’m still working on getting rid of subvocalization. Maybe that’s a good thing to work on this year. 🙂

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