Growing up, we all loved to read – well, at least I did.
I’d read anything I could lay my hands on; even books I wasn’t supposed to read. I read because I enjoyed doing so – not because I had to. Heck, I even borrowed books and sometimes found it difficult to return them. (Hey, don’t judge J)
Then I grew older.
I still love to read and know the importance of reading but somehow, I struggle to finish reading one book.
And that’s because… work.
I buy books but I don’t actually get to read them. They sit on my shelves and gather all the dust in the house and from Grandma Merle’s next door, begging to be opened. My reading lists and book piles continued to grow and grow, just as my unfulfilled promises to read them keep stretching.
There is no time. Or so I like to think!
But if my guess is right, you’re probably finding it difficult to read a book too. You keep making plans to read a certain number of books within a certain period. Sadly, these plans never materialize.
Maybe next week, perhaps next month or even summer… you keep saying to yourself.
If you’ve been reading about how people read 50+ books in a year and you keep wondering how. Well, I can help you with that. I did it in 2020 and have put together these hacks to help you read more books. They worked for me and I’m certain they’ll do the magic for you too.
Set out Time for Reading, and Stick to the Plan
You’ll never be able to do anything right if you don’t have a plan. It’s part of being an adult. Sorry.
Oh, and another bubble buster: you will never be able to find time to read. You have to make your own time. If you’ve not been reading for a while and you want to start taking reading seriously, then perhaps it’s not such a good idea to try to read a lot at a go. Instead of reading a full hour, try breaking it up. Perhaps, half an hour in the morning, then finish up at night.
If you read an hour a day, you’ll probably be able to finish three books in a month. That’s 36 books a year. Doesn’t sound so unattainable again, does it?
Set a Realistic Target, and a Deadline Along with It.
There’s something about deadlines that make it easier to fight off procrastination. If you feel like you’re lagging behind, set realistic targets and try to stick to the deadlines.
Don’t try to read 100 books in a year if you work a tasking job. Set a conservative goal, instead. It’ll help you prioritize your reading. You can create a daily number of pages’ target, and try to reach it. But if you find it so much so interesting, you may keep going.
If you want to make reading more fun, you can incentivize yourself by celebrating yourself. If you love waffles, then promise yourself to get waffles and chocolate chip ice cream by weekend if you completed a book (a certain number of pages) by then. You will be motivating yourself to reach your target.
If you don’t reach your target, however, cry all night and try again. No shame in that.
Soon enough you’ll find out that the feeling of accomplishment that comes with reading is the real reward.
Use Spare Moments to Read
Reading is a lot of fun, contrary to what people think.
If you are reading a book that’s super interesting, you’ll want to seize every opportunity to catch up on a few pages. Therefore, always carry a book with you. Those few pages you cover in those small time windows while standing in a queue, taking a dump, waiting for a meeting to start, or while at the strip club (OK, this is a stretch but I’m glad I caught your attention) can really add up.
Buy Physical Copies
There’s always that urge to check your email or peep into Instagram while reading on your smartphone. It can get really distracting. The best way to fight these distractions is to use physical copies. Paperbacks and hardbacks are great. There’s nothing more time-wasting than starting to read, the five minutes into it, you turn your data on and spend the next hour on social media reacting to videos of the Johnsons’ cute dog messing about. Don’t be a jerk, don’t cheat on your book.
Join A Book club
Books clubs are fun and engaging platforms for people to read and share their thoughts. You’ll find it very motivating to take part in such discussions. And oh, they help in recommending the most exciting books in case you unsure of what to read at any point in time. There are online book clubs as well as offline ones. Choose the one that suits you best.
There is no magical way to read so much, especially when you’re spending most of your time trying to make and sustain a living. But with a few reading life hacks and tactics, it’s possible to read far more work and pleasure books that you can possibly imagine now.
Don’t forget, it’s okay to drop a book if after the first few chapters, you are not enjoying it. Reading should be primarily fun. If you keep struggling to finish books, it won’t help your motivation levels.
Happy reading ahead!