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Reading More Books: 5 Tips that Worked for Me

Reading is proven to have several benefits: it reduces stress, improves memory, makes you a better writer and much more! But to enjoy these benefits, a common challenge is finding the time to read regularly.

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Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

I used to read books mostly during holidays, but managed to make it a daily habit in the last year. As we were spending more time home, I found it a great way to take my mind off things and disconnect from screens. 

If you’re looking to do the same, check out the 5 tips that worked for me!

Read 10 minutes per day (or more)

When thinking about reading, we tend to picture ourselves in long, relaxed reading sessions, for example on holidays. 

But if you want to read more books, the best way is to do it daily, even for a few minutes. It’s estimated that every 1 minute a day you read is equal to 1 book a year (based on a book of 300 pages). So if you read 10 minutes per day, that’s about 10 books in a year! 

If you spend 10 minutes reading everyday, you’ll read 10 books in a year.

Finding 10 minutes in a day is easy: for example, you can use the time in public transportation reduce your use of social media and TV. 

The goal is to build a habit with a small commitment. On some days, you’ll probably end up reading more than 10 minutes!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Remove the pressure

You’ve probably already heard of reading challenges, in which you set how many books you’ll read in a year. It can be a way to find motivation to read more, but also adds pressure. The biggest issue for me is that it may force you to read fast without enjoying it.

Another form of pressure can come from the type of books you read. When you browse LinkedIn or some media, you can see several suggestions of books for personal development or business. You can learn lots of things with these books, but they may not relax you as much as fiction books. 

Pick recommendations

Once you’ve decided to read more regularly the next question is: what to read? This can look challenging but there are countless sources of inspiration. 

First, you can ask recommendations to your peers, and borrow some of their books. You can go to a local bookshop, where you’ll usually find suggestions. 

Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

Another great source is checking out suggestions online, for example in interviews, podcasts, or on websites like Goodreads and What Should I Read Next. The media about your industry or hobbies probably have articles with a selection of books too.

Once you start paying more attention to books, you’ll quickly have a long list of the ones you want to read. The website Goodreads is a good way to save them and keep track of what you’ve read (but I still suggest not taking their reading challenge ;)).

Carry a book at all times

The great thing about reading is that you can do it anywhere, anytime, for any duration. And unlike your phone, books can’t run out of battery!

Keeping a book with you will help to build that reading habit. For example, when you have a long trip in public transportation, you can read to make it much more pleasant. The same applies to many other situations, for example when you’re in a waiting room.

Stop reading books you don’t enjoy

We all experienced this situation: you buy this book everyone is talking about, start reading it, but after a few chapters, you’re not into it. You’re wondering what’s the hype around it, but you keep on reading, thinking that it will get better.

If you’re not into a book after a few chapters, it’s ok to skip it (except if you have to read it for school). If you have a list of books you wanna read, it will be easy to move on and start a new one!

When you find the right books, reading is very enjoyable and brings several benefits. This year, some of the best books I’ve read were Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. What were yours?

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