An Oddly Specific Guide to Reading More
Hello readers! Lately I have seen a lot of videos and posts about how to read more. I think I have some advice for those of you who want to read more, that I personally have not seen anyone else say. Today, I would like to share with you how I read so much and so often. I AM a LAZY reader and if I didn't put all these into place, I would not get much reading in most days. Even if you want to read 1 book a month, or 20, this will help! If you have any recommendations for me, let me know in the comments!
I do want to post a disclaimer that there is an affiliate link at the bottom of this post! It will be clearly labeled and is for Better World Books, a place to buy very cheap, used books online. They also have free standard shipping to a lot of different countries, for those of you who live abroad.
Since the beginning of 2021, I have been tracking my page count each day. I was curious of how many pages I do actually read a day. In January, I read 4271 pages at 137 on average for each day. I did this in 2019 and it really helped me to read more and organize my reading more.
Pair Audio with Print
You may have heard the advice before to listen to audiobooks when you are doing mundane tasks to get more reading done. Of course, that is good advice! However, I have something more specific.
Do you ever have trouble concentrating while reading? One of my biggest issues is my mind wandering off to a million different things while I am trying to get my pages in. What helps me is to listen to the audiobook while I read along with my eyes. This keeps my eyes and ears focused on one thing. I have only recently started doing this in 2021, and I am really enjoying the experience!
Take A Book With You Wherever You Go
This may seem obvious, but it is really helpful. When you are riding in the car or a bus, you can read. When you are waiting around for an appointment, you can read. I always see so many people sitting on their phones when at a restaurant waiting for their food. I like to take a book with me and read instead.
Reward Yourself With Screen Time and Social Media
Like many people who love books, I love to watch Booktube. I can spend all day watching videos. What I do is reward myself as I go. If I'm watching a video, Booktube or otherwise, I will read 1 chapter for every ten minutes of the video. Let's say I want to watch a new video that is 20 minutes, I will read 2 chapters before I watch. Sometimes I will read 1 chapter for every 5 minutes if it is a middle grade book, or if the chapters are shorter. You will be surprised how many chapters you can get in just by doing this!
You could also do this for whatever social media you can't keep yourself off of! Maybe read 1 chapter, and then you can scroll on twitter for 10 minutes, and so on. There is no need to ward yourself from TV shows, movies, social media, or anything else for reading when you can do both.
Participate in the Book Community
I really love being apart of the book community. I have Social Anxiety Disorder, so I am not really comfortable with making videos, but I know there are MANY more ways to participate in the book community. The more I am on Book Twitter, watching Booktube videos, or read blog posts, the more I want to read. It is difficult to balance it all, but I will refer to my previous advice above.
Another way you could do this, if you just don't want to make your own blog, Booktube account, or what have you, is watch live reading sprints. These are really fun to do! You get to comment and talk about the book you are reading, along with whoever is watching. I have read entire books while watching reading sprint videos live. There are plenty of Booktubers who do them weekly, ones who do them for readathons, readalongs, or book clubs they are hosting, or even ones who do them sporadically.
Here are a few Booktubers who I know do reading sprints weekly, or more often!:
Daijah's Book World: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_mDje38mbvTvs1A39GDrLA
Mind of Mollie (in the UK): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDib2Tn_oPpUf17_Fb5uUiw
Enni Endings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgcsFLs70Qg1wsM0MzZwiUw
This goes along with the last one. Book clubs and readalongs are a great way to participate in the book community. A lot of them have this thing called Discord. It's a place where you can read a book along with other people and talk to them about it chapter by chapter. Also, there are always sections to talk about other things like pets or favorite movies! If you do a bit of searching, I am sure you can find a readalong or book club perfect for you.
Make A Page Goal
Pick a page goal to hit each day. If you are someone who makes TBRs, it is easy to add up all the pages you want to read for the month in those books and divide them by the days in the month. I personally have a page goal each year, which I know is abnormal. For instance, I want to read 48,750 pages in 2021. Divide that by 365 days, which is roughly 133. I need to read around 133 pages each day to reach my page goal for the year.
Please don't feel pressured by my number! If you want to read 25 pages a day, or 200, it will still help you reach your goal. Every individual reads a different number of books each month and you can bend this to your needs.
Track What You Read
If you are a person who like analytics, which is seems a lot of readers are, it is VERY helpful to have a page tracker. It is so satisfying at the end of the day to crawl in bed, and put in my page count in for the day. I'll show my page tracker that I created below. Additionally, if you like analytics, it will only benefit you to learn how to use Google Sheets or Excel. You can simply Google anything you want it to do.
DNF more books
This may seem counterproductive, but is really isn't. If you are reading a book that is bringing you down, you won't want to pick it up. Simple as that. If I am reading a book and I don't get that pull to read it, I chuck it aside and start another one. I used to try for 50% of the book, but there are SO MANY other books out there to read rather than one you are not enjoying! Sometimes I might come back to that book way later, and sometimes it is an official DNF for life.
Make Room For Mood Reading
Assuming you make a TBR every month, don't put TOO many books on it. In 2021, I am trying not to add more than 8 books on my TBR. There are a few TBRs in the past that I put 16 books on! Have I read more than 16 in a month? Yes. However, I don't typically do that every single month. I typically read around 12 books in a month. So, I am trying not to put more than 2/3s of that on a TBR. I want to have a chance to mood read some of my books each month. It is too exhausting to put so much pressure on ourselves, especially when reading is meant to be fun!
Change it Up
Honestly, it is tiresome to read the same genre over and over. For the last one, find your genre that easy to read and pick it up when you don't feel like reading. This is where the mood reading comes in! Personally, when I am feeling overwhelmed, I love to pick up a mystery/thriller book or a middle grade, bonus points if it is both! Some people may fly through a romance book, or just read a short book if you need to.
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