Read more in 2020 with these smart tips from actual readers!
I used to be one of those people who felt like she had no time to read. When I would see people setting GoodReads goals of more than a book a month, I would think “how is that possible??”. But I’ve been reading a LOT more in the past couple of years and it’s all due to small changes I’ve made that have added up.
One of the best things I did to improve my reading – not just quantity, but QUALITY too – was to create a small Facebook group for friends who love to read. My to-read list has grown immensely due to the recommendations from this group. And I’ve read more 5-star books in the last year than ever because of these great recommendations!
So when I wanted to answer the question I get all the time – “How do you make time to read?” – I went to that group of smart and avid readers to crowdsource. Here’s what they had to say along with tips of my own!
How to Make Time for Reading More
Read With Intention
Figure out WHY you want to read more.
Your purpose for reading could be completely different than mine, or your BFF’s, or your neighbor’s. Why do you want to read more? Is it to learn about a subject that interests you? To work on personal development? Pure entertainment? Figure that out first. Then…
Pick books that work toward your goal.
I know I am easily persuaded to try a book when it has glowing reviews or if everyone is talking about how great it is! (FOMO is real, even in the world of reading.) But not all best sellers align with my purpose for reading. Remember that.
Plan time to read.
Just like you block out time in your calendar for work, exercise, meals, and all the other important stuff you do, you should set aside time for reading. If it’s on your schedule, you’re much more likely to do it. And maybe even set a reminder on your phone to let you know it’s time to pick up your book.
Read what you like.
If a book just isn’t doing it for you. Put. It. Down. There is no law that says you have to finish every book you pick up. Sure, give it a fair shot. I usually aim for 20% or 100-ish pages. But if it’s boring or otherwise unpleasant, you will find any other thing to do before you make time to read that book. (Of course, this doesn’t apply to required reading for educational purposes. And believe me, with three degrees I’ve done more than my fair share of that type of reading!)
Related: Best Books of 2019
Use Technology Wisely
Use an e-reader.
Having a Kindle Paperwhite in my purse means I always have books at my disposal. And now that I’ve figured out how to borrow library books using my Kindle, I literally have no excuse for not having something to read. Getting a Kindle upped my reading game a ton!
Disconnect while you read.
Put your phone on airplane mode, or put it in a drawer, or turn if off completely. Whatever you need to do to limit access and take away the distraction. This is one small change that has made a BIG difference for me personally because when my phone is right next to me I am SO tempted to pick it up and scroll for a few minutes – which often turns into a lot longer than a few minutes!
Put your book (or e-reader) on top of your phone.
This is a tip straight from my readers group and I just love it. This forces you to make a conscious decision between opening your current book and opening up Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or whatever app sucks you into mindless scrolling.
Use your phone or tablet as a backup e-reader.
This tip I love comes from a dear friend who also happens to be one of the best book-recommenders out there. Having a couple of ways to access your ebook means you can’t use the excuse that you forgot or can’t get to your Kindle.
Listen to audiobooks.
I was super resistant to audiobooks for a long time. I just didn’t think they’d hold my attention. But once I gave them a chance I fell in love. I listen to audiobooks in the car, while taking a walk, washing dishes, folding laundry, cleaning, etc. Something I plan to try this year is to listen to audiobooks while doing something creative, like knitting or crocheting.
Make reading material more accessible.
Always keep a book on hand.
Carry a book or e-reader with you everywhere you go. Then you can read while you’re randomly waiting at an appointment, at after school pickup, at your kids’ practice, or any other time you find yourself with a few extra minutes throughout the day.
Use your library.
If you have a library card, you have more books, ebooks, and audiobooks at your fingertips than you’d ever be able to read in your lifetime. You will never run out of reading material, and now with today’s technology you can borrow from your library right from your phone. This is another way I’ve improved my reading life. No excuse of not having space in your budget for buying books.
Read multiple books at the same time.
Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to read your current book, even if you’re actually enjoying it. That doesn’t have to mean you have nothing to read at that moment. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a new book before you’ve finished your current one. I like to have a fiction book, a non-fiction book, and an audiobook going at all times to give myself options for my reading time.
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What are your favorite tips for making more time to read? Share here, or join us in my Facebook group, Friends Who Read, and continue the conversation with us!