16 Ways to Read More Books!

bedtime-readingThe last two times I wrote, I talked about reducing your TBR pile through monetary and organizational methods. This time I’m going to share with you tips on how to get through your pile by answering the following question: How can you read more books?

Check out these reading methods below:

1. Books in multiple places.

This goes against the organizational methods mentioned earlier, but more books in more places where you sit down and relax can be very helpful in encouraging you to read them. So go ahead, put some by your bedside table, next to the couch, by your bathtub, etc.

2. Read more than one book at a time.

Combine this tip and tip #1 and now you’re cooking… er reading. Your mind can keep track of more than one story, you can follow multiple books and not get lost. Go ahead and try this on for size and see how you do. Chances are you’ll get through a bunch more books because you won’t be locked into any one particular story.

3. Conversely, read only one book at a time.

If you’re someone who is easily distracted this might be the method for you. Reading a book at a time allows you to focus more and pay attention to all the things you love.

4. Schedule reading.

By setting a time to sit down and read you’re making a plan. You will read a whole lot more by doing this. Make it a daily habit or schedule it when you know you won’t be interrupted by every day demands like dinner and phone calls.

5. Read for an hour before bed.

It’s a great way to relax and it’s similar to #4. You are guaranteeing a time to read for yourself, which allows you to focus on your reading and your day to day business.

6. Read for an hour after waking up.

Wake up an hour earlier and get to reading. Allow yourself the luxury of not being in a hurry to get ready for the day. I personally like to combine #5 and #6. It’s amazing how many books you can get through by doing both.

7. Listen to audio.

See if you can get some of your reading in audio format instead of the standard print. This way you can hear a book while running, walking, driving to work, at the gym, and more. Listening to books is a fabulous way to get through your reading.

8. Quit reading bad books.

This is why you use blogs and other review sources. We read the bad books so you don’t have to do so. Put down the read that’s killing you to get through. You’re not obligated to finish a book ever. Pass it on to a friend, donate it to the library, swap it at Paperback Swap, whatever you feel like doing to get it out of your sight.

9. Carry a book with you everywhere.

Not everybody has a whole lot of time that they can put aside to read. By carrying a book with you if there’s ever a down time you can whip it out and read a few pages.

10. Turn off the TV.

Really, you can use that time spent watching shows to read more. Don’t want to miss your shows? Record them and watch them later minus commercials or better still watch your shows online later at Hulu or the network website.

11. Read sitting up and with a good light.

If you read sitting up and with good lighting you’re not likely to fall asleep in the middle of a paragraph and snooze your way through your reading time.

12. Keep background noise to a minimum.

Lots of noise equals lots of distraction which you can’t have if you’re going to get through that TBR pile! Plus it’s considerably less annoying than listening to commercials on the radio or on TV.

13. Skim / Scan.

Yes, I know it’s your pleasure reading and you want to squeeze every minute of out the experience, but not everything needs to be read. If you can’t follow through with #8 at least this method helps you slog through the book faster.

14. Speed read.

I read pretty fast, I could read faster if I learned how to speed read. I hear you can read faster and still retain all the information from the book without any problem with some practice. What better practice material than your pleasure reading? A faster reading speed might be just the ticket to get through that towering pile.

15. Shut off wi-fi when reading ebooks.

Most ebook readers are still using laptops and desktop computers. Shut down your internet connection before you open a book and this will let you focus on reading instead of your email and instant messages.

16. Stop rereading!

I don’t mean rereading a book you’ve read before, though that certainly won’t help you get through your TBR pile. I mean stop rereading the same text over and over again. You’re either doing it unconsciously (which means pay attention and stop) or consciously by going backwards to find out what you missed/forgot or by trying to find out where you were in the book. Stop it now! Use a bookmark and pencil lightly where you left off between reading sessions and erase on opening. As for missing something, trust me, authors will reveal it again so keep reading further. You might just find out that the next paragraph jogs your memory anyway and you’ve read more instead of less.

How’s that for a fairly exhaustive and in depth list? Do you have anything you can add? If so leave a comment and share with others!

Photo Credits: Betsssssy

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16 Comments

  1. I often toy with the idea of learning how to speed-read πŸ™‚

    Good tips. I think another one is to stop adding to the TBR until you read a certain amount, but that suggestion is pretty IMPOSSIBLE so maybe not!

    Also I added you to my buddy list on PBS!

    • I thought so too that’s why under the money tips I came up with a book budget equation that let’s buyers still buy books but at a rate that will over time allow them to catch up with their TBR pile.

      It took me a minute to figure out where the buddy stuff was, but I found it! Hi buddy! lol

  2. Great suggestions! I could never manage to wake up earlier to read, I’d just fall back asleep again or not bother getting up, but I do try to get off the computer and into bed earlier than I have to so I can have some uninterrupted reading time.

  3. These are some very good suggestions. I practice of few of them already. I’m going to try audio books. At work, I usually listen to music while I work but an idea bulb clicked on the other day, “Why don’t you listen to books instead?” So, I’m going to give that a try. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    • That’s a great idea to listen to books at work! Tell me how that goes Fantasy!

      Meghan, I know what you mean about waking up. I learned to do it senior year of college, b/c if I didn’t I had 40 hours in class for 18 credits and that’s without the projects and homework factored in. Morning reading became my sanity hour or two.

  4. One I could add is an environmentally friendly one – take the bus! Back before I owned a car I did about 75% of my reading on the bus, waiting for the bus, killing time between getting off the bus and going to where I had to be, etc. Unfortunately for me I now have limited bus service to where I live, but I do fondly remember how stress-free rush hour was when all I had to do was sit back and read.

    I do the getting-up-early suggestion now, and it’s a great way to start my day. I am NOT a morning person so I thought that this would be a terrible idea, but I love it. The whole hour is mine and lets me just relax with a cup of coffee and a good book. I started on New Years and by mid-March I had read the same amount of books I had read in all of 2008.

  5. Great tips! I made a rule for myself that if I’m not into a book after 50 pages, I’m allowed to stop. I read a lot more this way. Why slog thru something you’re not enjoying when there are soooo many books out there?

  6. You can gain extra reading time if you make sure to always have a book with you – I automatically tuck my current read in my purse before I leave the house. I also store my ebook reader in my purse, just in case. Thus prepared, I can take advantage of unexpected time waiting in lines, at the doctor’s office, etc.

  7. Reading a book is truly a light moment. ItÒ€ℒs a way of relaxing your senses. In this digital age, it is kind of a taboo to even pick up a book to read. This post will help those who used to read once upon a time but not reading now. I like your ideas; planning to implement point no. 1 (Books in multiple places), point no.4 (Schedule reading) and point no. 5 (Read for an hour before bed).

    • @iWrite2Know – That’s fabulous! I hope it works out for you. Be sure to update us down the road and let us know how it’s going.

      @Chris – Yes, exactly. I agree completely. I do this all the time. Sometimes, I even carry two or three when I’m near the end of a novel so I have options should I finish while I’m out and about.

      @Kelly – 50pgs is a good rule of thumb. I do that sometimes or say to the halfway point of a book or at the end of chapter three.

      @A.M – Haha. Yes, public transportation is a great idea if you can access it. I also felt the same as you when I first started reading in the morning. I thought it would be awful, but it really lets me relax and wake up fully before having to run off places and get bogged down by to-do lists.

  8. Good tips! I will have to use some of them while I study. My biggest problem seems to be reading too many books at once.

    When walking or on some god awful cardio machine I try to get an audio book.

  9. I would recommend getting an insanely boring job like I have, but that hasn’t seemed to help me read more books. πŸ™

  10. Great article! Skimming a little and carrying a book with you work well for me. And reading before bed and before the kids wake up. Great job!

  11. Those books you carry with you everywhere? In the Texas Panhandle, we called them “Flood books.” See–it doesn’t rain a whole lot in the panhandle. (You know–that square part of Texas that sticks up at the top?) So in a lot of places–county roads mostly–they don’t bother to build bridges. The road just dips down into a gully. But when it does rain, it tends to rain a whole lot at once. Ten inches in an hour, for instance. And those low water crossings get filled up and become impassable. However, no need to get your panties in a wad. You just sit in your pickup and wait for the water to go down. But you tend to need something to read while you’re waiting. Hence– Flood Books. I know a lot of farmers and ranchers and their spouses (spice?) who keep flood books in the truck…

    I am fortunate to read fast–I can get through a book in a day, on average. But I still can’t keep up with my TBR pile. Sigh.

    Oh, I don’t live in the Panhandle any more. I’m down on the Texas coast. We need hurricane books here. πŸ˜‰

    • Yes to the hurricane books! FL needs them too. I remember having dorm parties at college when hurricanes blew through. Everybody pre-stocked leftover pizza in their mini-fridges. My friend and I would reheat and watch Bollywood movies. (Campus had backup generators.) lol πŸ™‚

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