Reading more books is a goal for many of us these days. Our lives are moving so fast and we tend to have so little time for ourselves. If you’re wondering how to read more books, it’s good to know that you’re not alone.
The average young American reads 10 minutes or less per day. And since everyone is well aware of the immense benefits of reading, it’s only natural for people to wonder what they can do to read more books.
For some, reading books can seem a bit intimidating at first. Looking at a couple hundred pages, knowing how many hours of reading are involved in getting through a book may seem like too big a commitment in today’s fast paced life.
And to be perfectly honest, it’s understandable. In the past decade, we’ve trained our brains to believe that information is attainable in seconds. Google has all the answers and usually a couple hundred words read on Wikipedia can help us understand what we need to find out.
Not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but we’ve taken ourselves on a path that puts distance between us and reading as an experience. We dove into the instant knowledge available online and we learned to become more focused on getting the facts than on the pleasure of enjoying the written words.
How to read more books in 2023?
We all want to read more books, and many of us get sadly drifted away from this habit. If you want to get back on the horse and read more books in 2023, you should probably check out the tips below.
1. Choose the right books to begin with
Regardless of how old you are now, if the last book you read was back in college, it’s probably a good idea to start slow.
Choosing the right book may make the difference between starting a nice journey towards reading more and simply giving up.
What should you look for in choosing the right books?
How easy it is to read. Not all books are written the same and some have pretty complex storylines that are a bit harder to follow. Usually most page-turners are easy to read, so maybe you can start with The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
How many pages it has. It may sound childish to choose a book by its number of pages, but bear with me and it will all make sense. Having that sense of accomplishment as early in the journey is important and can keep you motivated to keep going. It gives you the chance to enjoy the amazing feeling of closing a book right after finishing it and can help you push forward more easily.
When it was written. Choosing a contemporary author for the first couple of books you read after a long pause is also important. Reading books written in the same type of language that you speak and hear every day is a lot easier and more enjoyable at first than reading for example writings in Shakespeare’s English.
2. Set easily achievable goals
It may sound silly, but don’t force yourself to achieve goals that are unrealistic. You should analyze your life, take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself how much time you can afford to set aside for reading every day.
Many people start this journey with their minds made up. “I will read more books starting January 1st”. Well… you might, but you probably won’t.
Instead, choose a low number of pages. Let’s say 20 pages. For an average-speed reader, that can be achieved in under 30 minutes. Set a routine, try to read those 20 pages around the same time every day, or after finishing another daily task.
Here’s the trick. You will end up reading more anyway. Maybe not on your first day, maybe not on your second, but you can count on it happening at some point in the future. If you choose a good book, once it gets interesting, you won’t even count your pages anymore and you will end up reading as much as your time allows it.
3. Set yourself up for success with a distraction-free environment
Switch your phone to Airplane Mode, turn off the TV and close the door. Your reading time should be uninterrupted, and distraction free.
Getting phone calls while you’re in the middle of reading can be both annoying and toxic for your newly established reading routine. You get distracted, you are pulled away from all the action and sometimes it’s hard to get back into it.
While you probably won’t be able to control and keep away all the distractions, it’s still important to do as much as you can for yourself when it comes to reading. You should have a cozy room or at least a couch.
Try to surround yourself with a pleasant environment in order to get the most out of your experience. And that way, reading will slowly transform from a chore, to a habit and later to a hobby.
4. Change your mindset
First of all, you should change the way you look at reading in general. It’s not a chore and you shouldn’t treat it that way.
From a psychological standpoint it’s easy to understand why so many of us see things this way. School taught us that reading is mandatory and as soon as you put the word “mandatory” next to anything, that thing becomes less fun.
But we need to adjust our mindset to the fact that we are adults now. There is no mandatory reading list, we won’t get grades based on our understanding of the books we read. Nobody will ever ask us to write a 2000 word essay about any of the books we read.
School also taught us that once we start reading a book we need to finish it, regardless of whether we like it or not. Because it’s mandatory and you’re going to have a quiz on it later in the year. And you might fail your class.
But guess what? Do you know what adults do when they read something they don’t like? They stop reading that. Adulthood is that easy and beautiful.
So, changing your mindset is, in my opinion, the most important step towards reading more. The more you start seeing reading as an enjoyable, useful and relaxing activity, the more you will read.
5. Use reading apps
Yes, you read that right. You can actually take advantage of modern technologies to help read more books. Whether you use them to keep track of your reading, to purchase books or to actually read, there are a couple of apps that do wonders for your reading habits.
One of them is Basmo and if you’re wondering how to read more often, it may be exactly what you’re looking for. This app is available both on Android and iOS devices and has a couple of features which can definitely boost your reading.
It will help you:
- track the books you read
- analyze how much time you spend reading
- keep track of your emotions while reading by allowing you to take notes and write down your thoughts and feelings
- record reading sessions and reading habits
- set reading goals
- stay in line with the goals you set by getting notifications every time you miss out on your reading time
- set reminders to read every day
We all know that one of the most important steps to become better at anything is understanding our habits and our mistakes.
Basmo can provide accurate statistics about your reading habits, giving you the most important building block for bettering yourself: knowing where you are so you can better understand where you should be.
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6. Buy more books
Yes, you should buy more books if you want to read more. Have a little fun with it. Instead of forcing yourself to read more of the same books you’ve had in your house for years, go out to a library and buy 3 books you find interesting today.
You’re not the same person you were 4 years ago. So, why would you put pressure on yourself to read something you wanted to read 4 years ago and didn’t?
On top of this, there is always a good idea to have a book handy. Whether you’re at home, on the bus or simply travelling, you should always have a book around. You never know when you have a couple of free minutes or when you suddenly feel a craving for reading.
Buy more books you like today and always keep one around.
7. Try different genres
You should always avoid making assumptions about your taste in books (or anything else for that matter). Try it first, decide later.
You should always have an open mind for new things. Whether it’s food, movies or books. Maybe you tried reading a horror book a couple of years ago and didn’t like it.
Try another one.
Never remain stuck reading the same kind of novels all the time. It’s just as easy as it is toxic to get stuck in the same genre for years. Switch things around, try new books, new authors.
You can end up reading a lot more books if you discover you like things you always thought you didn’t and you never know what you could be missing out on.
8. Always check reading lists online
Did you know that more than 50,000 books are published every year? That’s about 1,000 per week.
No single individual can get through that much reading. But communities can, and that is one of the most amazing things nowadays.
People with similar interests can join communities, either on social media platforms or in other more organized ways and they can share their experiences.
Nowadays you can find online communities about pretty much everything. You will surely find more people than you can imagine with similar reading tastes as you.
Search online for book recommendations or tops of books in your area of interest and this will definitely stimulate you to read more books so you can get through as many as possible.
9. Turn bad habits into good ones, like reading more
It may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. Let’s take your mobile device for example. Did you know that the average person spends close to 3 hours every day looking at a smartphone screen?
Imagine what you could achieve in terms of reading if you could hijack at least half of that time and replace it with leafing through a book.
Every time you have the urge to reach for your phone and check your Facebook feed, force yourself to grab a book instead. It’s not going to be easy at first, but trust me, it gets a whole lot easier as soon as the action in the book gets interesting.
As much as they come to our help, our devices can be equally toxic. So, since you already know that you have 3 hours a day to look at your phone, use that time more wisely.
Now that you’ve read all our tips to read more books, let’s see why reading more books is a great goal and what it can do to improve your life.
10. Keep books near you at all times
If we were to take James Clear’s advice from his super-popular book Atomic Habits, replacing bad habits with good ones has a lot to do with how easy you make things for yourself. Having a bowl of candy on your coffee table sitting in front of you all day long is usually not a good idea when trying to eat healthier. Hiding all that candy in a place where it is a lot less comfortable for you to take them out is a great way to reduce the amount of sweets you eat.
By the same logic, having a book on your table at all times is almost guaranteed to push you to pick it up more often than you would if the book was sitting on a shelf. Make sure to surround yourself with books and always figure out a way to have a book on hand.
11. Don’t shy away from using audiobooks
Reading is a dynamic experience. You can enjoy pretty much the same benefits from listening to an audiobook as you would from actually reading. You are still enjoying the story, still enriching your vocabulary, and still learning new things. Audiobooks can be a great solution for those of us with very busy lives. You can easily “do some reading” while driving to work or while doing your daily chores.
Yes, the difference is significantly different, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather than not reading because you can’t find the time, listen to an audiobook you enjoy. Chances are you are going to enjoy it tremendously.
12. Create your own reading lists
Having a well-organized and curated reading list is of utmost importance whenever you want to start reading more. That way you never forget the books you want to read, you keep track of those you already read, and you stop wasting any of your time between books. You simply read what’s next on the list.
With Basmo, you can easily do this within the app. You can create as many lists as you want, they are easy to populate and highly customizable, and more importantly, almost impossible to lose.
Ready to start creating your reading list?
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It’s 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?
13. Join a reading challenge
A reading challenge is an educational competition that pushes participants to go through a certain number of books (usually everybody reads the same books) within a certain period of time.
You can find reading challenges online in reading-dedicated communities, at your local book club, or you can even create your own one with friends, colleagues, family, or close ones. The benefits of joining a reading challenge are pretty obvious: you will be motivated to read more, you don’t have to worry about finding your next book to read, and perhaps most importantly, you are going to be part of a community.
14. Join a book club
Joining a book club would boost your reading habits pretty much in the same way a reading challenge would. You get some extra motivation to stick to the reading list, the reading list is provided by somebody else which means you don’t have to worry about it or put any thought into it, and you get to be part of a community that shares your interest in reading.
On top of this, book clubs organize regular meetings where the members gather and discuss the books they read. That can be a hugely entertaining and eye-opening experience. This social aspect of book clubs is what makes them so popular amongst dedicated readers. Being part of a book club can seriously impact the amount of reading you are doing. You will be motivated to read more, pay more attention to the books because you know you will discuss it with other members during the next meeting, and you eliminate the time you generally waste looking for the next book to read.
15. Use speed reading
Time is a limited resource. For most of us, days are generally planned to the last minute, and finding more time for reading is not always an option. What we’re left with in this case is to simply figure out a way to read more in the same timeframe.
Speed reading is a very popular reading technique, and for good reason: it allows us to read more without spending more of our extremely valuable and limited time. Learning to speed-read can take a while and some getting used to but is definitely worth it in the long run.
16. Learn to multi-task
Whether you’re reading a physical book, an e-book, or listening to an audiobook, the good news is that you can use the time you spend reading for something else as well. Listening to audiobooks is generally king when it comes to multitasking since it leaves your hands free so you can easily clean the house, drive, or do pretty much anything else you can think of while enjoying a book being read to you.
But there are certain options even with e-books and physical books. For example, you could read while exercising or enjoy a nice book while taking a walk. As long as you follow a couple of simple rules and you ensure your own safety, there’s no limit to what you can achieve through multitasking.
17. Read more books at once
Speaking of multitasking, here’s another great idea: why would you limit yourself to reading a single book? You could read several books at the same time and that way you cover more ground. If you listen to an audiobook on your daily commute to and from work, read an e-book during your lunch break, and a physical book at home, what could go wrong?
You can even choose the difficulty of each book according to the environment you are going to read it in. If you’ve told yourself “I want to read more books in 2023”, this might just work for you. Here’s our list of pros and cons for reading more books at once, so you can make an informed decision.
18. Have a reading buddy
Enjoying the social aspect of reading and getting yourself more motivated to read isn’t exclusively the result of joining a reading challenge or a book club. You could easily share this experience with a friend or family member who has also set their new year’s resolution to read more books in 2023.
Having a reading buddy can mean that you are both reading the same books at the same time, or simply reading whatever each of you likes, but sharing a common goal like reading a certain number of books in 2023 or spending a certain amount of time reading every day.
19. Stop reading books you don’t enjoy
There is no shame in not finishing a book you don’t enjoy. Your DNF (did not finish) pile is not proof of failure, but proof of you being a down-to-earth kind of reader. There is no point in reading books you hate.
This will only slow you down, prevent you from meeting your reading goals, and make you feel miserable. Read things that bring you joy and don’t hesitate too much when you feel it’s time to simply give up on a certain book that doesn’t meet your expectations.
20. Invest time in developing healthy habits, like reading before bed
One of the key strategies to reading more is to simply make a habit out of it. Associating reading with something else you do every day can completely change the way you read.
For example, make an effort to read every day for 15-20 minutes before bed. After a while, it will become second nature. Associating reading with your bedtime routine will ensure that you actually get some reading done every day.
Similarly, you can force yourself into the habit of reading a couple of pages when you drink your morning coffee. Associate reading with your commute to work, with your snacking habits, and with any other routine that makes sense. This is a sure way to get a whole lot more reading done in 2023 without much effort.
Want to start reading more?
Try Basmo book tracker today!
Basmo can easily help you set and reach your reading early goals. It’s super easy to use and 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?
What are the main benefits of reading more books?
There’s a bunch of reasons why reading is an amazingly beneficial way of spending your free time. From improving your health, helping you age better to even making you an overall better person, the benefits outweigh significantly the effort you would need to put in.
Reading more books can do wonders for you both physically and mentally and the benefits can last a lifetime. Here’s a couple of ways in which reading can change your life for the better.
- Makes your brain stronger
- Reading improves general knowledge
- It expands your vocabulary
- Improves writing skills
- Reading makes it easier for you to empathize
- Helps prevent cognitive decline
- Reduces stress
- Helps you sleep better
Reading more books is a great goal, nobody can deny that. And it is an easy one to achieve, as long as you do it right.
Giving up on a goal is usually a lot easier than achieving it and you can easily lose track of it if you don’t get organized.
By following the guidelines above on how to read more books, you will have a great chance to manage to do it, especially if you also choose to use Basmo for your reading habits.