As we roll into a new year, many people set a goal to read more. But how do you meet this lofty goal of reading more books? I’m so glad you asked, because this, my friend, is the answer to your question of how to read more books.
Why You Should Read More Books
Reading has a lot of benefits but none of those reasons matter if you can’t tap into your why. Why do you want to read more? Are you hoping to improve your vocabulary? Do you want to impress your friends with the amazing repertoire of books that you have read? whatever your reason, it has to be something that can motivate you when you just don’t feel like reading. If you don’t already have a reason, take a few minutes to think about that now.
If you’re looking for more reasons to read, The Importance of Reading: 14 Reasons to Read is a great resource.
As you settle into your goal to read more books, several questions will pop into your head. Let’s see we can answer some of them so you can get started on your reading list (after you read this entire post of course 😀).
If you want to read more
1. How many hours a day should you read?
Now you may be wondering, how many hours a day should I read? That decision is one you’ll need to make based on your lifestyle and the amount of time you have available to devote to reading.
2. Is it OK to read multiple books at once?
As with the previous question, this is a matter of choice. Some persons just can’t read more than one book at a time. For years, I couldn’t either but I have found that if you’re going to read multiple books at once, you need to have a way to differentiate them. Some easy ways to do this are:
- read books in separate genres,
- read books in different mediums (e.g. an ebook and an audiobook),
- separate your reading by location (e.g. one book is read only when you’re going to sleep, or on your way to work).
3. How do you motivate yourself to read a book?
Isn’t reading the book its own reward? Seriously though, sometimes it’s hard to read and the solution could be as simple as reading a different book. If you need more motivation, keep reading and take note of some of these ideas to jumpstart your reading gene.
How to Read More Books
How do you motivate people to read more? How do you create a desire in yourself to want to read more?
As with any goal, if you’re going to read more, you’ll need a plan. Here are my suggestions (including things I’ve tried over the years to increase my reading goals).
1. Join launch teams
I don’t know about you but being able to read books before they are released is a great pleasure for me. A good way to increase the number of books you’re reading is to support an author’s book launch. Most authors usually give the book several weeks or months in advance and indicate when they want the review to be posted. There is sometimes a Facebook group where you can interact with the author and get apprised of upcoming deadlines.
2. Join authors reader groups
A lot of Christian authors create social media groups where they interact with their readers. Some of them even have book clubs centered around their books. Toni Shiloh has a very active book club in her Author Reader Group.
3. Create a NetGalley account
NetGalley is a great place to get free books. In some cases, these books are already published but many of them will be new releases. If you sign up for the NetGalley weekly newsletter, you’ll get a reminder of what books remain on your shelf and which reviews are pending.
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”
– J.K. Rowling
4. Set a reading goal on Goodreads
There’s something about setting a goal that gives you something to strive towards–just make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. Goodreads gives you the ability to keep track of books you’re reading or want to read. When you set a reading goal, there’s a handy tracker on the website that lets you know how you’re doing.
Share your goals, as well as, your progress with your friends or on social media.
5. Start a book review blog.
This will motivate you to read more because you always need to have fresh content.
But what about if you don’t want to write book reviews? (By the way, you should because reviews help to get the word out about an author’s work and are not nearly as intimidating as you think. If you’re uncertain of how to write a review, here are some tips.)
6. Get a book buddy
Do you know someone who also wants to read more books this year? Team up with them and aim to meet your goals together. Take it a step further and read the same book…at the same time. This way you can spur each other on. The key to making this work is to set realistic goals and decide to meet them. No excuses.
7. Join a book club
This takes this step above to another level. Join a book club where you and others can read a book together. Most book clubs take a few weeks to cover a book choosing to read only a few chapters at a time. There are usually discussion questions and special features like the opportunity to chat with the author.
Here are some Christian book clubs you could join:
8. Get a subscription box
Wouldn’t it be nice if a box with books and goodies show up on your doorstep every month? Well, if you sign up for a subscription box, the odds are ever in your favor. With so many options available, you can choose the one that suits your need and relax knowing you’ll get at least one new book to read every month.
9. Use reading challenges.
These can be found in abundance on Instagram and Pinterest. There are lots of people who create reading lists based on a theme or that meet certain criteria. With a reading challenge, you have the option of doing as much (or as little) as you want. Plus, you get to share pictures of the books you’re reading and that’s always fun.
10. Make a list of books to read
Instead of using someone else’s list, why not create your own? Make a list of books you want to read–or have always wanted to read–and start reading them. Keeping a list will keep these books forefront in your mind and you’ll always have an option for what to read next.
11. Join a library
This is a great option especially if you’re on a budget. Sign up for your very own library card and start accessing new worlds. The library will have a variety of genres and mediums. Some libraries will even purchase books based on your recommendation (and what a great way to read that book you’ve had your eye on–and for free!)
12. Read free books
Load up on free books. Seriously. A book habit can get expensive. One way to curtail that is by reading free books. From time to time, authors may offer some of their backlists for free. This is a great chance to stock up your to-be-read list so that you never have to wonder what you’re reading next.
Check out this list of free Christian books but be sure to check that the book still free before you purchase.
13. Track your reading.
There are many ways to track the books you’ve read, including Goodreads. You can also track the books you’ve read on a spreadsheet or in your planner. Set a goal and read more books!
14. Read more of what you love
Don’t read what people tell you to unless you have an interest in the subject (that’s a surefire way to get with reading pretty fast). If you love fantasy, read fantasy books. If you love happy endings, read romance.
There will always be people ready to tell you why the genre you’re reading is not good enough.
My response is, if it makes you happy, go ahead. (I should take a moment here to say as a Christian, what you read gets a space in your soul. It influences your behavior and affects your mindset. Be sure to read books that are pure and draw you closer to God rather than push you away from Him.)
15. Try new genres or authors
No, this does not contradict the last point. Readers can sometimes get stuck in reading the same authors and types of books which can make your reading feel a bit stale and deprive you of the awesome books that are out there. Explore new genres and check out some new authors. You’ll definitely discover a world of treasure if you permit yourself to explore.
To get you excited to read more, here are 25 of the best books I read in 2020.
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