Friday, 16 September 2011

Random Ramblings 4: How To Read More

Being the big reader in my family and group of friends I always get asked how I find the time to read so many books. I used to think I read a lot until I found the book blogging community and discovered people who read literally hundreds of books a year. I myself have yet to reach that big 100 books in a year but constantly try to work towards it. Regardless I suppose compared to most people I do read a lot and so I’ve been doing some research on tips on how to read more also with some of my own tips that I give to family and friends. Most book lovers are always trying to read more and more books and find the time to read so I decided to share with you my top tips on how to squeeze more reading into your day to day life.

1.) I think the main problem is the majority of people see reading as a treat something to do for an hour before bedtime but try to look at reading as a lifestyle choice. Readings not just for bed and you’d be surprised with how much you can get read when you choose to read at any spare moment whether that’s on lunch breaks, on the bus or train going to work, waiting for appointments. There are so many small opportunities where you could catch a couple of pages during the day instead of staring into space or playing on your phone. Use them, after all every little counts.

2.) This goes hand in hand with the first tip but carry a book with you everywhere you’d be surprised when you find a quick 5 minutes to read.

3.) Use your TV’s catch up system. Most TV’s have some kind of catch up or recording system these days where you can watch your shows at a time to suit you. Not only is being able to watch them whenever great but you can also skip the commercials. Did you know that the average 1 hour show will have 15 to 20 minutes of advertising? If you watch a one hour TV show every day and skip the adverts then over a week you’ll have gained a spare 1 hour and 45 minutes that can be used for reading.

4.) Cut down the amount of TV you watch. It’s common knowledge that the average person spends too much time watching TV. Whittle it down to those shows you really don’t want to miss as opposed to those you just watch to pass the time and use that time for reading.

5.) Use Audio books and E-readers. Most people don’t read because they don’t have time to but with audio books you really don’t have an excuse you can listen to them whilst doing house work, driving, even whilst showering or taking a bath. On the Kindle there’s also the text to speech option so if you have to stop reading to get some chores done switch to speech and you can carry on with your book whilst being productive.

6.) Set yourself a goal of how much you want to read per day whether that’s in pages or chapters and stick to it (unless you get so absorbed in what you’re reading that you end up reading more!)

7.) Give up on books that you’re not enjoying. The fact that you’re not enjoying the book means that you’re less likely to pick it up slowing down your reading. Give yourself up to 50 pages and if you’re still not enjoying it don’t be afraid to say it’s not right for you and give up. Or sometimes a book is simply just not what you’re looking to read right now but maybe something you would enjoy at a later date if that’s the case mark where you’ve left off, pick up something new and come back to it.

8.) Keep a pile of books that you really want to read on your bedside table or somewhere in sight seeing all those fantastic books that are waiting for you to read them will encourage you to hurry up and finish what your reading. Keeping a wish list is also a good idea.

9.) Set a reading goal of how many books you want to read this year. As you go along and write down each book you read there’s something very satisfying about looking back on all the books you’ve read so far.

10.) Enthusiasm is contagious. Join a local book club, goodreads, librarything or follow book bloggers and youtubers. Let the people who love books rub off on you and it’s also great for recommendations.

11.) Train yourself to read like a speed readers taking in a few words at a time rather than reading word for word like you’re taught as a child. It’s been proven that you actually take in just as much by taking in a whole sentence as you do when you read word for word. Start by taking in two words then three then four. Let your eyes zoom out like a camera and take in bigger portions of writing.

12.) On days off find the time to read in the morning. This is a no brainer but when you read in the morning you’re more awake and alert than you are in the evening and therefore can read faster.

13.) Find a place in your house that you can be comfortable and read distraction free.

14.) Join swap websites, libraries, invest in an e-reader or get a membership reward card from your local bookshop. A lot of people find books too expensive but these are all great ways to save some money so that you can buy and therefore read more books.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. How do you make time to read? If you have any tips or suggestions I’ve left out feel free to share them in the comments!


  1. Fab post, Jess! I don't think I can physically fit anymore reading in, as I already squeeze the day dry!

  2. Stuff I already do I'm just slow! Hehe. I didn't know about the text to speech option on the Kindle though, that's funky!

  3. Fantastic tips,Jess! I've actually been finding I have a lot less time to read before I go to bed now so I have to try and find spare time whenever else I can in the day. I tried the Kindle text to speech option but I didn't like it because it was too slow and mechanical but I'm sure if they did get proper human audio reading some books, I would use the function.

  4. Great list! I can't really think of anything else. I will tell you that watching less TV was a big thing for me. Also, I am able to read for short periods of time. Even if it's only a page or two. Some people have difficulty doing that, but I can. Same with listening. Even if it's only a 10 minute trip to the store, I still listen for those 10 minutes. I'm also a fast reader -- I agree with training yourself to read several words at a time. There are some very special books that require you to slow down and savor, I get that, but most of the books I read don't fall in that category. Super ideas! Thanks.

  5. This is a great post. I think everyone wishes they made more time for reading. I find that like all my hobbies reading has peaks and valleys and my advice is to not worry or beat yourself up when you are in those valleys. If you find a really good book, it will bring things up again :)


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