Every year you may look at your overflowing bookshelves and think, “This year I will read more of these.” And inevitably, you get busy and your books continue to gather dust. With so many great shows to watch, blog pages to scroll, and Facebook friends to stalk, it can be difficult to commit to reading words on a real page. But it can be done! Here are some tips for meeting your resolution to read more books this year.
1. Set a goal.
It’s hard to reach a goal when you haven’t set one! At the beginning of the year, set a goal for how many books you would like to read during the coming year. You can choose by genre or challenge yourself to read through a certain list, like these from the American Library Association. Be sure to consider your personal reading speed and the amount of free time you have to set an attainable goal. You can always increase your goal mid-year if you exceed your expectations! It can also be helpful to think about your goal in smaller, bite-size chunks. How many books do you need to read each month to achieve your goal for the year?
2. Challenge your friends.
As with most goals, it’s easier to stay on track when you have accountability and even competition. Ask your book-loving friends to join you in setting a reading goal and commit to tracking each other’s progress. Goodreads is an easy way to keep track of your goal and see what your friends are reading. You may even find your next favorite book on your friends’ shelves! Need even more accountability? Start a book club! Meeting regularly with friends will keep you on track and provide even more appreciation for a book through discussion.
3. Set time aside.
In order to read more books this year, you will need to set aside more time for reading. It can be helpful to designate a set amount of time at the same time each day to read. Choose a time that makes sense for your schedule. It can be 30 minutes in the morning or before bed, during your lunch break or on your commute.
4. Always bring a book with you.
Do you often find yourself scrolling through your phone while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or for a friend to meet you? Turn those minutes into valuable reading time! Keep your book with you at all times to keep up with your goal on a daily basis. If carrying a book with you sounds impractical, try e-books or even download books to your phone! Try these apps for reading on your phone.
5. Try audio.
Audiobooks are a great way to read more books this year. Many people find them to be especially helpful for finishing nonfiction books, particularly if you tend to be an auditory learner. Audiobooks are also good for passing time on long road trips. Just because you commute to work doesn’t mean you can’t get in some quality reading time!
6. Read what you like.
This is the most important tip. Don’t set out to read books that other people have deemed “important” or “good” if they’re not the books you want to read! The best way to read more books this year is to read what interests you. Personally compelling stories or topics will hold your attention more than one you are forcing yourself to read. And if you get a few chapters into a book and just aren’t hooked, quit it! Life is too short to read boring books.