How to Read More in 2019
“I want to read more” is one of the most common wishes I hear from my fellow book lovers. Though when I ask, “How many books do you generally finish in a month,” I’m often met with blank stares.
For many of us avid readers, it can take a bit of determination plus strategy to get through as many books as we do. So with the New Year’s Resolution season upon us, I’d like to offer some guidance.
How to Read More in 2019
1. Be specific — “more” is vague. More than what? More than one book? Or more than you read last year? Take a few moments to evaluate how many books you finished this year, and how you feel about that number.
Set a specific goal that you feel is attainable. Break it down: 12 books a year is finishing one every 4 weeks. Doesn’t feel manageable? Then halve that number. 12 seem too easy? Then double it.
2. Make it a priority
I recently heard this advice on a productivity podcast: Think you don’t have time for something? Try saying “I’m choosing not to make it a priority,” and see how that feels.
I’ve heard the same advice for when you want to say you can’t afford something. In both cases, it’s a beneficial perspective shift. There are a finite number of hours in a day, so think of how you are spending your time, the same way you spend your money.
Over the course of any given day, I’ll get in a few hours of reading. However, I designate 30 minutes at the start of each morning specifically to read from a book in the personal development genre. That’s how I make it a priority over all the fun fiction I get lost in.
I also like to read a novel in bed each night, so I try to get there at least 30 minutes before I want to be asleep, to give myself that time to wind down.
3. Multi-task with an audio book.
I couldn’t make it through 150+ books a year without listening to a big portion of them. Try listening to an audio book during your commute, or while walking the dog. I listen while doing household chores, and working on jigsaw puzzles. I know readers who listen to books while knitting, or watching their kiddos’ sports practices.
Some people feel this multi-tasking takes away from the “be here now” philosophy of being present in each moment. Go with what feels right for you, but I encourage you to give it a try in multiple scenarios. There are times I want quiet while walking my dogs or music instead. And don’t give up if it doesn’t feel right at first. Listening to audio books is definitely an acquired skill.
4. Don’t feel guilty.
Sitting down in a quiet space, to get lost in a compelling novel can feel indulgent. It is, and that is okay! Remember, reading is a form of self care.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. – Sir Richard Steele
5. Don’t hesitate to quit a dud
If I slog through a book I’m not enjoying, it can take me 2-3 times longer. If I’m not feeling it, I bail and move on. You can always come back to a book and try again later.
Will these tips help you plan for to read “more” ?
What’s your reading goal for 2019?