Hello all! I’ve recently been asked how I manage to read so much in a month. Whilst so many people read a hell of a lot more than me and I have absolutely no clue how they do it, I have increased my reading from 5-6 books a month to 10 on average on the last 6 months. This has been a massive jump for me and here are a few of the tips that have helped me do it! Honestly, the main reason for the amount I read is simply that I don’t watch much TV and don’t really have a social life, though this is perhaps not the best tip! So here are some more realistic ideas for you to give a go! Please let me know if you’re going to try any of these, or what your tips are! I’m always looking for new ways to increase my reading.
This is one of the things that has made the biggest difference to me – holding yourself accountable for how much you’ve read. If you’re tracking the amount of pages you read in a day then you can see if you’re doing well or need to try a bit harder to get pages in. If you use an app like Book Breeze or Bookly, you can also see stats like how fast you’re reading and how long it will take you to finish a book. I love doing this and it makes me want to read and improve. If I’ve got a timer on an app going as well to track my reading session, then it makes me less likely to get distracted because I don’t want to mess my stats up!
2. Set (attainable) goals
This one kind of goes hand in hand with the previous tip. Once you’re tracking how many pages you’re reading, then you can try and set yourself a goal of how many pages you’d like to read in a day to keep yourself progressing. For example, I try and read a minimum of 100 pages a day. Sometimes I vastly exceed this, and sometimes I don’t read a single page, but having that goal there makes me feel like I have something to aim for, even if I don’t strictly enforce it – I never ever want reading to feel like a chore!
Having an audiobook subscription is probably the thing that has increased my amount of book read per month the most. Obviously, the simple way is just listening to audiobooks, but it has also helped my progress on my physical reads a lot. If I can continue listening to my physical read when I’m driving to work, or cooking dinner then I can progress through it quicker. I also use audiobooks when I’m tired and can’t really be bothered to read – I’ll stick the audiobook on and follow along in the physical copy (though this is often a quick route to a napccident!)
Never be afraid to put something down and pick up a different book. It might not even be because you don’t like it, but simply if you aren’t feeling it there is no shame in putting something down to pick up at another time. If you force yourself to read something when you’re not enjoying it, it’s only going to take the fun out of reading or maybe even put you in a slump.
5. Make time for reading (get off social media!)
I know that this is the obvious one, and it’s a lot easier said than done, but actually putting your phone down and turning the TV off is going to be the best thing you can do. Leave your phone in another room, if you have an iPhone use the ‘screen time’ function to block apps at certain times, or use an app like Forest which locks your phone and gives consequences to picking it up during your reading time. I never have a productive reading session if my phone is next to me, it’s just too tempting to check each notification, and before you know it you’ve lost another hour scrolling! I know it’s so easy to say ‘put down your phone and stop scrolling’ but that’s why just putting it out of sight or ultilising a whitelisting app is so useful. If you’re a student you can even get apps such as ‘Hold’ that give you vouchers for time spent without touching your phone!
6. Isolation and immersion
Some days, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get into my book. It’s so easy to whizz through 100+ pages once you’re engaged and into your book but sometimes it’s hard to get to that place. So, I guess this tip is to find what works for you to allow yourself to become completely immersed and focused on whatever your reading.
One of the main ways I like to do this, is to follow my last tip – I’ll lock any non essential apps on my phone – and then open Spotify. If I’m reading fantasy then I have a great playlist full of game soundtracks or if not then I often pick one of Spotify’s ready made reading or studying playlists. Sticking my headphones on with some ambient instrumental music is so great for just drowning the world out and becoming immersed in the story, especially fantasy. I discovered this whilst I was reading the Priory of the Orange Tree and I just wanted to feel really embedded in the world and almost like I was there. Game soundtracks are literally designed to make you feel encapsulated in a fantasy world, so they work so great for reading. I never fly through fantasy quite like I do with my headphones on, my phone locked, shut away from the world for a while.
7. Ditch the TBR
I NEVER set myself a strict TBR. I often have an idea of some of the books I want to get to in the month and certain goals, but allowing myself to be completely driven by whatever I’m most excited for and what I’m in the mood for definitely is the surest way for me to be productive in my reading!