“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”
Hi everyone! So you might have noticed that I’m a voracious reader – I quite like to think of myself as a book dinosaur, gobbling up books and devouring big tomes – and one thing that I always get asked a lot is how do I read so many books? I keep saying and promising I’ll write a blog post about my reading habits that have helped me rack up those stacks of books and thanks to procrastinating on my latest WIP, here it is! Ta-da!
These tips are things that work personally for me as a reader, but everyone’s reading journey is different, so have a read if you’d like, but please don’t think there’s one right way to read more books or be a reader!
Love what you read
This one sounds easy, right? But really think about what you’ve been reading lately, or what you have on your TBR. Is there an overwhelming stack of review copies? A hyped new release you have to read before it gets spoiled? Books you feel like you should be reading? A book (or more!) that you’d really love to reread, but you feel you should be reading some of the books you bought a year ago that you still haven’t gotten around to reading? A book you started but you’re not enjoying, yet you’d feel too guilty to abandon?
One way to read more is to be madly in love and hooked on what you’re reading. Reading should never feel like a chore! (The obvious exception here is when you’re studying – sometimes this does happen!) Try reading according to your mood, no matter what you feel like you should be reading. Give yourself a break and take small steps to relieve some of the obligations you’re feeling. Allow yourself to reread if that’s what you want. DNF a book and don’t feel guilty about it. Request less review copies. Ignore what your friends or the rest of social media is reading.
Basically, you want to recapture that feeling of being a child, reading under the sheets by torchlight because you can’t bear to go to sleep without knowing what happens next! Take the adulting out of it and fall in love with reading all over again!
Always carry a book
This is one of the easiest things to start doing if you don’t already! Always carry a book around with you. Read on your commute (if you don’t drive!), read at lunch breaks, read while you’re waiting for the bus or an appointment, read in sneaky little 5-10 minute windows whenever you can squeeze it in! They soon add up.
If you’re inclined, you can always try incorporating audiobooks and/or e-books into this tip, they don’t work personally for me but I’ve seen some people on bookstagram add a lot more reading into their schedules just by switching up the medium of their books!
Practise book polygamy
It’s often hard to do at first if you’re not used to it, but having several books on the go at the same time really helps me read more. I usually read more serious or darker books during the day or weekends and read lighter, fluffier ones in bed before I sleep!
The idea with this is that it keeps your concentration on reading for longer – bored with your current book? Switch to another book and keep reading a bit longer! – as well as making sure you’re always interesting and in the mood for what you’re currently reading, which goes back to my first tip – always love what you’re reading. By reading multiple books at the same time, your chances of reading according to your mood are higher and this makes you more likely to read!
Make reading a priority
I realise not everyone can do this. However, when people say they have no time for reading, often they do but reading is not their priority. Which is totally fine! If you’re busy with family life, work or studies, hobbies, or like being up to date with TV shows and movies, then chances are reading may not be your priority at this point in time. However, for me, reading is a huge priority as it helps me to be a better writer. Because of this, I spend very little time watching TV/Netflix and have pretty much banned myself from YouTube and other things I was spending more time on before. This frees up more time for reading!
I also quite often will schedule a binge-reading weekend. Sometimes it’s over a month or two in advance as I’m too busy to fit it in other weekends, but every now and then I take the time to do nothing but get cosy and read all weekend. Those weekends add a good burst to my reading time that month and every time you see one of my bigger wrap-up photos (like the one on this blog), you can be sure I’ve had one that month!
Learn how to read faster
This is the hardest tip on my list and the one that will take you the longest to master, but if you’re really serious about wanting to read a lot more, then investing some time in learning how to read faster will be the most rewarding thing you can do in the long term!
The main question you have to ask yourself is: Do you ‘hear’ the words when you’re reading?
If the answer is yes, then this is what’s slowing your reading down. It’s called subvocalizing and it means your reading speed is limited to your rate of speech.
It takes time to break out of this habit, but learning how to read silently in your head will make you a faster reader for life. Have a look on Google for how to master this skill or hang around until I get writer’s block again and tackle that subject next!
Make reading your priority, get rid of reading obligation and guilt, read according to your moods and the time of day, switch things up to prevent getting bored and focus for longer, and make sure you’re reading to the best of your ability!
All easier said than done, but even small changes can amount to a lot so get creative and see what works best for you!
Thank you all for reading!
What are your tips for reading faster?
Or tips you’re interested in trying first?
Let me know if you’d like more posts like this!