How to Read More Books

Many people I talk to about reading find my way of reading impossible.  Perhaps I am a bit of a weirdo.  There’s no perhaps about it; I am, but if you are looking to read more books this year (and it’s still early to get on the reading band-wagon), I have some ideas that work for me.  They may work for you if you’re willing to try them.  By the way, I am by no means a speed reader.  I am a slow reader.

  1. Set a number that you want to read.  My personal goal is 32 (anything less than 100 pages is not counted in this goal).  Granted, my job allows for more reading, but most of my reading is at home on my own time.  Also granted, my kids are older.  The younger your kids, the harder it is to read.  But pick a number.  If you read 3 books last year, try 5 this year (or 6 if you’re feeling really adventurous).  If you didn’t read any books at all, perhaps you want to go with 3 books.
  2. What interests you?  If you’re a television watcher or a movie goer, what kind of stuff interests you?  That’s probably the type of book that will interest you.  Though that is not always the case.  Figure out what genre you like best and then second best, and possibly third best.  I love history, biography, and adventure.  Most of the books I read this year will have something to do with these genres.
  3. Read multiple books at a time.  This is where people look at me like I’m an idiot.  They can’t concentrate on more than one book.  But let’s face it, I’m a product of my generation.  My attention span is not that long.  A book can get boring very quickly.  If that happens, I try to find a good ending spot, close the book and open another.  It’s like changing stations on the television.  If a show isn’t any good, I go to the next one.
  4. Read one thick book.  I am currently reading God’s War by Christopher Tyerman.  This puppy is over 1,000 pages.  It’s my year-long book.  I only need to read about 3 pages a day to get it done.  Who can’t read 3 pages a day?  Pick up a thick book, divide it by how many days are left in the year, and start reading.  Just leave a mark where you left off.  I promise, while you do not remember everything, you will pick up much more than you think you will.
  5. Read a devotional.  Most devotionals are daily devotionals.  Usually they are only one page per day.  That means that in a year, reading one page a day, you will have a book completed.
  6. Simply commit to reading.  I use “Todoist” on my iPhone.  I actually have in there Read: God’s War, Read: Prayer, Read: C. S. Lewis, Read: Christian in Complete Armour.  I put these in there because: “out of sight, out of mind.”  If necessary put a specific time in your calendar to read.
  7. Don’t be afraid to quit books. This was some of the greatest advice I was ever given about reading. If there is a book that you’ve tried, really tried, to read, but you just can’t–You’d rather be water-boarded than open that book again, then quit it. Don’t waste time reading something you hate. There are too many good books out there. 
  8. Last one: don’t be afraid to use audio books.  I count these.  I don’t use them often; generally on long trips, but I do count them (if they’re paper version is over 100 pages).

Let me know your reading-plan.  This is how I do it.  It may not work for everyone, but feel free to share how you go about reading.  Let me know if this has helped you in your reading endeavors.  As always, I only ask for respect in responses.  You may think my ways are stupid.  That’s absolutely fine, just be respectful in how you phrase it.

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