Top Ten Tuesday: How to Read More

Happy Tuesday!! The bloggers behind The Broke and the Bookish are taking a quick break from hosting Top Ten Tuesdays this summer, so I thought I would continue on in the meantime with some topics of my own. Recently someone asked me a question I’ve been asked a million times: How do you read so much? Usually my response is something along the lines of: “…I just do?” However, today I’m going to actually answer this question by sharing my Top Ten Ways to Read More. (Spoiler alert: the last reason is the most important!!)

1 || Carry a book with you. This is one of the most important and effective ways to read more because you simply can’t read if you don’t have a book with you. There are so many hidden pockets of reading time throughout the day, from sitting in waiting rooms and taking public transportation to lunch breaks and random bits of downtime between appointments or meetings.

2 || Listen to audio books. Though I would much rather read a paper book than listen to a recording, I must admit that audio books are a golden key to optimizing reading time. I know people who drive, cook, clean, and exercise all while listening to audio books. Just think of how many books they must go through in an average week!

3 || Designate reading time. If you’re anything like me, you thrive on structure, routines, and schedules. I find it helpful to set aside certain times for reading, such as before going to sleep or when I have a free Sunday afternoon. This doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence; rather, it could be as simple as deciding to read for an hour instead of watching Netflix on a Wednesday night after dinner.

4 || Set realistic, achievable goals. Telling yourself you’ll be able to finish the entirety of Tolstoy’s War and Peace in one night and still have time to paint your nails before bed is probably not the most realistic goal to set. (Unless you can actually do this, then by all means LET ME KNOW YOUR SECRETS.) Instead, set yourself small goals that can be achieved fairly quickly and easily. I usually like to do this by focusing on chapters or page numbers.

5 || Find a reading buddy. For those of you who work best alongside others, find someone or a group of people to read with. Book clubs are great for helping you read more: not only do they hold you accountable for reading on a regular basis, but they also spread enthusiasm and a contagious bookish excitement. A reading buddy could also just be someone you talk to about books occasionally or even a fellow blogger

6 || Take breaks. This might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out. As with any activity, it’s possible to feel burnt out after reading so much. When you feel a reading slump coming on, do yourself a favor and set the books aside for a while. Sometimes all you need is some time away from the page to recharge your bookworm batteries. Then you’ll be ready to read even more!

7 || Be aware of time and space. Where do you feel the most comfortable reading? Are you an early bird or night owl? Knowing when and where you prefer to read will only better the chances that you’ll be focused and engaged in what you’re reading when you finally curl up with a book. For instance, my favorite reading spot is outside on a sunny day or in this particular cozy chair in my living room on a cold night.

8 || Read in bed… at your own risk. I’ve always loved reading before bed, but I do admit that it’s not always the most productive reading time ever. Sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes I get tired and head to bed early after reading only a chapter or two, sometimes I’m sitting in a position that makes taking notes awkward… This is really up to personal preference, but I’ve found that if I solely rely on time before bed to read I usually get very little reading time during the week.

9 || Get rid of distractions. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the temptation to sneak a peek at your phone, check your inbox, or even take a scroll through Tumblr in the midst of reading. There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks to do these things… unless your goal is to get more reading done! To prevent being distracted, try putting your phone on silent or at least shutting off most notifications if you’re sitting down to read for a bit.

10 || Make reading a priority. To be honest, I think this is the single most important and effective rule on this list. If reading is a priority in your life as a hobby you’re bound to do it more often. The real reason I’m able to read so much is because I want to, so I do. Some people spend their free time binge-watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix or watch streams of hilarious cat videos on Youtube, other people enjoy painting or running or dancing or playing soccer—I choose to spend the majority of my free time reading.

What are your tips for reading more? What do you think of the advice I’ve given here? Have you ever been asked how you read so much? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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43 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: How to Read More

  1. A colleague of mine was all “How do you even do that?!” lately, said she couldn’t get through a particular book because it felt all over the place.
    Sometimes it’s also a matter of picking books you really want to read, and not just pick a book because you keep hearing about it. It’s not because it’s hyped up that it’s going to be something you like. Especially if you already notice you probably won’t like it but feel “pressured” to read it anyway – just so you can talk along. Not the way to go either.

    [Thought that was a good one to add as well, haha.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I’m definitely a mood reader, so forcing myself to read certain books when I’m not in the mood for them is pretty pointless. It immediately puts me in a reading slump!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So many awesome points here, Holly! I’m guilty of not prioritizing reading and of not taking breaks… I usually feel like it’s counterintuitive as well, though from experience I do know it helps.
    I came to love audiobooks for that reason! If I need to do the dishes or vacuum or anything else that I think of as a waste of my time (but, nonetheless, necessary), listening to an audiobook not only improves my mood and gets the task done much more easily, but also allows me to go through a lot more books than I normally would.
    Lovely post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So true! I sometimes even prefer the audiobook to a hard copy, Aziz Ansari reading out Modern Love added something I could never get from text on paper.
    I’m also a big supporter of abandoning books that aren’t keeping your interest. If you get stuck ploughing through something less enjoyable you might miss out on another great read. No shame in deciding a book isn’t for you.

    PS love the Mickey waffle!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I listened to the audio book of Modern Love, too!! I love when authors narrate their own books ❤ DNFing books is something I definitely have to work on… it just feels so weird to give up on a book, even though I know it's probably for the best in the long run.

      Thanks! 🙂

      Like

  4. Oh, and sometimes I try to read while talking to someone on the phone and that’s not a good idea because I don’t know what they are saying, at least not all of it and it can become awkward because I’m actually reading the book. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely carry a book around with you. I read a lot on public transportation, in waiting rooms, etc. And read things because you want to read them. Not because you think you “should”. Also, I’d suggest joining a book club. It helps when others are holding you accountable in some way. You know you’ll want to know what they’re talking about at the meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree: carrying a book around is KEY. You can’t read what isn’t there!
      I haven’t been part of a book club IRL in YEARS, but I really want to join one. It sounds like so much fun!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t been part of a book club in a long time either. I also want to join one. I tried a while ago but the fit wasn’t right with other people in the club. I’m always on the lookout though!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The only one I can’t follow is listening to audiobooks, for two reasons:

    1.) I can’t keep my attention.

    2.) I feel like it’s cheating to listen to a book and say it’s reading. That’s just me though. I just prefer to see the words and process them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to hate audio books, but the more I listened to them the more I started to enjoy them. I especially love the ones narrated by authors. Audio books aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did like the one I listened to, I just found myself reading faster than he was talking (and I LOVE the way Chris Colfer narrated his own book). I might be able to get used to them in time if I can learn to just concentrate completely while listening.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. These are such great advice, Hollu! I always carry a book around with me because you never know when you can have a bit of time to read. Making reading a priority is for sure something to do as well, if you’re planning on spending your free time reading instead of watching tv, it does wonders for sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I always have to have a book with me, and make sure I buy bags that are big enough to carry them! Oh the problems of being a bookworm 😅 I need to try audiobooks, I lose concentration easily when listening to things like that, but I would love to listen to the Harry Potter books, seeing as I’ve read them and know the story it seems like a good place to start! I always make time for reading, even if it’s just at breakfast! There have been many times I have fallen asleep reading it bed, with the lamp on and glasses on my face 😂 what a great list, thanks for the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! 🙂 I never used to listen to audio books either, but then once I started listening to them more and more often I learned to really enjoy them. They make multitasking so easy!

      Like

  9. These are great tips. I always try to have at least one but sometimes two or three books with me, if I think I’ll have lots of random downtime throughout the day. At the very least I have hundreds of books on my NOOK and Kindle apps on my phone. And setting aside a specific time or a specific amount of time for reading each day is also a great tip. I know so many people who carve out 3 or 4 hours each day to catch up on their TV shows from the previous day and I’m like you could be reading. And if watching your shows is so important, have a short chapter book or a collection of poetry or something similar and read during the commercial breaks. It truly does add up over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely!! I feel like that’s why I’m always so behind on watching TV shows and movies– I just read a lot instead! I do like a good Netflix break, but reading is usually my go-to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fell behind on TV shows when I started dating my boyfriend. It’s totally worth it, but I need to find time for a few binge watching sessions to catch up on some of the shows.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. These are such great ideas!!
    I always have several ebooks on my phone so I can have a book for me and not have to carry it around.
    I agree that it’s important to take breaks. Sometimes I read so much that I feel like reading is a chore, when it’s supposed to be fun!! My problem is I’m an overachiever, so I’m not satisfied unless I read at least 12 books a month, which is kind of a big goal xD.
    I love your mickey mouse pancake! That’s super cute :D.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my gosh, I LOVE these tips! I always carry a book around with me because YOU NEVER KNOW, and buddy reads are SO MUCH FUN, gosh! Haha, I read a lot before bed and end up staying up late, oops! And yes, I try to make it a goal to read at least 30 mins a day. Sometimes I hit JUST that, or go over it! If you don’t make reading a priority, you won’t do it. Great post, Holly! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! 🙂 I also set a goal of reading around half an hour a day, or sometimes I’ll set a page goal if I really want to get through a book. And carrying around a book is KEY!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I try doing all of these except setting aside a specific time and making it a priority. It’s definitely at the bottom of my list of things I need to do during the day. Great tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I find reading in the morning sets up my day nicely, so I always aim to get up with enough time to read a few chapters while having my coffee and before I get started on everything that needs to be done in a day. Having that set time each day means I always get some reading in, even if I don’t manage to pick up a book for the rest of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a great routine!! I’m definitely a morning person, so spending time with a book in the early hours is my cup of tea. I tend to do a lot of blogging in the morning as well– I love replying to comments and reading other posts while I eat breakfast ❤

      Like

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