Monday, October 9, 2017

10 Tips on How to Read More

Whenever I tell people how many books I read in a month/year, I'm guaranteed to get a combination of wide eyes, gaped open mouth, and a "but how do you find the time?!" in response. The short answer, at least currently, is easy: I'm unemployed, I have nothing but time. But the true answer is a little longer... Reading has been a lifelong hobby of mine. Ever since I received my first library card at the ripe old age of five, it's been a habit to visit my local library once a week, check out five or more books, and devour them in a matter of days. Reading quickly comes naturally to me, which is how I'm able to get through so many books even when life is busy (see my Goodreads yearly challenges from junior and senior years for proof).

I've read a few posts by other bloggers that talk about how to squeeze more reading into your life, so to make this list a little different I've included tips on how to get out of a reading rut, find more books you want to read, and be able to afford reading more books.

Carry a book with you everywhere. I never leave the house without a book in my purse, and the times I don't have one are the times I most need one. Pulling out a book is an easy way to combat boredom when you have an unexpected wait or you arrive early for an event. You never know when you'll need to fill a spare few minutes.

If possible, own books in different formats. I prefer having hard copies of books, but if I'm traveling for a week or more I'll only take my Kindle to save on travel space. I also the Adobe Digital Library on my laptop for advanced copy e-books I receive from publishers, which I like to pull out if I'm in a coffee shop or using a tight desk space that doesn't allow for spreading stuff out.

Invest in a speed-reading course. This is a cliched tip and I can't verify the legitimacy of such classes because I've never taken one, but it does seem to help some people so I'm including it.

Utilize your local library. Buying books is expensive hobby, and checking books out from the library is free and there's no limit on how many you can read. Additionally, librarians are great at giving personalized recommendations if you find yourself in a reading rut.

Use websites like BookBub and Amazon to find deals on e-books. I'm an indie bookshop lover, but I make use of Amazon's cheaper prices when I'm low on cash. Sites like BookBub send daily/weekly emails with book deals where you can often find bestsellers for $2 (not sponsored, I just love BookBub).

If you're a hard copy lover like myself, check out used bookstores. Used bookstores are my addiction - where else can you get 8 books for under $10?

Stop reading books you don't like. This may seem counter-intuitive, but if you aren't feeling a book after a few chapters, stop reading it. It's better to move onto a book you enjoy  and will actually get through than have to drudge up the motivation to read something you don't.

Make an account on Goodreads. Not only will this help you keep track of books you read, but you can also follow friends and see what other they're reading and enjoying. Some authors use Goodreads as their primary way of sending out information about their upcoming books, so it's a good way to keep tabs on what's being released.

Sign up for newsletters from sites like Goodreads and Buzzfeed Reader. I get a lot of recommendations from these two newsletters alone, and if you search around you can find even more sites or blogs that put together similar newsletters.

Make time to read. This seems like an obvious one, but I cannot even count the number of times people have told me they wished they had more time to read and yet in the same breath tell me how much television they binged over the weekend. If you have the downtime and are serious about wanting to read more, turn off the TV for a few hours and pick up a book.

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