How many books have you read last year?
For most of us corporate slaves, reading more than five books a year is already a great feat.
There are too many reasons why people lessen or stopped reading altogether after graduation. The most common that I hear are (1) having less time because of work and other responsibilities, or (2) reading is just dull.
So to those who want to pick up the habit of reading, here are some tips.
The following are some of the ways I learned over the years.
1. Always have a book nearby
Traveling? Eating? Restroom? Bedside?
To be able to read more, you should have a book nearby all the time. ALL THE TIME. Placing a book in places that you often go, especially inside the house, increases the likelihood that you pick them up.
Having a book beside your bed makes it more convenient to read before going to sleep.
Having a book inside the restroom gives you a few moments to read while you are busy.
Having a book inside your bag allows easy access when you are waiting in line or waiting for someone.
2. Never judge a book by its format.
Hardcopy? Softcopy? Audiobook?
The book format is often debated by bookworms to know which is the best. But personally, any book format that is convenient and effective is the best.
You don’t have to be too attached to only one type. And never judge another person solely on his/her preferred book format.
Every media type has its advantages and disadvantages. You just need to know when to use them.
A hard copy is my personal preference because it allows me to have that feeling of actually ‘reading.’ It shows the progress that I made since the left side is getting thicker while the right side thinner.
Hard bounds are also the best type for bedside books. Which, according to studies, prepares your brain to sleep.
The disadvantages, however, are the hefty price tag and shelf space, which comes with it. But I don’t care because the book is life. 😉
Soft copies, on the other hand, are best when traveling and commuting. Since you just need an ebook reader or your phone, and you’re off to go.
They also provide the advantage of free downloads and virtually require no shelf space.
Audiobooks are often antagonized and tagged as ‘not real books,’ and people reading them are called ‘cheaters.’ But audiobooks are still books regardless of people’s opinions.
They just unconventionally convey information. Which is through the ears instead of the eyes.
3. Lessen social media and TV consumption
Just imagine the possibility. How many books will you read just by spending 1-hour less on Facebook and facing a book? (Another sad attempt to be punny.)
4. Set a daily page goal
“Eat an elephant, one bite at a time.”
A book may be challenging to read at times, especially if it a self-help or too dry. So setting a small attainable goal for each day will help you overcome it.
Start by reading 10 pages a day before gradually increasing it. A 300-page book completed after 30 days is way better than not finishing at least one.
5. Read multiple books at a time
Another unpopular opinion about reading. It is okay to read multiple books at a time.
Try reading one novel and one self-help or reference book at the same time. These two books may differ in the content but will help you read more.
You can read a soft copy of a novel during the commute while reading a business book before going to bed.
6. Read during commute
Working far from home must be a hassle for many, especially those living in nearby provinces while working in the Metro.
They are spending more time on the road and less at home. So a 1-hr commute can be an excellent opportunity to read at least 20-pages of a book.
7. Know when to stop reading a book and move to the next one.
Some books are just page-turners that you can spend hours reading it. While there are times when a book is not interesting enough or just not your type.
Life is too short. And as much as you would like to read, responsibilities just keep getting on your way.
To be able to read more, you need the courage to decide if you will continue or move on to the next on your list.
There is nothing wrong with stopping on something when you know it’s hopeless to complete. Think of it as a sunk cost.
Remember that there are more books out there just waiting to be read.
(I don’t know why but it suddenly turned into a life/love advice. Lol)
8. Join GoodReads
Goodreads is one of the best, if not the best, reading companion on the Internet. It is the social media for bookworms.
Tip No. 3 does not apply to GoodReads. 🙂
It has many functions like you can list all the books you have read, to-be-read, or currently reading.
You may also invite friends to see what they are currently reading or get book recommendations. You can even follow your favorite author (if they are in Goodreads).
But aside from these features, the best thing about Goodreads is the Book Reading Challenge. You can set a reading goal for the year and easily monitor your progress.
It will give you a summary of all the books you have read, the shortest and longest books read, the total number of pages, and so much more.
9. Find an Accountability Partner
Having an accountability partner in everything you do keeps you motivated. You just need to find someone with the same goal as you, in which case, to read more.
You can exchange your reading progress or even have some healthy competition. Every month, the person with the least amount of books read will have to treat the other.
Reading more books this year is achievable. You just need to let go of habits that do not add value to your life, while adding habits that will help you grow as an individual.
Try counting your life in books, and you will notice that our time is very limited.