Friday, February 26, 2021

5 tips to read more this year

Recently I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Bad on Paper, and they started an episode talking about how they read so much. That inspired me to share my own tips to read more! I've always loved reading, but before last year I honestly wasn't reading that much. In 2019 I read 13 books, in 2020 I read 54, and I'm currently on track to read more than 60 books this year. I made that drastic change with these simple tips! 

1. Find what you like to read - If you don't like what you're reading you aren't going to finish. It's just like a diet or workout plan, you need to find what works for you. Personally I'm not into nonfiction so I tend to stay away from those. You've probably guessed it from my reading roundups, but I like historical fiction (especially WW2 era) and chick lit romantic comedies. It's also important to remember there's nothing wrong with not finishing a book you're not enjoying; this isn't you high school english class assigned reading.  

2. Set a reading goal - One of the most important things to achieving a goal is being specific. So saying "I want to read more this year" isn't going to be as effective as saying "I want to read 25 books this year." You also want to be realistic in your goal. When I first started my journey to read more last year I had a goal of reading 15 books; that was 2 more than I'd read the year before. I highly recommend using Goodreads for this. You can set a goal and it will tell you how on pace you are to reach it by the end of the year. Because of these other tips I quickly reached that goal and was able to increase it. 

3. Get a library card - This is one of my favorite tips because it makes reading affordable. Let's be honest, most hobbies are expensive, but thanks to public libraries reading is extremely affordable! I've been a huge proponent of public libraries since 2013 when I realized how much money it cost to buy books when you were reading one a week. Did you know you can even borrow e-books from your local library? This has been a huge game changer for me and one of the things that most directly allowed me to read more. 

4. Make a plan - You're never going to accomplish anything if you don't have a plan to get it done; reading more this year is exactly the same. You'd be amazed how many books you can finish with just a few dedicated hours a week. Personally I try to read for about 25 minutes during the day; either during my lunch break or once I "clock out" for the day plus at least 45 minutes before bed. This is a double bonus because I sleep so much better when I read before bed instead of scrolling social media. 

5. Connect with other readers - This tip has two benefits, it keeps you accountable to your goals and helps bring you inspiration of what to read next. I love sharing book recommendations with my mom and my mother-in-law sends me books once she's finished reading them. There are tons of great bookstagramers (instagram accounts devoted to reading) who provide me inspiration. I'm also part of my sorority alumni book club; it's held via facebook and so fun to connect with readers from all other the world! 

What are your tips to read more this year?