With so many books out there and so little time, one of the biggest questions that plague every bookworm is this: how to read more books and tackle that ever-growing TBR list?
While I can assure you that your TBR list is never ever getting shorter, there are actually several ways you can read more and enjoy the ultimate bookworm life. I’ll admit that I never find enough time to read as much as I truly want to, especially with all the things that keep getting in the way of reading, but here are some expert tips on how to read more books that actually work.
How To Read More Books When You Are Working Full Time
I remember how when I landed my first job back in 2020, I struggled with finding the time to read. I’d just graduated and joined a company where I had to learn the ropes, build connections with my colleagues and adjust to the transition from being a young adult to adulthood. On top of that, worrying about a global pandemic and adjusting to a whole new normal kind off made it difficult for me to read as much as I wanted to.
One thing that I did learn over time is that you need to prioritize what you want to do, and let go of things that do not bring you joy. In the past few months, for instance, I have been enjoying re-reading old favorite books more than picking up a new story, and I binge-read so many of my past favorites that I ended up staying 17 books ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge of 50 books this year!
Disclaimer: I really am not bragging here, I am just throwing out an example. (And yeah I am a little happy with my reading progress, sue me).
The point is, in real life, especially as you grow older and have a lot more responsibilities that demand your attention, it’s gonna get harder and harder to read as much as you want to.
Sometimes, some things got’s to give. If you want to read more than 50 books a year but don’t have the time, either you need to set a more realistic reading challenge for yourself, or skip watching a few Netflix shows and dedicate that time to reading instead. There’s no right answer or process to this; you do you, friends, just do whatever brings you the most joy. 🖤
Top 10 Tips To Read More Books (That Actually Work!)
And now without further ado, here are my top 10 tips to read more books that honestly helped me several times throughout my life, not just this year.
1. Read Before Bedtime
If I am reading a physical book, I usually love to read right before I head off to sleep. Now, I am not saying that reading is relaxing (it is NOT, especially if the genre is spicy romance, epic fantasy, or out-of-this-planet science fiction or dystopia), but usually that’s the time of the day when I have the least amount of distractions.
Have there been occasions where I ended up staying all night reading? YES.
Is it good for my health? Probably not.
But did I absolutely love doing it and would happily give up sleep to read? 100% YES.
2. Read A Few Pages In The Morning
As an early riser, this is actually my favorite time to read books: early in the morning, almost as soon as I wake up. Since reading is an activity that I actually enjoy, starting the day with a good book helps me stay in a positive mindset before I get ready for my daily routine and workload.
It’s also been proven several times that when you start your mornings doing something you enjoy, you can be more productive, energetic, and motivated.
The best part though? Even if you are not an early riser, you can still spare at least 10 minutes in the morning and read a little before you start your day. So if you’re wondering how to read more books, I definitely recommend reading just a little bit, even if it is just 5 pages, first thing in the morning.
3. Read While Commuting
Now this is a tip that helped a lot of people I know…just not me. I suffer from motion sickness, so reading while commuting is an absolute no-no for me. But I have friends who studied while in traffic, so if you have no issues with concentrating on the pages while being jostled in a car, bus, or whatever commute you prefer, then this could be a surefire way for you to read more books.
4. Listen To Audiobooks
I know that a lot of people don’t like listening to audiobooks, just as there are a lot of people who do not like reading eBooks. But audiobooks are easier to finish, and they 100% count as reading (arguing about this is extremely ableist, so please don’t even start). So if you want to read more, why not try listening to audiobooks for a change?
The best part, you can listen to audiobooks when you are doing tasks that require you to move around but not use too much brain power–like when you are doing the dishes or cleaning up around the house for instance!
5. Read During Lunch Break
Like I said before, if you are working full-time, you might find there’s just not enough time. If you’re wondering how to read more books while holding down a 9-5 job, why not read a few pages during your lunch break?
Now, I will say that do not ignore your colleagues during lunch, because workplace relationships are important for your career growth. I love spending my lunch break gossiping with my co-workers, asking them how they are doing in their personal lives, and swapping stories back and forth. But there are times when I’ll see that they are either busy with something else or casually scrolling social media, and that’s when I take out my book and read a few more pages before going back to work.
6. Log Off All Social Media
Speaking of social media, if you are not reading as much as you want to, social media might be to blame. I love scrolling bookstagram and booktok and book twitter just as much as the next person, and I too find myself getting too distracted by what’s on my timeline to read the book I am supposed to be reading.
So if you want to know how to read more books, set aside time for reading and during that time, make sure to log out of all social media or turn off notifications.
7. Set A “Focus Mode” On Your Phone
If you turning off social media is not an option for you, (such as if you work in marketing like me), then you can always set a “focus mode” on your phone to read more books. Your phone can even keep track of how many times you have turned on your focus mode, and how long you stayed in focus, and thus help you read more books.
8. Participate In A Short Readathon
I used to participate in a lot of readathons back when I was still a student, but now that I am older I barely have the time. Still, if you have a break from work, you can try participating in a short, 24-hour or 48-hour readathon to read more books.
9. Take A Break, DNF Or Reread Old Favorites
Just as a writer’s block is every writer’s worst nightmare, a reading slump is every bookworm’s worst nemesis. If you are going through a reading slump, DNF the book you picked up, try something new, reread old favorites or just simply take a break from reading.
Wait…what was that you say? How will taking a break from reading help you to read more books you ask? Well, when you have stayed away from reading for a while and then come back when you actually want to read a new story, you’ll find that you are enjoying the story more and end up reading faster. That’s how taking breaks from reading can actually help you read more books later down the road.
10. TRACK Your Reading Progress
I cannot stress this enough! One of the best ways to read more books is to track your reading progress. When you keep track of how much you are reading, it might inspire you to read a little bit more each day.
You can keep track of your reading progress by posting updates on Goodreads, StoryGraph or Readerly.
OR, if you like journaling–either by hand or digitally–then using a reading tracker can definitely help you to read more books!
I personally love tracking my reading progress using a tracker or journal, and this summer, I made myself this adorable, cute summer-themed reading tracker that comes with four undated, printable pages. Check them out below!
- A TBR Tracker / Reading List Tracker: This page is where you can jot down which books you want to read this summer, and check them off one by one as you finish them.
- Reading Notes: This one’s for those of you who like to jot down thoughts or notes about the books you have read.
- Personal Reading Log And Tracker: This will help you read more books by helping you track of the book you are reading, the date you started it, and the day you finished it. Aside from adding the book title and author, you can also add in the genre and your ratings for the book.
- Monthly Reading Tracker: Definitely one of my favorite reading trackers, this will help you read more books by marking each date you spent reading in a month. It is an undated planner, so you can print as many as you want for the whole year if you like.
It also comes with a ‘Books Read’ section where you can list down the books you have read that month, a mini tracker for any new book hauls, another one for your bookish wishlist, and a small notes area.
Bonus: FREE Summer Reading Tracker To Read More Books
When I originally designed this Summer Reading Tracker, I made it for my own personal use. But I ended up loving it so much that I wanted to share them with all my book-loving friends for free! 🖤
If you want to grab my FREE summer reading tracker and read more books this year, click on the button below to get a downloadable PDF link straight to your inbox. The PDF contains ALL FOUR TRACKERS, but feel free to print whichever (or however many) you want and use them any way you like.
🙏 A Small Request: While you can customize this tracker however you want to help you read more books, please please do not share my designs with others or claim them as your own!
Side Note: You will have to confirm subscription to my newsletter to get the downloadable PDF link. This is because MailPoet will not allow me to send you emails unless you confirm subscription. You can unsubscribe any time you like; I also promise not to spam and only send one email a month containing more freebies like this summer reading tracker.
Which of these reading tips above are you most likely to use? Share your advice on how to read more books in the comments below! <3