When I think about how many books I have on my TBR pile, and how little time I have to read them all, my back shivers. With every month that passes, I try to read more, but school is going to start soon, and my time will be limited once again.
Throughout the lockdown, I tried to find my own way of reading without exhausting myself. With that being said, here are some tips and tricks that might help you reach your goals when it comes to reading.
1. Learn your limits, and don’t push too hard, you might end up in a reading slump!
Don’t try to read ten books a month if for the past months you read only one. You have to start small and work your way up! You can try reading one book a week or perhaps two, and you will see that with time your reading speed will improve and reading will become a habit. Instead of staying all day long on your phone, you will have the urge to pick up a book and spend your free time reading.
2. Replace ‘I should…’ with ‘I want to…’
This next tip can work in every field, and not only when it comes to reading. You can often find yourself thinking ‘I should read that.’, and this phase decreases your motivation. Instead of saying ‘I should read that.’, try saying ‘If I wanted to read that, I could.’, and you will see that your motivation increases.
This trick helped me a lot, and I bet it will help you too!
3. Try setting up daily goals or try doing some reading sprints
This helped me a lot, and when I say a lot, I MEAN IT!
When I just started a book, or when I am close to finishing one, I like to make little daily goals. Those can sound like ‘Read 5/10/15 chapters.’ or ‘Read for two hours.’.
I also use reading sprints as a daily motivator. I usually close down all of my electronics (TV, computer, phone), and set a timer for an hour (you can try with half an hour too, but I found that the hour works best for me). If I do this twice a day, I usually end up reading 100 pages.
4. Try reading before bed
Instead of spending your time on social media, you can easily pick up a book. Not only you will be able to fulfil your reading goals, but it can help you sleep better. Reading often tires up your eyes, and it can make you sleepy, therefore making you fall asleep faster.
5. Try listening to audiobooks, and switch up formats!
Such a game-changer! I started listening to audiobooks two months ago, and you have no idea how much it helped me. I usually listen to them while drawing, sewing, cleaning, gardening etc. I also like to make the playback speed faster, as it keeps me from getting bored. It usually goes from 1x to 1.3x or even 1.5x, but this also depends on the narrator.
I also like to change formats. Usually, I have the ebook version, physical copy and the audiobook in hand. For example, today I have in plan to listen to five chapters while drawing, but tomorrow I am not in the mood for an audiobook anymore. I will keep reading the same book, but tomorrow I will read the next five chapters from my kindle.
6. Join a book club or try doing buddy reads
In June I participated in my first buddy read, and it has been marvellous. I met some amazing people, and being able to talk with people about my current read was amazing. It kept me motivated throughout the entire time.
7. Set up a monthly goal
This can make your life so much easier! When you know how many books you want to read, it can help manage your time better. For example, I know I want to read 4 books this month so I will try to do my best to make it happen. If somehow I manage to finish them all before the end of the month, I can keep reading or I can take a break. It is up to me.
8. Join read-a-thons
This goes hand in hand with ‘Set up a monthly goal’. You can choose your books before joining the readathon, or after. I tend to choose before and then try to fit them into prompts. In the happiest case, I end up using all of the books without needing to add others. Or I end up finding the next books I’ll love. In this way, I found Glitter by Aprilynne Pike, which I absolutely loved, and Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa.
9. Try carring your ebook/audiobook everywhere
While you’re waiting for the bus, or while you’re commuting, you can read. Also, if you are on the road, you can listen to an audiobook. I used to do this during school, and not only I read, but most of the time, it lightened my mood.
Of course, you can carry your physical copy with you, but the ebook is easier to carry and overall more manageable. I tend to choose the ebook over the physical copy.
10. Make lists and track yourself over time
Maybe the most helpful advice I can give you at the moment. It is so important to keep track of your progress, and it helps you so much! I use Goodreads for overall stats, but I also use this blog. The TBR and Wrap-ups posts are made for you to enjoy, but they are also made for me!
And bonus points, they are hella fun to write!
Hope you found what you were looking for, and if those tips were helpful to you, I would love to know!