I’m so happy you’re here because you want to read more books in 2021! Reading is fun, especially when you get to explore topics that are of major importance or relevance to your life.
Reading books for leisure is not always an easy defeat, especially when you’re busy adulting, but it’s not impossible. But these tricks below will help you read more without breaking a sweat!
As someone who has considered themselves to be a writer for many years, I unfortunately let go one of my favorite pastimes; reading books for fun. And I really didn’t have one excuse, I actually had many.
I used to love reading books when I was growing up, and it held true even when I started college. By junior year I was juggling 15-18 credits every semester so I could double major, which is not as fun as it sounds. I was also working part-time and doing multiple internships so I didn’t really leave much free time for leisure reading.
Not only did I not have the time, but I was going through one of the biggest storms in my life as well. I was in the midst of grief after the loss of very two important people in my life.
On top of also dealing with a sick parent. Reading was the absolute last thing on my mind at the time.
But I desperately wanted that to change, especially towards the end of 2019. That was when I decided I would read at least ONE book a month. Hoping to kick start my reading journey again, I was hoping this would help me read consistently throughout the year.
However, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy I fell back into reading for fun. I learned a few lessons.
One, I love reading more than I remembered. Two, I’m a sucker for thriller and mystery books, same as when I was a kid! And three,, reading one book a month was way easier than I originally thought.
These lessons helped me not only reach my goal, but completely surpass it! So much so, that by the end of the year, I killed my goal by reading a total of 20 books! That’s approximately 2 books per month, so I was very happy with my results.
Yep, this girl right here read 20 books last year (not including the books I was assigned during grad school) during a freaking pandemic. It was a small goal of mine, but still it felt so good to achieve.
All and all, these tricks helped me revive an old passion that I once felt was lost. I hope these tricks help you enjoy reading for fun again and put you in a beautiful position to win.
Find books you actually like
Reading is very similar to watching television. You don’t follow or tune into shows you don’t like, right? Don’t do it with books either!
It’s important that before you set any type of reading goals, you identify what books actually interest you. You may love one genre in particular, or you may enjoy reading a plethora of genres. Just take the time to figure out what books you like and go from there.
If you’re unsure of where to start, this may be a good opportunity to read a few samples from a variety of genres. This may help give you an idea of what the book is about and if you would enjoy it.
Here are a few book genres to help you get started…
Keep in mind that some books may overlap and technically may belong to multiple genres!*
Set small, realistic goals
Trying to read more is a fantastic goal to have, but you have to remember to be realistic in your attempt to reach said goal. Your goal, whatever you decide that to be, should be attainable and realistic.
Related Post: How to Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals To Be Successful
You should be honest with yourself and acknowledge any barriers that may make it harder for you to hit your goal. Everyone’s “barriers” may look different and that’s fine, as long as you know what YOURS are.
If you’re not actively reading books on your own, maybe your goal is to simply read for 30 minutes each day. By focusing on time versus number of books, you can slowly build reading as habit in your life. Which sounds a lot easier than thinking you can finish a whole book in one weekend!
Try Using A Kindle
So I do love reading paperbacks, because of how they feel in my hands, and how it feels to turn the pages excited to read what else the author has to say.
Unfortunately, space is a issue in my house since my partner and I both are semi-heavy readers. We have a mini library that has been full since the beginning of last year, so buying a lot of books just isn’t an option for us at the moment.
So insert the Kindle Fire.
This little ol’ device has made it so easy for me to read lots of books last year! I personally only use the Kindle for reading and very light web surfing. And while it’s not a physical book, the Kindle does have some great qualities that you should take advantage of.
You can highlight portions of the book with ease, take notes, bookmark pages or entire chapters, and look up definitions as you read! The last one is a huge benefit as I hate having to put a book down to look up a word, phrase, etc.
I also love that I can look up things as I read and make connections I wouldn’t have otherwise. Also it’s super affordable making it worth the initial investment for sure!
Stop Reading The Book If It Sucks
I really tried to word this in a more positive way, but I simply could not, hopefully you quickly see why!
I mean most of us have been there, right? When you’re in the middle of reading a book and you find yourself completely uninterested, or the material just flat out sucks.
But then you feel guilty because you feel like you have to finish what you started, right? Well I’m going to tell you to forget that and drop the book once you know you have lost interest!
And it doesn’t mean to stop reading a book if there’s one sentence or chapter you’re not a fan of. That is normal while reading ANY book. I’m really talking about those moments where you’re bored or reading the same page over and over again because you’re simply not enjoying it like you should.
It’s perfectly fine to start reading a new book, and decide at a certain point that you don’t want to read it anymore.
Not only will this help you uncover type of books you actually like, it will free up your reading time for books you actually will enjoy and FINISH!
It’s not enough to just know what book you want to read. In order to make this an easier habit to incorporate into your lifestyle, I would suggest planning your books ahead of time. Yep, multiple books.
By having a few books ready to go, you will be more likely to pick up the next book presumably after finishing your first. It’s sort of a mental trick you can play on yourself to get prepared for what comes next.
I just finished reading After the Rain by Alexandra Elle, but I have already purchased two additional books that I want to read next. This helps me to look forward to not only the ending of my current book, which keeps me engaged, but I can look forward to future books on my list.
You can do this easily too! Whatever platform you normally use to shop for books, you should be able to create a wish list. I am guilty of using Amazon for my wist list, which has well over 100 books (I will one day get through them all!). Having a wish list also helps you save time by not having to constantly search for a new book.
Find Uninterrupted Time To Read
If you want to start reading more, it’s important that you are uninterrupted with minimal distractions! This will make your reading experience more enjoyable so you can actually do it more often.
When you do decide to read, try to make sure it’s in a quiet space so that you have a real opportunity to focus on what you’re reading.
Trust me, you don’t want to keep re-reading the same page because you keep getting distracted by the TV in the background. It’s annoying and a waste of your precious time!
Instead, designate time where you’ll read and tell those in your household what you’re doing so they don’t interrupt you. Not only will that help you fully focus on your reading, you’ll be more likely to read because you know you will not be interrupted.
This also means you will have to free up other time in your day in order to read more. Think of it like this–In order to increase time in one area of your life, you by default, have to decrease time in another.
For me, that means I watch less television so I can read more. That works for me, but that may not work for you and that’s cool too! Find the areas in your life you can reduce time so you can devote more of it to reading more books in the new year.
Avoid Reading at Night
Unless you know that you can read at night without instantly falling asleep, I wouldn’t recommend reading late at night right before sleep.
Reading right before you go to bed usually ends up with you falling asleep earlier than you expected, or being too sleepy to fully comprehend whatever it is you’re reading!
Or, if you’re like my partner, you’ll be up late thinking critically about what you read instead of you know, sleeping.
Instead, try to find times during the day when you’re more alert and fully ready to dive into your book. Then, once you feel that reading has evolved into a daily or consistent habit, you can try reading at night.
I will be honest and admit that I do a little reading at night, but usually it’s at least an hour before bedtime. I try to avoid too much stimulation before sleeping because then I will have trouble falling asleep.
Be Sure To Take Notes While You Read
I mentioned earlier how I enjoyed using my Kindle Fire because I could easily take notes and highlight important passages. You can do that even if you’re not using a Kindle!
Simply grab some pen and paper, and a book of course, and you’ll be well on your way.
Taking notes while you read does a few things. It helps develop and nurture your comprehension skills, but it also gives you something to come back to once you’ve finished the book.
I’ve read some good books during my early 20’s that I didn’t take too many notes on and sometimes I struggle to remember parts of it. I’ll remember the gist or the main message but I have forgotten a lot of my “Aha!” moments that I reached while reading, which is a bummer let me tell you.
Taking notes helps you make connections in the information you’re given and provides you something tangible for you to hold on to. It will also help you read more because you will enjoy the increase of knowledge through all of the notes you now have!
Share What You’re Reading
Sharing the books you’ve read or are in the middle of reading can motivate you to continue reading. It helps you stay connected to the books, but also gives you an opportunity to build community with other readers.
I definitely enjoy sharing what I’ve read with my partner and vice versa. Even if we aren’t interested in the other person’s book topic per say, we still have many in-depth conversations about what we’ve learned, identified or simply found to be interesting.
Don’t have a way to start a conversation? Well BOOKS can be the perfect conversation starter!
By sharing what you’ve read, you also encourage other people to read, and in turn you further motivate yourself to read. Not only do my partner and I share the books we read with each other, we are also able to recommend books, which increases both of our wish lists of books!
While reading books is normally done individually, the information you receive from any book of any genre, can be dispersed to many, leading to increased inspiration and motivation.
So these are the tricks that helped me read a lot more books last year and will hopefully help me continue what I started. This journey has been wonderful because it allowed me to re-discover an old passion of mine and has helped me form a habit that is practically rooted in self-care. So I hope you can use these tricks to reignite your reading journey, no mater where you currently are.
What books do you plan to read this month? Comment Below!