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How to Read More Books With a Busy Schedule

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Life gets busy and our to be read list only grows longer. The allure of #booktok and recommendations from other readers online can make us feel as though we are drowning in books to read. Let’s shatter the allusion and get to reading more books!

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

While I was studying for my degree, I stopped reading for enjoyment. It felt too overwhelming to need to read so many chapters each week for school and then maintain my own personal reading. There was also something odd about switching back and forth between classic and contemporary literature. As school was filled with reading the classics while my personal reading was filled with contemporary literature.

That being said, I can relate. Even though I have graduated, life still gets busy. So let’s dive right in and find some ways to help you read more books.

Don’t Leave Home Without a Book

This one might be a no-brainer, but always having something to read will go a long way to keep up with reading more. This can mean carrying a physical book in your bag or having an eBook or audiobook already loaded onto your device.

You’d be surprised where you can find a few minutes to read. Such as standing in a long line at the grocery store, listening to a book on your commute, or sitting in your car before going inside, just to squeeze in an extra chapter.

Don’t be a Format Snob

For a long time, I was a physical book kinda gal only. Preferably paperbacks. However, I soon learned how limiting my love for paperbacks actually was to my reading goals. Now more than ever, books have become quite accessible in many different formats. From physical paper/hard copies to audiobooks and ebooks. As well as the availability of books on the devices of our choosing. Many libraries now offer digital loans, as well as the availability to invest in a good e-Reader if you’re not a fan of reading on your phone.

So don’t be a format snob. Audiobooks have become my new favorite way to read. A different format might turn into your new favorite way to read too!

Set Goals

Personally, I currently do not set reading goals, other than always be reading. For some, having a goal to stay on track with can be incredibly motivating. And rewarding!

When it comes to setting goals, start small! Especially if you are easing back into reading on a regular basis. When I got back into reading after graduation, my loose goal was 3-4 books a month. Start off with one book every two weeks, then one book per week, to graduate to 3-4 books per week! Goals can be incredibly personal, so be sure to set goals that align with your schedule and lifestyle.

Prioritize Reading

Oftentimes, we say we want to do more of something. Perhaps reading, exercising, eating better, or getting more sleep. Yet we don’t always prioritize these things. Often life gets in the way and we order takeout because its quicker, or skip the workout to complete tomorrow or hit snooze more times than we should.

Auditing your time is an easy way to see where there are times when you can swap out another habit, in favor of reading. For example, I audited my time over the span of a few days by writing down everything I did. I loosely tracked my days and discovered that I waste a little too much time watching tv during the evening. This is where I made some extra time for reading.

In doing so, I also fell into a reading routine. (Check out my routine + tips here!) This routine and prioritization of reading has not only helped me to read more but has also helped me sleep better by reading during my wind down instead of watching tv or scrolling on my phone. You’d be surprised how much time you can find to fit in reading when you take a close look at how you spend your time.

Watch Where You Buy Books

For many people, borrowing books from the library is the easiest and cheapest way to read books. However, buying books secondhand or on sale are also great ways to get your hands on more books. This can help to build up your to be read list and help you never run out of books to read.

For borrowing books from the library with a digital loan, in ebook or audiobook format, I recommend apps like Libby.

For buying and selling books I recommend PangoBooks. I have been using this app for nearly a year and have bought so many good books at such great prices. I also love supporting my fellow book readers! If you’d like to check out PangoBooks or my personal page there, you can find me @cynthiainthewild

Other great places for buying books are your local thrift stores, and books on sale from places like Amazon, Target, and Barnes & Nobles. As well as used books from ThriftBooks, Half Price Books, and Books-A-Million. I have purchased books from these sites personally and recommend them!

Also don’t forget your local, small-owned book shops!

(These recommendations aren’t sponsored [as of yet] I just truly enjoy buying and sometimes selling, books from these sites and places/retailers.)

Read Multiples + Read Fast

Read more than one book at a time! I like to listen to an audiobook while also reading a paperback. This can vastly increase the number of books I am able to read in a month. But also makes me feel better about the number of books I buy on a monthly basis.

You may not realize this about yourself, but slow reading can really hurt your goal to read more books. However, the more you read, the faster you can read! There is a little hack to this, if you’re listening to an audiobook, you can up the speed to help read through the book faster.

Feel free to take these last two tips with a grain of salt. I’ve fully embraced that I am a slow reader. I despise speed reading and missing details and needing to go back and re-read. Likewise, reading more than one book at a time often felt weird in the beginning. Now it is enjoyable, especially if one story becomes a bit slow, I can take a short break by diving into another.

So whatcha think?

Has this list helped to ease the overwhelming feeling you get when you look at the pile/list of books you want to read? I hope so! Reading more is a noble goal and one that comes with many benefits and at the end of the day, is fun! Getting back into reading for fun has reignited my love for reading and introduced me to so many new worlds and characters. I would not be who I am without my love of reading.

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