From 2012 to 2016 I’ve read 310 books, which averages to 62 books per year. All the while working full time jobs, learning new languages, traveling, three weddings (to the same bride, of course), watched heaps of movies and TV shows, etc.
The point is that reading lots of books can be effortless. You don’t have to suddenly transform yourself into a reclusive bookworm. I’m going to share how I did it. It may or may not work, but give it a try and you might surprise yourself
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Track your reading
The first step is to set a goal of how many books you wanted to read this year. You don’t have to go straight to 52 (one a week). Start small. 12 is plenty and it will give you a full month to read one book.
I use two tools for this:
Goodreads reading challenge You should register a Goodreads account and start your challenge here:
1178957 people participating - Motivate yourself to read more books: Enter the 2017 Reading Challenge!
Writing down books that you wanted to read I’m a fan of Bullet Journal and on New Year’s day, I wrote a list of books that I wanted to read for the year. Here’s the 2017 listing:
Here are some list of places where you can find inspiration:
Ok now that you have setup the challenges and list, you should start reading more. ￼
Read whenever you can
Hours of our life are spent on commutes and chores that doesn’t require our full attention. You should read/listen to audiobooks during those:
- Commute to and from work
- Gardening, lawn mowing
- Washing dishes, vacuuming and mopping the floor
- Walking your dog
Many people would just browse Facebook or the news while commuting on the public transport. While that satisfies your boredom, it isn’t really beneficial for your mind. You should use that time to read books instead. For this purpose, getting a good ebook reader would help you greatly as they are lighter and easier to carry. I use the Amazon Kindle Voyage that’s more than 2 years old but still works well. If you prefer the printed paper, then by all means carry the paper book.
If you are driving, then use the time to play audiobook on your car’s stereo!
You would notice the rest of the listed activities, hands and eyes are undisposed. This brings me to the next point:
Audiobooks— Learn it, live it, love it
￼ The major advantage of audiobook is that you free up your eyes and hands to do other thing while listening. This technique will be the main contributor of your upcoming prolific reading streak as it enables you to read while doing other stuff.
Invest in a pair of nice noice cancelling headphones if you can. I highly recommend the Bose QC35. It is wireless, so you don’t have to worry about cables. It might seem like a minor thing, but you won’t believe the difference it will make. If the price seems high to you, there are numerous deals going on throughout the year. I use OzBargain to track discounts. Bought it at 20% off RRP.
No matter what headphone that you get, get used to wearing it. Doing chores at home won’t be boring now!
Once you load up your phone with audiobooks, you should try listening at faster speed.
Start at 1x, then 1.5x, then 2x. I usually have 2x as base speed and increase according to the books. Some narrator has a calmer voice that you can listen at 3x while still understanding the words. Some books like the Witcher series are narrated with many voices, so I stayed on 2 to 2.5x for such books.
Many players offer up to 3x playback speed. I personally use:
MP3 Audiobook Player Free - listen any audiobooks on the App Store
To recap, there aren’t any secret to this. Those tips will help you, but the work is still in your hands.
- Track your reading with Goodreads or journals
- Read whenever your can, listen to audiobooks whenever u can’t
So how many books will you read this year?