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If you’re trying to figure out how to fit more reading time into your schedule, you’re not alone. Whether it’s trying to finally tick everything off your “to read” list or you just want to create better habits – these tips to read more books can help.
This something that I’ve been working on personally. I used to be someone who read a lot, but since having kids and trying to juggle everything books and reading have kind of fallen to the wayside. But I wan’t to be someone who reads – so that means figuring out how to fit it in to my lifestyle.
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Tips on How to Read More Books – From a Parent of 5
Each year I manage to read a few more books than the previous one, and I’m finally starting to get into better reading habits. I thought I’d share how I managed to read more books – even with juggling working, 5 kids, and my other hobbies I also enjoy.
It works for almost anything you want to accomplishment. Setting a reading goal is a great way to track how much you accomplished over the year. Tracking what books you’ve read and checking them off your list is a great motivator to keep going, too.
When you set your reading goals don’t get too overzealous. If you read zero books last year, don’t think you’re going to suddenly going to be able to read one a week all of a sudden. Start with a smaller goal, then increase it as you can.
Choose the Books You Want to Read
Reading should be enjoyable, this isn’t school. There’s no required reading that you have to do or rules you need to follow about what you read. Pick books that you actually want to read – you’ll find reading a lot more fun that way.
That means that you can use recommended reading lists as inspiration, but don’t take them as the final rule on what books you actually chose for yourself.
Try Kids’ Books – Seriously
Sometimes the best way to get back into reading is to get those easy wins. Books made for middle grade age or young adults are short, easier to read, and usually lighter than adult fiction. Most of the time they’re uplifting, too. If you’re not sure where to start try re-reading something you enjoyed in your youth.
For double fun, I like to read these books to my kids.
Experiment With Genres
If you haven’t been doing much reading then you might not even know what it is that you like. Try out new genres that you’ve never tried before and see what sticks. Maybe you’re a romance person, or you might like murder mysteries. Personally, I love sci-fi – but my partner enjoys fantasy. We all have our own preferences!
Another thing to try is jumping from fiction to non-fiction. Memoirs, true crime, biographies, self help, and other non-fiction (think: Sapiens) can be really interesting reads.
Make Reading Part of Your Routine
Building reading into your daily routine can really help you read more books. If it takes you 10 hours to read a book, and you read for only 15 minutes each night before bed, you should manage about 10 books in the year easily. That’s of course without getting sucked in and reading just one more page or any other reading opportunities you take.
Take a Book With You
eBooks are great for this, but you may be able to bring physical books along too. Think about those times where you’ve been sitting waiting, messing around on your phone on social media, and generally just wasting time. If you think you might be waiting (be it at an appointment or in the car at school pick up) – have something to read.
Turn Reading Into an Activity of its Own
Have you ever gone to the beach just to lay in the sun reading? It’s absolutely heavenly. I like to make time for reading outside or at different places like coffee shops. It can be tricky if you have young kids to do this, but if there is a chance to plan an activity around being able to read I highly recommend it.
Audio Books Are Your Friend
Personally, I like reading a book rather than listening to one, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in audio books too. I especially love them with memoirs that are read by the author; it really adds to the story in my opinion.
I listen to audio books whenever I’m doing something mindless. Cleaning, working out, and cooking are all made better when listening to a book. I also listen while doing some of my other hobbies like building LEGO, playing video games, and doing puzzles.
Get the Kids Involved
If you’re a parent then you know how hard it can be to manage your own hobbies and take care of your family. By getting the kids involved in reading you can not only reach your goals easier, but also start to instill a lifelong love of reading in them.
For younger school aged kids, find books that you’d like to read that you can also read to them. I’ve read a Series of Unfortunate Events, Harry Potter, and Charlotte’s web, and even the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to my kids from ages 6-10.
Once kids can read well on their own you can also read in tandem, that is to say, at the same time. Make it a family affair!
When my kids were small I would multitask reading with other activities. Times where I had to be present and supervising, but could divide my attention with a book, worked well.
The Best Tip on How to Read More Books
All this being said, the best tip I have for reading more books is to just start reading. I know that it seems like life is overwhelming and there’s never enough time, but you’d be surprised how much you waste on social media or doing other unimportant (and unfulfilling) things.
Once you start reading again you rediscover how much fun it can be and naturally start to add more time to your life. So what are you waiting for?