I have never been a person reading books all my life. When I was younger I despised touching a book, especially if I had to do it for school.
Until my 20th birthday, I had probably read about 4-8 books. Yeah, that is about no knowledge at all. And all of them were fiction books, so just for some entertainment.
It was not until I stumbled upon self-development, during a conversation with my (now) best friend, that I started seeing the importance of reading books. That day, I just picked up a book, The Miracle Morning, and started reading it.
I was blown away by it and just kept reading more books.
That year I’ve read about 30 books.
Yeah, from 0 to 30 books a year. I was amazed at how my perspective on reading books had changed. I was just reading books whenever I could and was even looking at ways on how to read more of them faster.
By now I do not read that many books anymore but still enjoy reading and learning about new topics every day.
Today I just wanted to give you my take on how to read more books.
- Tip 1: Know what you want to read and learn.
- Tip 2: Read a little bit every day.
- Tip 3: Fill in the lost gaps in your schedule.
- Tip 4: Don’t read, listen.
- Tip 5: Create clear and achievable goals.
- Tip 6: Don’t finish every single book.
Further, I’m going to talk about the advantages of reading books and how to start reading them and go more in-depth on the four ways how you can read more books in less time
The advantages of reading books
Reading more books has lots of different advantages. It makes you calmer, helps you relax, improves your memory and makes you more interesting.
I would like to share with you the benefits of reading more books that I find really important. These are the reasons why I actually read more books and why I myself wanted to learn how to read more books.
Reading makes you smarter
There are many benefits of reading books and one of them is that it makes you smarter. It is like going to the gym: If you go regularly, you are getting stronger because you are pumping iron. Similarly, when you are reading books you are training your brain to become smarter.
The knowledge that you acquire from books will give you a better understanding of the topic you are reading. With that, you also automatically improve your basic knowledge.
Reading increases your creativity
Reading books will enhance your creativity and imagination. You will get all these new ideas from different books and different authors. You will learn about things you have never thought of and because of that, your brain will acquire new perspectives. New perspectives = new ideas.
I have had it so many times when reading a book that I got a new idea for a company or for trying something new in my life. There is definitely no way that I could have come up with all these ideas all by myself.
There are so many stories of different people that have credited their success to reading books and getting creative ideas because of these books. Some even say that reading books is their main asset to their success.
Reading improves vocabulary
If you read every day you will get exposed to new words. This exposure will help you learn and acquire the vocabulary of languages faster. While you are reading a book you are mostly not conscious about learning new vocabulary. However, your subconscious mind is busy taking all new words and trying to understand them and fit them in the right places.
When your brain starts to see a certain word more often in different books or articles, it will remember it faster. Your brain will create a memory-trail of that word and will try to understand what context it usually appears in. That way you will learn new vocabulary subconsciously without studying words a thousand times over and over again. Your brain will do that automatically when you are reading books.
How to start reading books
Some people do not really want to know how to read more books, but actually, just start reading books.
Many of us struggle to just start the habit of reading. We want to start but never really get into it because we do not consciously make a plan on how to do it. We just imagine how awesome it could be if we would read all these books that we want to read.
Today I will also give you some tips on just how to start reading books because I know how hard it can be to start a reading habit. I have quit reading books many times myself and had to start over again many times. I totally understand how hard it is to just start reading a book.
I will show you some of my easy tips to start reading books. Notice that these tips have helped me every single time.
Know what you want to read and learn
If you do not already have a habit of reading and you are actually not an avid reader, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed at the choice of books available.
Before you even start reading books, you have to decide what you want to learn. Think about the topic you are interested in and want to know more about, the thing that really spikes your interest and the reason why you want to read.
Do not just start reading for the heck of reading, since that will most likely put you in a miserable place and you will stop reading quickly. Start reading because you want to learn something or because you are interested in something.
This will help you not just to start reading books but also to keep reading books. Most of us start reading a book for 3 to 4 days and quit after it gets boring or hard. But if you are reading something that you are truly interested in or want to become an expert in, you will create a strong, intrinsic motivation to read.
A good place to find books to read is Goodreads, there you have a huge library of almost all the book that are out there. They have honest reviews and a cool way to keep track of what you have already read.
Read a little bit every day
When you just picked up the habit of reading you are fired up to read as much as possible. You are setting goals to read every day for at least two hours. One hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, sound familiar?
That is how over-ambitious people start reading books and normally quit within a week.
Instead of wanting to read 100 books a year or 3 hours a day, start reading 5 minutes or 5 pages a day. Start with a little habit of reading every day, nothing big, just a couple of pages each day.
If you set out to just read one page a day you read 365 pages a year. Even then you already read more than the average person. And when you read 5 pages a day, it compounds to 1.825 pages a year.
If we take an average book with around 350 pages, you will be able to read about 5 books a year by just reading 5 pages a day. Five books can already be life-changing. These five books might be your stepping stone to reach the next level.
If these five books were about financials you would have much more knowledge about your financials and you would probably know more about how to save or invest your money better.
If these books were about creating meaningful relationships, you would probably improve your relationships, just because you had read 5 pages a day.
A good place to learn about these small habits is the book Atomic Habits from James Clear. It specifically targets these kinds of small habits that you can do each day that will return huge results in the long term. I can only recommend you to get the book or watch some videos of the author James Clear online.
So do not go crazy and set out to read over 100 books a year, read a little bit every day, this is really how you read more books sustainably.
How to read more books in less time
Now that you know why to read books and how to start reading books, we will go have a look and see how you can read more books.
Reading more books is not just about reading thousands of books each year; it is about challenging yourself and learning new things. It is about establishing ways to find time in your day to read.
We are busy people in this day and age, and not all of us can just sit down and read for an hour every day. But what I have learned through time management, through reading books and observing other people live their lives, is that everybody can find time for the habits they really want to create.
That also holds true for reading books. Everybody can find time to read books they just do not know the ways to find this time. Even if they are quite busy, there are several ways to still find ways to read more.
Let us look at how to read more books. These are the tips that I personally use in my own life and they have helped to go from reading 0 books a year to 20-30 books a year.
Fill in the lost missing in your schedule
A lot of us are busy running around doing our daily tasks, but never stand still to look where we have gaps of time that we can fill. These gaps can be in the most unpredictable places.
In a previous post of mine, I explained how to plan your day. In this post, I showed you a technique to find time throughout your day.
You might find out that you have some free time between going to the gym and making dinner. That time in between can be used to read some pages of a book.
The more difficult part of this tip is that you will have to plan your day beforehand. Because if you are just going through your day, you will not always notice these significant gaps between your tasks. But when you sit down to plan the night before, you will have a better overview of where you can find some time.
In my opinion, you should plan your day either way, whether you are learning how to read more books or not.
Don’t read, listen
There are people that say that listening to audiobooks does not count, but it is actually just another way of consuming the information. Both in reading and in listening form, you are learning about the topic that you are interested in.
Some people, like me, are not really fast readers and like to listen to something instead of sitting down for long periods of time and read really slowly.
In some ways, your comprehension might be a little bit less if you do not take notes when you are listening to an audiobook. But most of the time, if what you listen to is not really complicated, you will not suffer a lot from it.
If you are multitasking while listening to something, my advice would be to not listen to something that you have to sit down for and take notes all the time because you want to do something with it.
Listen to something educational but still on a lower level, easily comprehensible.
I would recommend you have a look at Audible, it has an amazing library of audiobooks narrated by the best. Audible has special offers really often, where you might even catch one or two free audiobooks for your first month!
Create clear and achievable goals
Another way on how to read more books is to set some goals when you are setting out to read more books. Creating specific goals will help you know where you are heading and will give you the drive to read more.
Like I have said before, goals do not have to be “reading 100 books a year”; but more specific goals. Next to creating the goal, you should know your “why” behind it and also the “how”.
You should know why you want to read the books as we discussed before. And after you know your goal and your why, you should also think about your how.
How are you going to accomplish this goal of reading more books? Are you going to schedule more time each day or are you going to use audiobooks to get it done?
Here is an example of goal setting:
- Goal: ‘’I will read 2 books per month by reading 10 pages a day’’
- Why: ‘’I want to become an expert in the field of sales’’
- How: ‘’I will schedule my reading time every night before I go to bed and will make sure that I can read at least once a day’’
Don’t finish every single book
The last tip on how to read more books it that you really need to remember: “Don’t finish all the books you read”.
Why am I saying that?
Because I have seen a lot of cases where people start reading a book that they eventually do not like reading anymore or find boring but keep on reading because they have set out a goal to read that book.
Not every book is made for everyone. One person might like a book, while another person might just strongly dislike it. That is okay, we all have different tastes and it does not mean that the book is bad, but just that some of us do not have to spend time on it if we feel like it is a drag.
If you are not enjoying the book you are reading, just stop reading it. Go do something else or find another book you will enjoy more. Life is too short to waste time on things we do not like.
This is also one of the 6 tips that Austin Kleon gives to read more books. Next up is a small summary of all of his tips on how to read more books.
Now go and read more books!
Here you have it, the reasons why you should read books, how to start reading books and tips on how to read more books.
The truth is, I could have given you like 30+ tips on how to read more books, but in reality, what will you do with all these 30 tips? I guess you have already squandered all over the internet to find the best tips and probably even found the tips I have written about.
But my biggest advice to you would be, do not look for more tips now.
Just start, take 2-3 tips you can apply, take a book and start reading.
Until next time.