19 Tips to Read More this Year
It happens every year, doesn’t it? New year, new resolutions, “I want to read more this year,” but January and then February come and go, and you’ve yet to make that resolution a priority. “Next year,” you say after a few months. We’re here to help you make it happen this year! Here are some tips to help you commit to your #ReadingResolution.
1. Read Before Bed
Skipping out on a late night social media scroll and getting through a few pages of your book won’t just help you get closer to your reading goal, it’s actually better for your health. Experts suggest avoiding screens for an hour or more before bed will help you sleep better. Even if you’re tired, reading through just a few pages every night will help you make it a habit and push you towards your yearly reading goal.
2. Read Before You Get Up or Tap into “Miracle Morning”
Reading in the morning will help you knock out your habitual daily reading early so you don’t have to worry about being too tired at night or leaving enough time to get through another chapter before bed. Some of the most successful people in the world make a morning routine consisting of reading, quiet time and journaling/reflection before they begin their work day.
3. Follow Book-Related Socials
There are tons of literature-focused “bookstagram” and “booktok” accounts out there that offer plenty of aesthetically pleasing suggestions for your TBR, or “To Be Read” list. TBRs may help you avoid a reading slump if you always have a list of what books you want to read next. Thanks to these accounts, there are plenty of options to choose from.
4. Always Have A Book On Deck
Keeping a book in your bag at all times helps you be prepared for any downtime that may unexpectedly pop up, and helps you continue to build that habit of daily reading.
5. Embrace Audiobooks
Audiobooks are books, too! They’re great for the reader-on-the-go, the reader who will no longer have to decide between knocking out a few more chapters or cleaning the house. Compelling narrators can add another layer of enjoyment to stories. Narration is also common in nonfiction books. Authors reading their nonfiction books, especially memoirs, often serve as a gateway to the enjoyment of audiobooks in other genres.
6. There Are No “Guilty Pleasure” Books
Don’t let embarrassment for enjoying a certain genre or type of novel stop you from reading it! As Sarah Gelman, editorial director at Amazon Books, puts it: “There’s a reason why ‘guilty pleasure’ books are so popular.” They’re attention-grabbing quick reads, and you should let yourself enjoy them! Who cares what you “should” be reading, read what you want to read!
7. Use Your TV Time As Reading Time
Use your typical 30-minute TV-viewing window to immerse yourself in another type of media – books. Think about how quickly time flies when you’re binging a series. Now, think about how quickly time will fly when you’re reading through a good book. If 30 minutes feels too long, TV shows tend to be just 22 minutes without commercials. You’d be surprised what kind of difference 22 minutes a day makes when you’re taking a break from watching to read. And, no, subtitles don’t count in this case.
8. Participate In a Reading Challenge
Reading challenges allow you to compete against yourself while striving to reach your reading goals. Who doesn’t love a bit of friendly competition? Check out Goodreads, which allows you to set your own goal and keep track of your, and your friends’, progress.
9. Check Out “Best Lists”
Using lists of bestsellers can help you narrow down your search for your next read. There are millions of books in the world, the bestsellers list allows you to see what other people are reading and enjoying in your genre of choice. Remember Goodreads? They also put out a best reads list yearly of books ranked by their members; here’s their list for 2022.
10. Join a Local Book Club
Not only will this help hold you accountable for actually reading this year, but it will give you a group of people to discuss your book with, which is, arguably, half the fun of reading! You can get information on local book clubs through your local library and independent bookstores, or find them through sites like meetup.com and my-bookclub.com. Goodreads gets another mention in this post for their wide array of virtual book clubs by genre.
11. Read Some Poetry
Poetry is a great break from longer nonfiction and fiction books. Not only is it shorter and more digestible for many, but it reaches the creative part of your brain that other genres may not.
12. Try Out a Story Before You Commit
We’ve all been there – buying a book because the synopsis is right up your alley, and the cover is gorgeous, and then it sits on your bookshelf for months with a bookmark 10 or so pages in. Sites like LitHub can help you avoid this; they post a short story, poem, or excerpt from a longer chapter book daily to give you a taste of something before making the “official purchase.”
13. Invest In an E-Reader
As much as we all love holding a physical book in our hands, it’s impossible to deny the convenience of e-readers for on-the-go reading. They’re even cheaper long-term – while an investment up front, ebooks start around just 99 cents of which e-readers can hold thousands. Thousands!
14. Listen To a Book Podcast
Book podcasts are a great way to immerse yourself in literature without actually reading. Listening to podcasts that talk about different books and short stories can expose you to new books that may interest you and spike your interest in reading overall. Podcasts are also very accessible, available on almost any music streaming platform including Spotify and Apple, and many even post to YouTube. Be sure to check out podcasts like the New Yorker’s “Fiction,” which brings on authors of published stories in the New Yorker to read and talk about their short stories with the New Yorker’s fiction editor.
15. Download a Reading App
Downloading a reading app to your phone will help make it less of a distraction and help you to instead further fill your free time with reading. Not only will this let you access your current read on-the-go, but it will help you turn your screen time from social media doom scrolling into something more productive.
16. Set Reading Goals
When starting a new book, it really doesn’t matter how quickly you finish it if you’re reading for fun. Read at your own pace that you can truly enjoy the story. Setting goals can help you keep from “racing” to the end – these can look like 10 pages a day, 2 chapters a day, or finishing the book in a month. The more you read and understand your preferred reading speed, the better you’ll be able to set attainable goals for yourself. The most important thing to remember is to take your time and enjoy your book.
17. Explore Different Genres
There are plenty of genres out there with amazing writing to catch your attention. If you’re ever craving something different, don’t be afraid to look outside of your reading comfort zone. You never know what you may like until you give it a try! And if you don’t like a certain genre, that’s okay, too.
18. Designate a Cozy Reading Space
Blankets. Pillows. Candles. Your hot beverage of choice. Creating a reading space that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed is a great way to make sure you’re really enjoying your reading experience. It can be as extravagant or as simple as you want, it’s all about you.
19. Get a Book Subscription Box
There are a wide variety of book subscription boxes out there that cater to you. These are a great way to learn about new books that may interest you alongside supporting different authors, like with BlackLIT, which sends books by black authors. Many of these subscription boxes allow you to fill out a questionnaire so your picks can be as customized as possible.
You can make your “read more” resolution a reality this year! Remember, you can start small with attainable goals for yourself – it’s all about commitment. We hope utilizing these tips will help you reach those goals.