Everyone is a little different when it comes to reading, so not every tip will work for everyone. But here is how I’ve found myself able to read as much as possible and still enjoy myself!
A quick little background about my reading. On average I can read 100 pages an hour, although of course that goes up and down for younger books/smaller writing/difficult texts. I also read mostly fantasy books, although I do dip my toes into almost every genre. I read mostly adult, although again I do still read from the YA (young adult) and MG (middle grade) age brackets.
So. Now you know a little bit about me and my reading, let me tell you how I can read the most without feeling bogged down!
My first “tip” is to start a book as soon as you finish the one before. Now I don’t necessarily mean within 5 seconds of it! But within the same day, and ideally within a few hours, of finishing a book I want to pick up my next one and read a chapter or two. This keeps me in the swing of reading and whilst I’m still in the mindset of being invested in a story switches my brain over to a new one.
Secondly, I want to read the first 50-100 pages of the book pretty quickly. So within the first few days I want to have read at least 100 pages of this new book. Again this is about keeping me in the story, this keeps my mind within the fictional world and gets me wondering about what is happening within the book. I’ve found that for me around the 100 page mark is where I know that I’m invested, but of course it could be higher or lower for you!
These, when I’m not struggling or am not busy with other life things, work great on their own to keep me reading consistently and getting through a lot of books while enjoying them. Sometimes, though, things get in the way and I need little extra kicks to get me going.
My first little kick is to tab up my books. I’ll put tabs in for [x] number of pages, or [x] number of chapters and then aim for that amount each day. It means I can physically see my progress (this of course only works with physical books) and it encourages me to keep reading as it doesn’t seem like too much more to read.
Second up, read a chapter a day. There are certain books where that is all I’ll do. I’ll limit myself to one chapter a day (that’s a story for another day). But with your standard novel, what this actually is, is a minimum. At least one chapter a day. If worst comes to worst, I’ve “only” read one chapter but that’s still progress! But ideally I’ll realise that I’m actually invested in the book after that one chapter and read a few more!
My third tip is to set a timer. Reading sprints are super popular and there is a reason for that. If you set a timer where you force yourself to sit down and read you’re going to get through more pages than if you didn’t! Even if it’s just half an hour, at my reading speed that’s 50 pages. That’s totally do-able! Set whatever time/page goal works for you!
Accountability can work like a charm. Buddy reading is fantastic for this because you “have” to read your pages each day. But even just letting a friend/family member know that you’re reading something and that you want to get it finished can keep you moving! You know they’ll ask about it, and you want to be able to tell them that you’ve made progress, so you’d better get moving!
There are also some tips that can work really well for people that I don’t use. But I want to mention one here cause it could be quite helpful for you.
And this is to listen to the book on audio either instead of reading with your eyes or whilst you read with your eyes. Now of course this is only helpful to those who don’t use audio as their primary reading method, but people find it can help them focus, and if you’re doing other tasks a lot that don’t require too much thinking it can be a great way to squeeze more reading in.
I work in a call centre, from home, and we’re in a pandemic. So I don’t go out much, therefore I don’t have much time in my life for audiobooks. And because I read at a decent speed it is a lot slower for me to read via audio, even sped up. This means that this isn’t a trick for me. But if you’re a slower reader, or one who doesn’t have hands free but who can listen to something whilst doing other tasks? This could be a great option for you!
Tell me, do you use these tips already? How do you make sure you keep the motivation to read and to not slump? I’m sure we can all do with some more tips down in the comments below!!