I know this title sounds clickbaitish but it’s really not.
I read, a lot. Consistently over 200 books a year every year for the past 3 years.
I work a full time job (40 hours a week), have a part time job (20-30 hours a week), hang out with friends, spend time with my family, do weekend trips, write, go to the gym and read as many books as I can. And the funny thing is that I don’t even count myself as an avid reader. I mean, sure I love to read and can devour books like no other, but I know so many more people who read more than me and read faster, so I always feel weird when people compliment me on how much I read.
Which happens a lot more than it used to because I do a weekly wrap up on my instagram of all the books I read through out the week, and then of course the monthly wrap up, which is usually between 20-28 books per month.
There are times when I almost feel guilty about reading so much, especially when I have people comment on my photos and tell me that in one week I’ve read more than they have all month, and I hate to make anyone feel like they have to live up to me. I try every time someone tells me something like that to encourage them, to let them know that no one should set a standard for their reading except them. After all, at least we are reading!
There was an article about a year or so ago that was written about how to be an avid reader, and I kid you not, all the tips they said to avoid so that you could read more, was stuff I did and still do. They had tips about not telling people your reading goals and not reading more than one book or never missing a day of reading or never DNF’ing books or even not using audio books because they were cheating. (Side note: I 100% count audiobooks as reading, alongside graphic novels, middlegrade, ya, manga, anime, romance, cookbooks etc. No matter what controversy floating about, if you are reading, that counts!)
Personally, I like telling people my goodreads goal. I like semi-stalking people on there too, and when I see one of my buddies on there has completed a goal or finished a book that has been on their “Currently reading” list for a while, I give a small cheer for them! I know what it’s like to not be into a book and then you keep going and get it done!
I read more than one book too. I’ve always done this. I really think that it stems from my parents coming in my room when I was a kid with my flashlight on and reading a book, and them taking both the flashlight and book away. I would wait till they would walk down the hall and then I would get my spare flashlight out and a different book and continue reading. (I swear growing up I think I went through more flashlights then a CSI unit)
But to only read one book? I’ve tried it before, and it only lasted about 3 weeks. That was the length of time that it took me to finish a book that was only 150 pages, and it was the worst 3 weeks of my life. I need a bit of variety, a bit of mixing it up. And if I’m getting bored with something in one book I can just pick up another.
Granted, this doesn’t work the best at times because as of this moment I have about 8 books that are all half-started but for the most part I like it, especially for readathons like #24in48 or Dewey’s readathon where you are trying to get through as many books as you can. That’s where this is great. (Also it’s such a great feeling to complete 3 books in a day and watch your little goodreads counter jump up, makes me happy)
As for not missing a day of reading, there are plenty of days when I just feel like watching some Great British Bake Off or I’ve worked a double and I literally do not have any time to sit down and read. And that’s honestly okay. You are allowed to not read every day if you don’t feel like it. You are allowed to read every day if you feel like it. It’s all up to you.
For my reading goal for the year, I always try and stretch myself. Pushing myself a bit farther then I did last year. And not only in numbers, but also in pages or in genres. This year I challenged myself to read at least 12 books of C.S. Lewis. It was a stretch for me because even though I love his writing, I have to be in the mood for it. So I told myself only to read one of his books per month, and I’ve beaten it.
I try to make my reading goal a set goal, something I know that I can reach without stressing but also that challenges me a bit. Usually I look back over my previous years of the goodreads challenge, and then I add 5-10 books to whatever was my ending number from the last year. That way, I know it’s doable, but it also isn’t stressing me out too much. Then I take that number and divide it by 52 (since I do a weekly wrap up on instagram) and that’s my weekly goal.
For example, this year my reading goal was 200, at least that was the number I put on my goodreads challenge. But my stretch goal was 265 which was 18 more than what I did last year. So you take 265 divided by 52 and that equals out to about 5 books per week that I need to read to get to my goal. (I know, maths in a book blog, I’m sorry).
Besides my main book goal I also try and have some side goals, such as read one author’s writing or read 2 series or read 10 big books. That way I’m not just focused on numbers but also on what else I can be reading.
I also DNF books. I have spent a long time reading and I have learned what I like and don’t like. And personally if I don’t like something I cannot get invested into it, and I will just drop it. I usually give a book about 50-100 pages (depending on the length of the book) or till 5 chapters. If I don’t like it or it’s just not catching me, I’ll let it go. I know that there are some of my friends who cannot DNF, and you know what, that’s ok! We all have different reading tastes and ideas and what might work for one, might not work for another.
Just some quick reminders for you as a takeaway!
Don’t be afraid to read outside of your comfort zone. Always reading what you’ve always read, will become routine, and sometimes boring. I’m not saying don’t read what you like or are comfortable with, but rather, allow yourself to read one book per month (or longer) that might not be something you would reach for. (for example: graphic novel, adult, biographies etc) Try something new, you might find a new thing that you want to read more about.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are reading for you (unless it’s for a class and in which case you are reading for a grade and not for fun and I’m sorry) and reading what you want to read. If you don’t feel like the latest big named darling of the book world is your cup of tea (or coffee) you do not have to read it. And you don’t have to make excuses for not reading it either. There’s a book that is extremely popular and that everyone (and I do mean everyone) keeps telling me to read, but I have no interest in it. I don’t explain it to complete strangers but to people who know me pretty well, they know I have no desire to read it. You are allowed to read whatever you want, not what popular opinion says you should read.
Don’t leave home without a book. Seriously. Even if it’s on your phone or computer or whatever, like make sure you have a book handy. I mean, sure you could play a game on your phone or scroll social media or you could pull out your book and read a few pages, which makes the day brighter.
And finally, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to stretch a bit more this year. Maybe to read a book that you find daunting. Maybe to read outside your comfort zone, or to read an author’s backlisted title. Or maybe to push your reading goal up a bit. Whatever you choose remember you are brave and you got this! *Sending you good reading vibes through the internet*
I don’t know if this really was helpful or not. I know a lot of you were probably looking for more tips on how to read more, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be of use for that. I don’t know if I would be the best for tips about how to read more since I don’t actually follow most of the tips that people have anyway. Hope you enjoyed it even if it wasn’t helpful!
Have a great day and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!