Want to add more reading to your life? Here are five ways to read more according to booksellers, the Libro.fm team, and other power readers.
1. Make space
You might have to build it into your day to make it happen. Julia Marco, a software engineer at Libro.fm, suggests making it part of your ritual. That could look like taking time to read every morning while drinking coffee, or winding down in the evenings with an audiobook and a puzzle.
Another way to make space is to schedule reading time. StoryGraph Founder Nadia Odunayo, says “I do have one tip that springs to mind that worked wonders for me, especially once I started working on StoryGraph: schedule time for it every day! I have a daily 1-hour calendar event. Now sometimes, I don’t make the full hour, or end up cancelling the event altogether, but I end up reading almost every day this way! (Also, join StoryGraph’s January Pages Challenge — a great way to create a new habit of reading at least one page a day!).”
2. Read with friends
Having other people to talk to about the book makes reading more fun. Nick Johnson, creative director at Libro.fm, swears by reading the same book as a friend. Consider trying a buddy read, which allows you and a friend to share in the experience of reading the same book together and discussing it.
Ready to be more social in 2023? Joining a book club and discussing your reads helps you get more out of them, reinforcing the benefits of reading and making you eager to read more, says Zoe Epstein, chief growth officer at Bookclubs. “I love books, but I’m also a working mom, so it can be hard to eke out the time for reading. Being part of a book club helps keep me accountable to monthly reading, but not just in a punitive ‘you must finish the book by this time’ way. My monthly book club meeting is a treat for me: it’s a fun social occasion and an opportunity to discuss the book (and not just have all my thoughts about it spinning around in my head). So that’s very motivating in a positive way.”
3. Set a goal
Set a goal and commit to it to spend a certain amount of time each day reading, suggests Jenna Clark, a Libro.fm software engineer also known as @jennareadsbooks. “Five minutes easily turns into 15, which adds up!”
Adds writer Zakiya Jamal, “Don’t be afraid to split up your reading that day too! You can start the day by listening to an audiobook when you walk your dogs and then switch to a physical book or e-book right before bed.”
4. Find the right books
Change things up! Karen Farmer, Libro.fm’s director of customer experience and podcast co-host, suggests alternating between genres and book lengths as you go to keep things new and exciting. Short stories, poetry, graphic novels, and/or novels in verse are great ways to switch up your reading routine.
You may need to abandon some books along the way. “If you want to read more, first free yourself from the burden of thinking you must finish every book you start, says Ron Charles at The Washington Post. “You’ll win no points for plodding through a tome that’s not speaking to you. Jump! Find a title you like! Read with abandon!”
Libro.fm Android engineer Avery Johnson agrees, “Stop reading books if you realize you don’t want to read them—that way it’s actually a fun activity and your brain will want to do it more.”
Starting with something short can help too, according to Briana Ryan at Wicked Words. “Is the run time on an audiobook scaring you off? Hate stopping and starting books? Look for novellas and shorter length audiobooks and try playing around with the speed as you listen. The momentum you build from finishing books can be really encouraging! And finding just the right speed for your ears and mind can really improve the experience.”
Reading via audiobook while you tackle chores, commute, exercise, or watch kids play at the park, can also help you squeeze more books in.
“Look, no one likes to do housework, but my bathtub won’t clean itself. This is where I love to plug in my earphones and queue up something like a mystery whodunnit, or true crime, where I’m engrossed in the plot and constantly thinking ahead…instead of thinking of how much bleach I need to scrub,” says Nita Basu, Senior Marketing & Publicity Manager at Hachette Audio.
Is getting outside and moving more also a goal of yours? Our Apple Watch app makes it easy to listen to an audiobook while you walk, run, or hike. “I read while I run and love it,” says Craig Silva, Libro.fm Podcast co-host and lead product designer. “I don’t always enjoy running, but listening to an audiobook as I go it helps get my mind off (most) of the exhaustion and/or pain.”
Do you have a tip for reading more?
Let us know in the comments below, and check out our 2023 Audiobook Listening Challenge for even more ideas!