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Want to Read More Books? Experts Share Easy Tips — And You Don’t Need to Be Speed Reader

These tricks let you do more of what you love!

Reading is one of the easiest ways to de-stress and escape from reality, and these days more and more people are picking up the habit. “When the COVID-19 pandemic first locked many of us indoors, we looked for ways to connect with the world. Books are a perfect way to do that,” says Emily Drabinski, president of the American Library Association. Whether you read 12 or 100+ books a year, it’s a timeless hobby. And with reading available in various formats, as well as the influx of recommendations from growing online communities like BookTok and Bookstagram, it’s easier than ever to lose yourself in the pages. But what if you want to read more books than your schedule allows? You can! We asked the pros for their secrets that help you up your book count and let you enjoy more of what you love.

Do you need to be a fast reader to read more books?

A common misconception when it comes to reading a lot (think 40 or more books!) is that you have to identify as a speed reader, but that’s not necessarily the case. Also, just because a person’s pace may be accelerate doesn’t mean they are simply skimming, “People assume you don’t remember anything about what you’ve read or that there’s no way you can consume that much in a way where you’re keeping it all in,” says Saleena Nival, a digital marketing coordinator at Simon and Schuster, “but you can also say the same thing about TV shows or movies.”

Related: 12 Sweet and Swoon-Worthy Books to Read if You Love Hallmark Movies

How to read more books

Want to up your book count? Read on for the best tricks from book lovers:

1. Read more of what you love

“The secret to reading is to read more of the genres you love,” says Barbara Ann Hagen, vice president of sales and marketing at ThriftBooks. A majority of people feel like they have to read a certain genre or type of book for it to count, but if you focus on the books you enjoy, you’ll be able to conquer more of them. “When people read more of what they love, they will find the time and space in their day-to-day lives to read more.” So don’t hesitate to pick up that new romance novel or spooky thriller!

2. Make reading part of your daily routine

Woman trying to read more books at home with a cup of tea
Daniel de la Hoz/ Getty

It’s easy to say you don’t have time for reading, but if you pick a set time to read a chapter or even a couple of pages every day, you’ll find yourself reading more books. “I like to start my day with a book before work, family and other obligations tear me away,” says Drabinski. “I wake up, set a timer and make headway on my book.”

For parents with kids: It can be even more difficult to find time for yourself as a mom, especially with young children. “I love watching TV shows with my kids, but we all know that kids love to watch the same shows on repeat,” says Joelle Speranza, book publicist at Smith Publicity. Instead of picking up her phone and mindlessly scrolling, Speranza picks up a book. “I found that reading lets me stay near my kids and hang out, but we can all do our own things that we enjoy.”

Related: 12 Must-Read Books About Books: From Historical Fiction to Romance and More!

3. Set reading goals

If you can’t necessarily read every day, try working toward attainable expectations. “By creating goals like number of pages or chapters per week vs. number of books per month, people can feel like these goals are manageable and read more,” says Hagen. She suggests creating lists or to be read (TBR) options that you know you’d like to read throughout the year.

“Planning what books I want to read in a month has helped a lot,” explains Sasha Levinsky, a bookstagrammer under the username @toobusyreadin. She typically picks 5-7 books that she knows she wants to read, and if there’s leftover time, she’ll then switch to mood reading. 

4. Read more books in different formats

Person reading on a kindle to help read more books
ONOKY – Eric Audras/ Getty

Today, reading isn’t limited to holding a physical book. But if you’re a traditionalist and prefer to turn the pages, then keep doing what you love. Unsurprisingly though, incorporating ebooks or audiobooks into your reading habits will certainly up your total. 

“I’ll read a physical book, listen to something on audio and then another on Kindle,” says Levinsky. The fun part? She picks a different genre in each format, so “nothing gets muddied.” Levinsky and other bookstagrammers find that listening to audiobooks while driving to work or doing chores really helps them to read more books overall. 

For ebook readers: Adjust the font to a bigger size. This makes it quicker to scroll through the pages, and before you know it you’ll have finished a whole book in less time. 

Related: 10 ‘Found Family’ Books That Will Warm Your Heart: From Romance to Historical Fiction!

5. Talk to other people about what you’re reading

Speranza and Hagen recommend connecting with others who like the same types of books you do. “Follow bookstagrammers to see what books others are excited about,” says Speranza. Not only will people have read the same or similar books as you, but they can offer more book suggestions to further your reading adventures.

You could also join a book club. “The modern-day book clubs are quite unique,” says Hagen. “Some clubs allow members to read different books and then discuss them together, fostering a more relaxed and personalized experience.” Another idea is silent or virtual book clubs where discussions are optional, but encouraged. 

For more book content, check out these links below!

11 Enchanting Books That Will Transport You to Ireland Without Ever Leaving Home

12 Must-Read Romantasy Books That Guarantee a Swoon-Worthy Escape

Best ‘Armchair Travel’ Books: Escape to Paris, London, Italy & More Without Leaving Home!

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