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How to read more…

Hey guys,

I am going to admit right now that I am writing this post to procrastinate completing my final piece of coursework and I feel bad, but I have wanted to get this done for a while now. I have noticed that my reading has really picked up over the last two months and people are asking how my reading has increased so much. Going from three or four books a month to 20+.

Lets look at my top 5 tips for increasing your reading.

Tip 1: Keep books by your bed

So one thing I have changed over the last month is keeping a small pile of books next to my bedside lamp, I try and keep a small selection here and plenty of bookmarks. Reading late at night might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found that I can sit and read 50-100 pages while settling in for sleep and it helps me switch off from looking at a screen all day.

Although I tend to just keep my TBR pile here, I do tend to pick shorter, lighter reads for late night reading, especially if it is when I have woken up in the middle of the night and are struggling to get back to sleep. A series that I read like this was the Benedicts Series by Joss Stirling, quick happy reads that I loved reading late at night.

I don’t recommend thrillers or horror based novels- nightmares are not nice guys.

Tip 2: Mix book lengths

I like to disperse really big books in between a whole host of shorter books, this is from personal experience, but I know that I can read a 300 page book in one sitting- easily. Between 300 and 500 would take a full days reading and anything higher than 500 would take two days reading because I tend to read them slower.

So, if you consider my recent TBR’s, you can see a mixture of these length books. I pick one or two 500 page plus reads for the week, two or three 300-400 page reads and five <300 page reads. The numbers may not always stay exactly that, but the proportions remain the same. The only exception to this is when I really want to finish a series, then I don’t take into consideration the book length per-say, but consider the remainder of the series as a whole.

Tip 3: Defend your reading days

Something I have been implementing over the last month is weekly reading days, that no matter how stressful the week is (and guys, this week is kicking my arse with it’s stress level), I will defend my one day of reading. I understand that some people cannot afford, time or financially, to spend the whole day tucked up on the sofa reading. But I found that I up my reading (especially page count, if not completed book count) for the week.

Of course you don’t need to take this whole day all together, on weeks where working and uni occur every day, I split the day into two or three sections and slotted them in throughout the week. Dedicating ‘reading time’ where you switch off from all (unless your a parent, please don’t completely switch off from being a parent) responsibilities and submerge yourself in your reading.

I discovered this through the Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon, where I had dedicated the whole day (before my time started and after on the next day) and I completed a huge number of pages and books for such a short period of time. On consideration, I completed the same number of reads in one 24 hour period as I had the entire month before.

Tip 4: Make yourself accountable

‘I have over 300 books on my TBR shelves, I would like to get that down to about 200 by the end of the year.’

Statements like this mean that you have set yourself a goal, you have announced that goal to someone else, who when the time comes can say…

‘Hey, did you manage to get your TBR shelf down to 200 like you said?’

The idea of saying, no I actually failed that aim actually scares the living day lights out of me. It’s the same when I post my regular TBR’s on here, I am saying, ‘guys I want to read these books before this day’ and when I do my wrap-ups, I’m going to have to say whether I succeeded or failed. I admit, sometimes I set myself ridiculous aims (like next week- 13 books and growing and yet I don’t want to reduce it) but I give myself wiggle room.

I found that when I try and stick to a really rigid TBR pile, I tend to fail and I head into a reading slump. I found this in January, I set myself three books to read, all quite large and all quite intimidating. I told myself that these had to be read before I could consider reading any more. I failed, I read one book that wasn’t on my TBR and nothing else. Fly forward to the last months TBR piles, I had variety of genres, I had variety of topics and book lengths. I had series and stand alones. I also had more than I thought I could read in the week.

I’m not sure whether you noticed the evolution of my TBR posts, I no longer state I will be reading these books. I say I want to read these ones, but I also have these extra ones that I might pick up if I have the time or I am not feeling what I have put on my TBR.

Tip 5: Read-a-thons are your best friend

Challenges, competitions, and the need to prove that you can. Those are some of the reasons read-a-thons really up your reading ability. You have a set time, people are looking for how you are doing and there are usually challenges.

Lets talk challenge: someone says to you ‘oh I bet you cant get up the stairs before me’ your first instinct is to run and get there first! Now what if someone says ‘oh I bet you cant read these three books this week’ all of a sudden you’re like, ‘erm, well actually I can- watch me!’ You realise that you find yourself reading more, simply to complete the challenge.

There is also another level of accountability, everyone is talking about it (well, everyone who is completing the read-a-thon anyway- some people have never even heard of read-a-thons) and you cannot escape it. Its all over YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… everywhere people talk, you can find them #readathoning

An excellent way to submerge yourself into reading- in my person opinion. If you want to check out all the read-a-thons I am completing this month, you can see them all here.


So guys, those were a few tips and tricks I use to bump my reading up. I hope you find them useful and if you have any tips or tricks that I haven’t put on the list, let me know in the comments below!

Until next time my friends,

Helen x

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4 thoughts on “How to read more…

  1. This is really helpful! Sometimes I feel completely unmotivated to read, and it’s so frustrating. I like the idea of mixing up book lengths, I tend to binge on the same sort of books until I go insane 😛

    Like

    1. I found I did that a lot too, then you’re stuck with either a huge book hangover or completely fed up of a certain type of book. Everyone tends to recommend short books to boost your reading, but then you find a huge number of longer books sitting on your shelf waiting to be read. I also feel more accomplished when I can say, well yeah I completed this huge book and all these other books this month.

      Although motivation wasn’t really covered in this post (other than the need to crush opponents during read-a-thons), I am planning on posting a few motivational style posts over the next month. Things along the lines of, motivations to read while stressed, motivating yourself to read your way out of a reading slump, and motivating yourself to read those intimidating books.

      Thanks for the kind words!
      Helen x

      Liked by 1 person

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