Bookish Tips to Level Up Your Reading Game This Year

Many people start the year with a goal of reading more books. But how do you go from sporadically reading a book here and there to reading 20, 50 or even 100+ books in a year? Follow these tips to add more bookish goodness to your life.

Schedule Time to Read Every Day

woman sits with coffee, reading a bookYou have time in your day to read. Yes, you. Everyone has pockets of unscheduled time, and it’s just a matter of being intentional and scheduling some of those minutes to spend with a book. Author Laura Tremaine swears by a 20 minute timer to get her reading in. Others read in carpool pickup line or at soccer practice. Some read first thing in the morning with their coffee and others read right before bed. It doesn’t matter when you read, but rather that you are reading consistently enough to make it a habit and part of your daily routine.

Read What You Like and DNF What You Don’t

woman sits on bed with cup of tea and book laid openThe number one way to read more books is very simple: read what you like to read. Do you like serial killer books or spicy romance? YA fantasy? Cozy mysteries? Memoir? Whatever appeals to your taste and mood- read that. Don’t pick up a book just because you think you should read it; pick up a book because you want to read it.

There are thousands of books published each year, all competing for readers’ dollars and attention. But not every book is for every reader. It’s easy to get wooed by a shiny new release that everyone’s buzzing about, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the book for you.

The more you read, the more you will discover the types of books that appeal to you and those that do not. There is no prize for finishing a book and no consequence for putting one aside. If a book isn’t working for you, DNF {do not finish} it or put it aside for another time. No guilt, just on to the next book!

Track Your Reading

One of the best ways to make a reading goal for the year and stick with it is to 1. Write down an actual number of books you want to read and 2. Record every book you read. There’s something about tracking your progress that motivates you to keep at it and watch the number grow throughout the year. Goodreads and Storygraph are two great sites to track your books, but a good old fashioned notebook or notepad on your phone works just as well.

Get Social With Your Reading

women in a book club discuss the book they are reading People who love to read also love to talk books with other people. If you find a bookish community, I guarantee your reading will explode and you will be shocked at the amazing books you’ll discover because of other readers. A few ways to find bookish community:

  • Buddy Read: Find a friend and read a book together. You can make this as structured {or not} as you want. Text with them your thoughts on the book as you both make your way through it.
  • Book Club: Book clubs can be in person or virtual, and can be a wonderful way to enhance the reading experience as well as make new friends.
  • Browse #Bookstagram: This is Instagram’s bookish community- thousands of creators share what they are reading, and many of their posts are visually stunning.
  • Share what you’re reading: When you read a great book, write a review and post on social media. People love to talk about books and are often grateful for book recommendations!

Listen to Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a wonderful way to read lots more books in a year because you can multitask while reading! Listen to a book while you drive, do laundry, take a walk, and more. In many cases, audiobooks add to the reading experience with great narration {especially memoirs read by the author}. And make no mistake, listening to audiobooks IS reading.

Carry an E-Reader

What a time to be alive- a time we can carry literally thousands of books in one device that fits in our purse or backpack. E-readers {like the Kindle Paperwhite} mimic the look of a real, paper book and can be brought just about anywhere. Using an e-reader is another great way to fit reading into pockets of time throughout the day, like standing in line at the grocery store or while eating lunch.

If you don’t have an e-reader, you can also read e-books on apps like Kindle, Scribd {subscription} and Libby {library books}.

Use the Library

woman at library sits with stack of books Yes, it’s important to support authors by buying their books, especially from independent bookstores. But in reality, when you read a lot of books per year, buying every title just isn’t practical or a good use of money. If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this: USE YOUR LIBRARY. 

Not only does your library have paper copies of books for you to put on hold and check out, but they likely have digital content as well. Yes, this means you can check out e-books and audiobooks using apps like Libby and Hoopla! Your library will only have the license to check out a certain amount of a digital book, so you may have to wait a few days or weeks for it to become available. But if you put books on hold liberally, you should always have at least one waiting in your queue for you to start reading!

TIP: Even if you don’t live in Harris County, every Texas resident is eligible for a Harris County Library card, including their digital content. Since it is such a large library system, they have most books you’ll be searching for.

Reading more books this year is a wonderful goal that almost everyone can achieve with some planning and effort. Happy Reading, friends!


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