How to Read More Books



I always try to read no matter how busy I am. That's because I put so much value in reading that I always think of it as part of my routine. How can I improve my writing skills if I am not going to read, right? Plus, given how fucked up the world has been these days, it's always nice to distract oneself with books. (Well, apart from other things like Netflix, of course.)

But how do I do it, really? I'm sharing some of them with you.

I bring a book or my Kindle wherever I go.

Yes, I am that kind of person who reads whenever and wherever there's a chance to. I read while waiting for my food at the restaurant. I read while waiting for my turn at the checkout counter. I read at the laundromat. I read to avoid awkward situations and people I don't want to talk to. And yes, I can do all this because I always bring a book or my Kindle wherever I go.

This way, I don't have any excuse not to read. Plus, I don't waste any time. Reading is definitely more productive than obsessively checking my phone for social media notifications while waiting for people and things.

I set reading goals and I make them public.

I like challenging myself when it comes to reading, so I always sign up for Goodread's Reading Challenge each year. What's great about it is that everyone can see the number you've set for yourself since it appears on your profile. People would know if you're going to fail. 

For people like me, that's a big deal. Many friends know how vocal I am when it comes to my passion about reading books, and of course I wouldn't want them to see me fail. Now that's additional motivation to read.

I follow websites and podcasts about books.

Hearing and reading about books excite me. In fact, many of the great books I read in the past years were titles I only heard or read about in the podcasts and book blogs I follow. Whenever a title piques my curiosity, I take note of it and get a copy of it shortly after. This keeps me motivated. I get excited to finish whatever I am currently reading, so I can move on to the next one.

My favorite podcast is All the Books! while my go-to book-blog is bookriot.com. I also read reviews from reputable publications like The New York Times and New Yorker to get updates on what the new releases are.

I visit bookshops and follow online bookstores.

Nothing beats the feeling of seeing books carefully shelved in a bookshop. They just seem more enticing that way. Plus, you get to see their covers, which are powerful enough to intrigue you. Before you know it, you're already at the checkout counter. And you feel so satisfied.

Following online bookstores is also exciting. You see the books that are up for grabs, and if you want to buy certain titles, you have to be fast enough to be the first person to comment "mine." It's like a game. Of course, I check booksellers' and publishing houses' official online stores as well. In fact, many of them are now on e-commerce sites like Lazada and Shoppee.

I talk to friends about books.

Thankfully, I have a lot of friends who also love to read. And yes, they've been such a great help in my reading life. 

No matter how curious I am about books, there are still titles and authors that are outside my radar. That's where my friends come in. Since their interests differ from mine, they also help me discover authors and titles that I am not yet familiar with. Plus, sometimes we lend each other books as well. Or, we trade, like when there are special occasions. That's actually more fun and practical, instead of buying new gifts.

I'm not afraid to put a book down when I don't find it engaging enough.

There are moments when I'm simply not in the mood to read, like there's no spark between the text and me that no matter how hard I try to focus, my mind just drifts away.

Whenever this happens, I simply put the book down and read something else. Although it's nice to challenge oneself by still trying to read a book even though you don't find it engaging enough (or when you find out it's not as exciting as you imagined it would be), it can also affect one's motivation. It can make you feel stuck or simply pissed. So instead of annoying yourself, why not read something else, right? Anyway, you can pick it up again when the right time comes.

I always have a quiet time.

It's hard to read when there are a lot of things happening around you or if you are surrounded by people who can interrupt you every now and then. So if you really want to read more, you have to ensure that you're getting enough quiet time--just like I do.

Sometimes, I sit in a cafe for hours just to read. I read when I travel alone, too. Apart from being able to concentrate of books, solitude also allows me to process whatever I am reading.

Although fun, reading can be challenging, especially in a world we are currently in. There are just too many distractions, and it's so easy to lose motivation. This is why having specific strategies makes a lot of sense to me. With their help, I can push myself to read more and not let my reading life suffer.

(Photo from Canva)
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Mina Deocareza
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