I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. Books offer adventure — a peek into other times and places, other minds. They teach, guide and open doors, and let's face it, now is definitely the time to escape into a different world, even if it is for a short time in some good fiction or self-reflection prompted by an expert.
Whether it's historical fiction, a dystopia, memoir or self-help, I love it all. So much so that I'm on track to read 100 books this year. But how?
Between parenting and work, reading definitely isn't my number one priority. But, seeing that it is one of my favorite pastimes, I fit it in wherever and whenever I can. Actually, I think you'd be surprised how many pockets of time there are throughout the day for page-turning. Truly, set down the phone and pick up a book!
Do you want to read more? Whether your goal is to read a book a month, finish the one that has been collecting dust on your nightstand or race me to 100 books, here are some of the strategies that work for me when it comes to racking up the reads!
Read more than one book at a time
I track all the books I'm reading on Goodreads and usually have 5-7 in progress at the same time: a fiction book, a nonfiction one, a young adult novel (don't discount the young adult genre there are gems there), an audiobook and a super long something that I'm slowly working through. Reading more than one book at a time keeps the excitement alive as I work through multiple storylines.
Be a library patron
Not only do books from the library save money, but they also provide a deadline, and there is nothing like a due date to keep your reading on track! Most libraries offer a three-week loan, so if you plan to read even just one book every three weeks, you'll catalog seventeen books in a year!
Stop books you don't like
Long ago, a friend told me that she reads 21 pages of a book (it was her favorite number) and if it hasn't caught her attention, she stops reading. There is no reason to invest hundreds of pages and multiple hours into a book you're not feelin'. So, pick your mark — 21 pages, two chapters, whatever you're comfortable with, and then decide if you're in it for the long haul or if you're going to shelve it and move on to something better.
Get on the audiobook train
When I say "read," I 100% mean listen, too. Audiobooks are my best friend when it comes to books and is definitely my key strategy for logging book after book. You can listen while you drive, while you do yard work and while you drift off to sleep. And yes, you can check out audiobooks from the library, too. They sync super easy through the Libby app.
Take an e-reader on the go
I read my paper books at home, usually in the bath or curled up on the couch, but when I'm on the go, I take my Kindle. It's lightweight and fits perfectly in my bag. Best of all, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you get a free Kindle book every month from a selection of editor's picks.
Find a reading mentor or two
To read a lot, you need a lot of good book recommendations. I find the majority of mine through Instagram by following a handful of accounts that read and share books often. Two of my favorites are @everydayreading and @marygrahamreads. I also have two good friends who read a lot, know my reading vibe and are always passing on the latest and greatest. Find your reading mentors, IRL or online, and start your list of books to read.
Join a book club
Although book reading is a solo activity, it can absolutely spark a social event. And there is nothing like a calendar date to keep the pages turning! So, join a book club or start one and look forward to character conversations, good food and a celebration libation or two. Every good book deserves a "cheers" with friends!