It’s Sunday, which is usually the day I sit down to write my blog posts for the week. A lot of my friends and colleagues have been fascinated by the amount of books that I’m able to read in the course of any given month. I think my January was a little intense with 21 books, but I can average around 15 in a good month. I thought it’d be fun to share my reading strategy and see how others conquer those every growing TBR piles. I’m also going to leave some suggestions for how to read more if you’re not an avid reader…yet.
I read once that a good strategy for reading a lot of books in a month was to read books in parallel. When I was in college I would read one book to completion before moving on to the next one. So when books took to long to get through or lost my interest (I’m looking at you Wally Lamb books), I’d give up reading for an extended period of time. It seemed as though adding multiple books would help me through those periods. This blogger recommends reading books across genres to do this. Since I mainly focus on works of fiction, instead of varying my books across genre I’ve been varying my books across media. At any given time I’m listening to an audiobook, reading an e-book, and have a physical book handy. (Right now it’s The Audacity of Hope on audiobook, The Book Thief on e-book, and Passenger in physical copy.) I enjoy this approach, because it allows me to maximize my time reading. It also allows me to realize when I haven’t devoted enough time to reading my e-book or listening to an audiobook.
My second piece of advice regarding reading would be to look at reviews. We live in the age of smartphones and the internet. I’m on Goodreads more than any of my other social media sites. Due to this technology, I find myself reading books I’m more likely to enjoy and steering away from ones I’d probably dislike. When you’re interested and invested in a book you’re much more likely to finish it and enjoy the journey.
It’s that simple. I’m not a slow reader by any means, but I’m not a speed reader. If I’m motivated I can spend all night reading a book, but more often than not I try to go to bed by midnight. I work full-time, and although I devote a large amount of time to reading, I still hang out with my friends, go to the gym several time a week, and talk to/spend time with my partner. I do treat reading like a third job though. At minimum I need to get through 3 books a week to make my Goodreads goal. I understand when people say that they don’t want to be forced into a goal, but isn’t that the point of one? To make sure that we’re holding ourselves up to a set of standards. I welcome goals and challenges in my life, because I think they make me a better more focused person.
For those of you who are not yet avid readers (AKA the majority of my friends), my recommendation is to set a small goal. If that’s reading for 10 minutes or 1 chapter before bed, or in the morning with breakfast, then all the better. When you accomplish it then you’ll feel better for doing it. And when you have a busy morning or night and forget, it’s okay too because there’s always tomorrow.
Until Next Time World…