1) Set Goals for Your Reading
I’ve been amazed at how much more I’m reading when I have clear-cut reading goals in place. I picked 24 books I wanted to read this year and then broke this list down by choosing two books to read each month. Having this list (and publicly posting it here!) motivates me to stay on track and get through some books I’ve especially been hoping to read for quite awhile.
In addition to my yearly and monthly list, I also set weekly reading goals. I don’t always reach those goals, but setting them inspires me to always be looking for opportunities to improve my mind through reading! And I’ve also found it fun to keep track of all the books I read each year on Pinterest.
2) Join a Book Club
Want extra motivation to be reading? Join a book club — or start one with a friend or two. Not only does the accountability help you actually get the reading done, but it’s fun to discuss good books with others!
3) Read Aloud To Your Kids
Want to know a secret? Many of the books I read to my kids are ones I’ve chosen because I want to read them, too! And I know that when I start a book with my kids, it’s pretty much guaranteed that we’ll finish it in good time since there will be so many pleas for “just one more chapter!”
4) Have Multiple Books Going At Once
I know some people are one-book-at-a-time people, but I’ve found I read a lot more when I have multiple books going at once. Why? Because I pick up the book that fits my mood.
Sometimes, I’m in the mood for light reading and know I have more time so I’ll pick up my current fiction read. Sometimes, I know I just have a snippet of time, so I’ll pick up my current deeper non-fiction read. If I only had one book going, I’d likely only pick it up when I was in the mood for whatever the topic was.
One caution, though. If you’re a great starter and a bad finisher, set some boundaries for how many books you can have going at once.
For instance, I never have more than one fiction book going at once and no more than three non-fiction books going at once. I have a rule that I can’t start a new fiction book until I’ve finished one non-fiction book. This might seem silly to you, but it’s a way that I guarantee that I’m not getting in a rut and just reading the same sorts of things, but constantly reading from different genres and perspectives.
5) Keep Books in Multiple Places
In the same vein as having multiple books going at once, I’ve also found it’s helpful to have books stashed in different places so that they’ll be handy where I’m prone to be at different times of the day. In my purse, on the kitchen countertop, in the car… or yes, even in the bathroom. 😉
If you have to go to some effort to locate a book, you’re probably just going to skip messing with it. But if it’s right at your fingertips when you have a minute or two, it’s a no-brainer to pick it up and read a little bit while you have a little block of time.
6) Read Books that Interest You
While I think it’s great to sometimes push ourselves outside our comfort zone and read things that require some mental gymnastics to wrap your head around and contemplate, make sure that you have plenty of reading that is just thoroughly enjoyable to you. You want to look forward to reading, not dread it!
And if you start a book and find it’s not what you thought it was or just don’t find it engaging or helpful at all, just move on to something else guiltlessly. There’s no point in wasting time reading something that does nothing for you — especially when there are thousands of other fantastic books waiting to be read!
7) Establish a Family Book Basket Time
If you have younger children, you can help them develop a love for books from an early age by establishing a daily Book Basket Time. This is when they get to sit on the couch or in a comfy place and look at a basket of books you’ve put together for them (or that they’ve helped choose at the library).
When we have Book Basket Time at our house, I usually set the time for 15 minutes and then every sits and reads — and mom gets 15 minutes of relative quiet to read, too! Not only does this introduce your children to reading from a young age, but it also gives your children the opportunity to see Mom setting a great example for them. If we want to raise our kids to be readers, they need to see us reading, too!
Other suggestions from readers: