I enjoy reading and writing – a lot. It’s one of my favorite hobbies.
But sometimes I forget that I have more important things to do than read that book that has been sitting on my shelf for weeks.
Thus, I continue to order books from the library, even though I know I won’t have time to get through them before they’re due. They end up lying around my house, waiting to be opened.
Whether you have too many school textbooks to get through, or just need to start that interesting-looking novel, it can be difficult to find time to start a story, let alone get through it entirely.
Below are a list of tips that will help you find time to read, while still keeping your schedule on track!
#1: Schedule Your Time
If you like keeping a clean and organized schedule, you should try this simple and common trick.
Divide the amount of pages in a book by the number of days you get to read them. If you have to read 600 pages, and have 12 days to read them all, then you should read 50 pages per day.
This trick can help you stay organized and keep from feeling overwhelmed. You can also think about the amount of hours that you’re willing to spend each day on the book.
If you’re reading a 300 page book at 60 pages an hour, it will take you 5 days to finish it when reading for an hour a day.
#2: Bring a Book Everywhere
Whether you’re waiting for an appointment, sitting on a bus, or even in the bathroom, these are all great times to bring a book with you. You’ll see how much faster you can get through a book if you utilize all of your free time each day.
I try to bring a book with me everywhere, and it can be handy when you’re feeling bored or waiting for someone.
You can also download an app with audio books, so that you can listen to the stories from your phone. I do this when I’m exercising.
Reading books whenever you can will help you stay entertained and focused, along with making use of your free time.
#3: Set Goals
You want to read the book faster, right? Set goals for yourself to work toward to.
Find ways to make your goals fun, so that you’ll enjoy reading, and won’t feel like it’s a chore.
You could test your attention span by summarizing what you’ve just read after each chapter, or see how far through the book your friends are and try to beat them. The possibilities are endless!
Make sure to create reading goals that work with the rest of your schedule, and are comfortable for you – don’t try to read 100 pages an hour if you usually read 60. Most importantly, make sure that you’re still enjoying and processing information from the book, and not just glancing at the pages!
#4: Stop Early
A simple fact; if you don’t enjoy a book, stop reading it.
If you’re daydreaming, and reading feels like a waste of time, then the book probably isn’t enjoyable. It’s best just to move on to the next. A boring book takes the joy out of reading.
Of course, there will be times when you’re forced to read a book for school or work. Here are some ways that you can stay engaged:
- Take notes. Jot down important topics and connections that you have to the story to stay focused.
- Read it with a friend. Being able to talk to a friend about what you’re reading and to recall what you’ve learned is a great way to stay motivated. This is an especially good tip if you are reading this for school, as you and your classmate can study together.
- Read aloud. Whenever you find yourself drifting off, try to talk aloud to yourself. Keep repeating information that doesn’t make sense to you until it does.
- Be free of distractions. When we’re bored, we look for more interesting things to do. This could be like checking social media, talking to a friend, or getting up to go do something unrelated. Make sure you are in a quiet place that is clear of distractions. If you have nothing else to focus on except for reading the book, then you’re more likely to read the book.
#5: Join a Book Club
In book clubs, there is usually a scheduled time where you have to finish a book. If everyone is relying on each other to finish it, do you really want to be the one to let them down?
This tip might just give you the push you need to practice reading more often. It’s also helpful if you don’t know what book to read, since most book clubs give assigned books, or ones that you all choose together.
You could always ask a friend or family member to join you, since it can sometimes be a bit daunting to be with a group of strangers. If there isn’t a book club in your community, why not make one with your family and friends?
#6: Test Your Limits
Books should usually be read at your own pace and enjoyed thoroughly, but you should try reading at a slightly faster pace once in a while.
Time how fast you can read a page and still retain the information. Try to slowly increase this speed the more you read. Doing so will eventually help you process the story’s information quickly.
You can also compete with others to see who can finish the book first over the course of a few days. Competition is always great motivation.
#7: Reward System
We don’t all feel like just reading the book is enough of a reward.
Find ways to reward yourself for reading.
Anything from giving yourself a piece of candy after finishing a page, to going out to a party or to see your friends after you’ve read the whole book. Whatever it is, it will motivate you as long as it’s something you’re willing to work for.
#8: Learn Something New
A really interesting thing to do is to try to learn something from the book each time you read.
No matter the genre, there is always new information within its pages that’ll interest you.
Maybe you’ve learned a valuable lesson from that one story, what the differences between these certain plants are in this textbook, etc. Even just a new word.
Whatever it is, take advantage of it and write it down. Keep reading until you’ve learned something that interests you.
Have you tried any of these tricks? Let me know in the comments!