7 tips for how to read more books, even when you’re busy

7 tips for how to read more books, even when you’re busy

In For the Love of Reading by Madison Tucky

7 tips for how to read more books, even when you’re busy

It can be incredibly difficult to make space for reading as an adult. So many of us fall out of the habit when we leave school and aren’t being assigned anything, so we don’t make the time for it since we’ve got so many other things going on.

If you’ve been wondering how to read more (how do all the BookTokers and Bookstagramers do it?), you’ve come to the right place. Reading is a beloved hobby that many of us want to continue doing, but life just seems to keep getting in the way. There’s a reason you’ll find “reading more” on so many New Year's resolutions!

Whether you currently read 0 books, the American average of 4 books, or more than 10 books a year, here are tips to help you bring more written stories into your life.

1. Set a goal

“I want to read more” is a little vague and can be hard to motivate yourself to work towards. What exactly does “more” mean, after all? 

To ensure you’re actually reading more, it’s good to set a specific goal that will work for you. Maybe that’s reading for a set amount of time. You could (and probably should!) start small, aiming to read just 10 minutes every day. When you’ve consistently done 10 minutes each day for a week or two, up it to 15 or 20, and keep going up as is reasonable for your schedule.

Maybe instead your goal is attempting to read a certain number of books in a year. If you currently don’t read any books at all, try reading 6-12 a year (one every 1-2 months). If you’ve kept track of how many books you’ve read in previous years, add 1-5 books on top of last year’s total. 

Maybe you have some other goal in mind entirely. The point is to pick something that’s going to work for you and your schedule. Who knows, maybe you’ll soon be reading 100 books a year.

2. Put it on your calendar

If something doesn’t go on my calendar so that my phone reminds me of it, the chances it gets done are pretty slim. So in order to read more, I find it helpful to actually put recurring time on my calendar.

If your goal is to read every day, pick a time that works best for you and set a little calendar block. Maybe first thing in the morning is your preferred time, or maybe it’s how you wind down at the end of the day. Maybe you love to take 20 minutes around noon during your lunch hour. Whenever works for you, block the time off.

Not reading every single day? It can still be helpful to pick a day and a time block to mark on your calendar week after week. Saturday or Sunday afternoons — or whenever you have a few days off from work — are great to rest and curl up with a book

Try out a couple different options, figure out what you like the best, and then set it up in your calendar so you don’t have to spend any time thinking about when you’re going to read but instead can get right into it.

3. Get an accountability buddy

Having someone to talk to about what you’re reading is a great way to stay motivated to finish it.

Joining a book club can be a great way to accomplish this: It gives you a set schedule of when you need to have read something, so it’s great accountability, and then you get to have lively discussions with fellow readers. 

If you don’t want to find or start a book club, I find that also just having one other friend who’s reading the same book as me makes the experience fun and keeps me on track. We don’t have to have an intense discussion about it, but we’re able to casually chat about things we’re liking or not liking, or speculate about what’s going to happen.

You could also have an accountability buddy that you report in with who’s not reading the same books as you. Find that friend who’s also looking to read more, and you can help each other keep track of your goals.

4. Keep a to-read list

Sometimes it can be hard to know what book to pick up next (A buzzy new release? What about these books your friends have been asking you to read?). It’s good to have a dedicated list of books to read so you don’t have to spend time in-between reads endlessly searching for what should come next. 

I like to keep a running note in my phone where I can easily jot down any book I think might interest me, no matter where I am or how I stumble on the recommendation.

Not sure where to start when there are so many books out there? Peruse other posts on the Everand blog to get ideas, from twisty thrillers from Freida McFadden, to books to read based on your Zodiac sign, to underrated fantasy novels, and much more. 

5. Keep track of your finished books

There are so many great ways to keep track of the books you’ve read nowadays. Your options include logging everything on Goodreads or The Storygraph; a spreadsheet where you keep track just for yourself; or an old-school physical list sitting on your desk. 

Whichever tracker you choose, keeping a list of the books you’ve read is a great tool for reading more. It’s exciting to watch the list grow and see how much progress you’re making, which will motivate you to keep going. You’ll then be able to look back with a sense of pride on how much you’ve been able to read. (It’s also a helpful reference when people ask you for book recommendations, now that you’re reading so much.)

6. Don’t be afraid to quit a book

It may seem counterintuitive to “reading more,” but if you’re reading a book you don’t like, you don’t need to finish it. Really! 

I know it can feel like a failure when you don’t get to mark the book off as being fully read, but there are too many good books out there to waste time on something you’re not enjoying. If reading starts to feel like a chore, it will end up slowing you down and possibly avoid reading altogether. 

Remember: The goal is to read more, not necessarily to finish more books.

7. Read in whatever book format works for you

Some people love physical books and only want to read when they have a hard copy in their hands. That’s great! But maybe you would prefer to listen to audiobooks while you’re doing something else, like driving or washing dishes. Despite what some people think, audiobooks count as reading, and are a great way to incorporate more reading into your life. 

Ebooks also have their advantages. They’re portable, you can easily look up words and references with built-in dictionaries and other easy search features, and there are plenty of places online to get them (including Everand). 

I find myself switching up the way I read depending on where I am. I’ve got physical books when I’m at home, but when I’m out and about, I’ve got my travel ebook ready to go on my phone. Whatever style works best for you is great. 

Ready to read more today? Sign up for a free 30 day trial to Everand, your home for stories and knowledge with millions of ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, newspapers, sheet music, and so much more.


About the Author: Madison Tucky

Madison has been an avid reader since her “Magic Tree House” days. When not hard at work at Everand producing audiobooks, she can usually be found scheming over a board game, watching too much TV, or trying to keep up with her own never ending to-read list.