Do you find that every year, “read more” is on the top of your New Year’s resolution list? Then, May or June comes around and you’ve only read a few books at most? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Scrabble tiles spelling out "read more" to encourage reading books
Scrabble tiles spelling out “read more” Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Trying to read more can be difficult, especially when life gets in the way. But there are a few simple steps you can take to incorporate more reading time into your schedule to read more books every year.

1. Set a goal, but don’t make it impossible.

a journal open to a goals page to be used to set goals for reading books more often
Setting attainable goals to read more books is important.
Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

It’s an excellent idea to set yourself a goal, but make sure you can reach it. A few years ago, I set a goal to read 100 books in a year. I got so intimidated by the number I had set for myself that it prevented me from reading as much as I would have liked. Make sure your goals fit with what you know you can accomplish.

2. Make reading a part of your daily routine.

Just like any other habit, making reading a part of your daily routine will make it easier for you to read more without having to think about it. You can read for 30 minutes in the morning, on your lunch break, or before bed. Whatever you choose, keep with it. Setting aside time in your schedule will help to create a habit of reading more that will come naturally.

3. Read more books you’re interested in.

a bookshelf of interesting books to make reading books easier
Finding books that interest you can help you read more books.
Photo by Webaroo on Unsplash

Best-seller lists are excellent tools to use when looking for a book to read, but you shouldn’t rely on them entirely. If you’re not a fan of science fiction but see it on a best-seller list, skip it. If it doesn’t appeal to your taste, reading it will be difficult.

4. There’s no shame in quitting.

Many people feel the need to finish a book once they’ve started it. If you find yourself one or two chapters (or 20-30 pages) into the book and it isn’t catching your attention, it is okay to add it to your DNF list (Did Not Finish). Forcing yourself to read a book you don’t enjoy makes reading more of a chore when it should be enjoyable.

5. Don’t limit your reading methods.

photo of a kindle e-reader, a great source for reading books
Kindles and other e-readers help achieve your reading goals.
Photo by James Tarbotton on Unsplash

Many people prefer physical books when reading, but that’s not your only option. Tablets, e-readers, and audio books are all fantastic ways to access more books and read more often. Don’t worry, listening to an audio book isn’t cheating just because you aren’t reading the words.

6. Always have a book with you.

Having a book in any format with you at all times is an enormous factor in reading more. You can fit reading more easily into your daily schedule. An audio book is excellent for your commute and physical books or e-readers are great for breaks in the day.

7. Avoid distractions.

woman on cell phone distracted, making reading books more difficult
Phones can be an enormous distraction from your reading goals.
Photo by John Tuesday on Unsplash

Our phones are a wonderful way to keep us connected to those around us both near and far. Unfortunately, they are also a massive distraction. Turning your phone on do not disturb or setting it away from you is a perfect way to limit any distractions it may cause when reading. The same goes for any tablets, computers, or other devices.

Using any of these steps will help you achieve your goal of reading more books without it feeling like a chore. Let us know in the comments if you already use one of these methods or which ones you’re excited to try.
Happy reading!