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15 WAYS TO READ MORE IN 2021!

Reading is a great way to learn more. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, books have a way of opening our minds to new possibilities. Today we see people reading less and less when compared to before the advent of mobile phones and other similar technologies. Even if you are a regular reader the medium has changed drastically. And then we have people who are looking up ways to improve their reading, how to read more, or find ways to incorporate reading into their daily habits.

I read about 49 books in 2019 and 112 books in 2020. Because 2019 was the year I started my reading journey and getting back to reading was the only goal at the time. In 2020 I was excited to read more but didn’t plan to read as much as I did, but it happened. And this year, I just want to read books and enjoy stories, that’s all. I am not focused on the numbers, but if I can hit my Goodreads goal, then it would be fantastic. I thought I would share my tips on reading to help the readers who are starting their reading journey or the ones who just want to read more books. So let’s get started and dive into it.

1. Setting up a reading goal & figuring out a system to track your reading progress –

This marks the beginning of your reading journey. Having a goal set up or even charting a plan is highly beneficial if you are getting started. This helps in organization and you can always get back to it and modify it according to your needs. Designing a system will help in motivating you and also pushing you to read more. You can check out Goodreads, which is the OG and the most popular reading tracker website that will be useful for adding books, browsing different titles and make connections with fellow readers. There are some issues with the Goodreads website, it’s not a very user-friendly app to use. Now Storygragh, on the other hand is the most recent one and is getting quite popular and is easy to use as well.

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2. Plan a fun TBR (To-Be-Read) list –

For new readers out there, a TBR is a set of books or a stack of books you select to read. This will be the stack from which you can choose depending on your tastes. You can arrange it in different ways, daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Planning ahead gives you lots of options to choose from. Make sure to not let it be a rigid TBR, and that you have room to take books out or add more into it depending on how you feel at the moment. Also, pick the books that you want to read badly when you are starting out and not books you hope to read. If you have trouble picking books, write down the titles you want to read on individual papers and put them in a bowl to draw chits one at a time to choose from it. This makes the process even more fun.

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3. Create a routine and set aside a fixed time for reading (develop a reading habit!) –

Creating a routine and having some time allotted for your daily reading especially when you are starting your reading journey will help you keep up with your reading and goals. Once it becomes a habit and is natural for you to pick up a book randomly during the day, then you have succeeded. Make sure to choose a time, when you are comfortable and have fewer distractions to keep you away from reading.

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4. Surround yourself with books –

This is a very important tip to increase your reading. Having books around and seeing them constantly will make you want to pick them up on the go. Surround yourself with books that you want to read and distribute the stacks around the house, so it’s easily accessible. This helps a lot when the reading mood strikes and you can pick up a book without much hassle.

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5. Finding your reading nook (aka your reading place) –

Finding your reading space or your favorite place where you can read peacefully is equally important. It needs to be welcoming, peaceful, and comfortable. The space you choose should be inviting and relaxing as well. My favorite reading place is my bed and my couch. I can curl up under the blanket and read in a comfy and snuggly position for as long as I like. The more comfortable you are the more you will read. Your reading space is your new happy place aka Sanctuary.

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6. Read when you are in the mood –

This tip is a very important one. Rather than forcing yourself, read whenever you are in the mood for it. If you are a beginner and want to start reading start with something that is small and put in some time(make sure it’s half an hour or something like that not to overwhelm you). If you are starting out and you don’t feel motivated to read them, then try incorporating your favorite genres and shorter reads to get the feel for it. Once you get into the mood, then it will be a breeze from there. This leads me to my next point.

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7. Find books that interest you and in the genres you love –

If you have been a non-reader your whole life and you are planning to get into reading, then pick books based off on your movie’s or show’s tastes. Look at the list of movies that interest you and see which genres you love to watch. Then find books in these genres to start out and then once you have progressed to reading more books, you can add more genres into the mix as you go on.

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8. Participate in challenges, buddy reads, readathons or book clubs (put yourself out there!) –

Being part of a community is a great way to interact with fellow readers and enhance your enjoyment of the book. This way you get to meet new people, make friends and also have discussions with people who read the same book. Participating in readathons will help you choose books based on different prompts and can help you with setting up a reading TBR pile that will be a mix of books in different genres and with different themes. This way you can add a wide variety of books and your reading will be all the more wonderful because of it. These are always fun and made your reading process all the more enjoyable and it will be something you will look forward to.

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9. Read multiple books at once (my personal fav!) –

When I select my TBR, I always make sure to have a good selection of books and is a mix of genres or themes and sizes as well. Having a list of different genres, short and long books makes reading easier and more enjoyable. This will avoid you getting into a reading slump and can help you with reading a variety of books at the same time. Being a mood reader, I find myself reading multiple books at the same time, and depending on my mood for the day or for a particular time of the day, I change up my books quite often. This way I can ensure I am always reading books I am in the mood for and won’t be forcing myself to read something that doesn’t interest me.

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10. Using e-formats for reading –

Having a kindle or an e-reader will help you when you can’t carry books around. Having these ebooks around you will help facilitate the reading a lot easier and you will always have an easy-to-access list of books available at your fingertips. Also, it’s less expensive and most books you can get for free or on offers. It’s easy to carry and use and is my most used format of books.

Which format do you prefer to read? I love reading trade paperbacks. They are easy to read and don’t need to be too careful with them, but I love having Hardbacks on my shelves. They are just pretty to look at, especially the special edition ones and all the available, new types of books. I read a lot of arcs and so my most-read format is ebooks. If you are reading ebooks regularly, make sure to invest in getting glasses that will block the blue light and also make sure to lubricate your eyes often. Taking breaks can also help immensely. This leads us into the next format and the one that I haven’t taken advantage of as I would like to. Audiobooks!! They are a lifesaver!!

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11. Pairing routine tasks and traveling with audiobooks –

Again different formats have their own benefits and they help us with reading efficiently. Audiobooks are great when you have chores and other mundane tasks and you are itching to read so badly that you can incorporate the audiobook into your chore routine. This way you can listen to your favorite book and also do your tasks. I wouldn’t recommend any heavy reading or books that will need to you focus on this. Multi-tasking is not the best way to get things done, but if it’s a boring task and you don’t feel motivated, this will help you not only do the task but also take care of your reading at the same time. I do this when I am cleaning or cooking mostly. You can do this when you are traveling as well.

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12. Always have a book ready for your next read –

This tip is kind of piggybacking on the TBR one. If you hate planning ahead and you don’t like to plan TBRs because you rarely stick to them, then this is an alternative to it. Keep a small selection of books that interest you so you can choose easily from them without any stress of having to think about it. The list just needs to exist and needs to be a smaller one limited to a book or two, three at most. Keeping simple and small is the goal and will make your life and reading easier.

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13. Choosing books over visual entertainment –

When you find yourself leaning towards watching shows, or movies, pick a book or reading instead. Binge-watching shows will lead you down a rabbit hole and you will be stuck there for a while. If that is something you want to do, then you can do that, but if your goal is to read more books, then make sure to pick reading over entertainment. This needs to be an active choice and you will be thankful for making it.

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14. Pick books in your comfort zone –

This tip is helpful for all kinds of readers, whether you are a beginner/novice or an avid reader. Picking books from your comfort zone will help you read them quickly and without any hiccups. But if you chose books outside of your comfort zone, it will take time to get used to them and can also deter you from reading more. Also make sure to check the Trigger Warnings on books to ensure they will not trigger you in any way. Choosing comfort zone books is more than selecting books that you enjoy and from your favorite genres. It is also important to see if the themes talked about in the book will be comfortable for you as a reader. A great tip is to check the TWs, buzzwords and tags to see if you prefer it. I always pick my favorite genres and then just to spice things up every now and then I will add one book that’s outside of my comfort zone. Figuring out what works for you personally, is of utmost importance, and check your reading patterns to see which books/genres do you gravitate towards most. This will be useful during the selection process.

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15. DNF or stop reading if you are not feeling it –

DNF(Did-Not-Finish)a book either permanently or temporarily if you are not feeling it. This is something I was hesitant to do at the beginning of my reading journey. I felt guilty putting the book down when things were not working for me and would force myself to read it. Not only is this damaging to your reading experience, but it also takes away the enjoyment and fun you seek out from the reading journey. Now I put books down either permanently or temporarily depending on my response to the book. If it’s temporary and is something you still want to read, just not at the time, you can always pick it back up later shortly.

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Now that we have discussed my top 15 tips to read more books, and you are all set-up to step-up your reading for this year, tell me your top favorite tips you use to read more. Which ones works best for you on this list? If you try these leave a message down below to let me know your experience and feedback. I would appreciate it a lot. Happy reading and have fun while you are at it!!

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