As I did that whole thing last year where I read a book a week and seeing as I’ve set myself the goal of trying to read 100 books this year, I get asked the question fairly often both on Twitter and in e-mails as to how I manage to make time to read so much.
This works for me, it won’t work for everyone.
(1) Stop Watching TV
Not all of it. Just as much as most people do. I’ve done the thing where the TV doesn’t go on at home until at least 9pm and before that is for reading. Works for me.
(2) Stop Watching TV
That’s not a misprint – on top of that, every now and then, I get bored of d’telly and simply don’t watch it for a week. You’d be surprised how much you record that week that you simply delete when you go back to it the following Monday because you couldn’t be arsed watching it really…
(3) Find A Partner Who’s On Board
I’m lucky enough that my wife is as voracious a reader as I am. The sofa of an evening with your other half reading beside you and fresh cups of tea beside you can be a very seductive thing.
(4) Sundays Are Sacred
Not in the traditional way. Most Sundays we spend almost all day reading. I know that’s probably not for you, but you did ask…
(5) A List
I don’t know if you’re like me but if you are you like lists and targets to aim for, you find them useful. This is my half of an A4 sheet that hangs in the kitchen:
Page one is full, I’ve moved on to page 2. I’ve only printed 52 slots on it as I thought that would be as far as I’d get. Might have to reevaluate that.
(6) Drink Less
Not sure about you, but those evenings where I’ve come home and opened a beer or a bottle of wine aren’t those where I’ve read late into the evening. One just doesn’t work with the other for me. A drink usually leads to TV or a movie…
(7) Go To Bed Half An Hour Early
Again, works for me too. Just do the above and read ’til you drop off. You’d be surprised how quickly you finish a book that way.
And the hard one – (8) Put Your Phone Away
I know these days that’s tantamount to saying “stop breathing for the next hour there, would you?” but it is *so* easy to allow your train of thought to be derailed when you’re reading if you decide to just check Facebook for a minute or look at the headlines on a news site or… or… or…
If you’re serious about this, take your phone and put it away for the evening or afternoon you’re reading. Physically away on a shelf or a table far away where you can’t reach it, and switch off all your social media and e-mail notifications. If it buzzes with a text or rings, so be it. You’ll lose yourself and get tons read if the book is any good.
Just to finish, I’m not saying that reading should be a chore or regimented or something that’s done to a strict set of rules or a template, far from it. Just merely that I was always one of those people who got panicky every time he was in a bookstore and saw the plethora of new books he’d like to read that just got bigger and bigger and bigger.
Last year I decided to do something about it. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
And before someone hops on their high horse and gives out to me for ordering people to blah blah blah, people had asked how I was reading so much, this is just what worked for me :-)
EDIT - One of the links you should see below is to an old post I wrote in 2007 on how I wasn’t reading enough books. It’s well worth the read: