My New Year resolution every year:
“I want to read more books!”
And I’m certainly not the only one because it’s one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions in the world. Many students, entrepreneurs, and employees want to read more but can’t find the motivation or time to do so. Therefore, the primary purpose of this blog is to increase the number of people who are happy with the number of books they read a year.
Until 1.5 years ago, I was only reading 2 or 3 books a year. Some years even zero. I haven’t pinpointed one reason for this, but I think it was a combination of multiple things. When the COVID-19 epidemic started I saw it as an opportunity to read more books. Sort of like a COVID resolution. It worked. I finished 25 books in 1.5 years. That’s almost 14 books a year. You’ll certainly find book gurus who read a lot more than that, but hey, it’s about progress not about a number.
“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who someone else is today”
This is a quote from the book “12 rules for life” by Jordan Peterson (I certainly recommend it). With that in mind, I guarantee you that after reading this blog, you’ll read more. Without further ado here are 3 tips to help you put that number of books in the elevator.
1. Get yourself an EMPTY bookshelf
Most people use their bookshelf to show off with books they haven’t read. “Look at me how smart I am because I read a lot of books”. This bookshelf will be different. It won’t let you show off that easily. From now on, you may only put the books on it that you’ve finished. Put the other’s you haven’t finished yet somewhere you don’t want your books placed. For example in a closet, under a bed, or in your shower (just kidding). Do it now if you can, otherwise, you’ll probably forget it.
In that way, you have a PUSH-factor (the ugly place) and a PULL-factor (the empty bookshelf). So, you have 2 physical reminders to read more. Stop being an “I-Show-Off-With-Books-I-Haven’t-Read” kinda person and be honest with yourself. You’ll be more proud of your s(h)elf.
Extra: If your bookshelf is filled to the point of satisfaction, maybe it’s time to empty it again. Then you can let the PUSH & PULL factors do their magic another time.
2. Read one page every day
Reading (at least) one page each day was for me the most effective way to read more. It’s an example of a microhabit. A microhabit is something you do every day, but just a little of it. This concept was popularised by the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear (I still have to read that one). By keeping it small, there’s a high chance that you can do it every day. One page takes for the average reader one minute. Everyone can set one minute aside each day to read one page. I do this just before I go to bed. When I’m really tired it will probably be no more than that one page. However most days I realize that the book is genuinely interesting and I finish the chapter.
Even if you would only do the bare minimum of one page each day, which I don’t believe, you’ll still read 365 pages a year. That’s one book. More than most people do!
Extra: You can raise the one page to more pages to ensure that you’ll read even more. Although, be careful of raising it too much because even two pages sound more challenging than one. Subconscientiously it may lead to days you don’t read. We want to avoid that.
3. Try different forms of reading of
These days, there are a lot of different ways to read a book. You can read a physical book, read on your e-reader or smartphone and even listen to audiobooks (which you technically can’t call “reading”, but for me, it counts as reading). Experiment with these different forms and try to find which works best for you. For me, it is a combination of physical books and e-books.
Extra: Borrow physical books and e-books from your library. This is a very cheap way to get in touch with more books. You’ll also feel less disappointed when you won’t finish a book.
These are, in my opinion, the 3 most effective ways to read more books. I’m sure they’ll help you. I’ve also a lot of other tips in mind, but those will be for another post.