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How to Read More Books in Less Time

For many of us, reading is more than just a pastime—it's a passion. It's an opportunity to escape into another world, to gain knowledge, and to grow as individuals. Yet, a common lament among book lovers is, “I wish I had more time to read.” If that sounds like you, keep reading! Below are some tried-and-true strategies to devour more pages in less time.

Set Clear Goals

Having a clear objective can be a game-changer. Consider setting a goal, like finishing a book a week or a book a month. It provides direction, motivation, and a sense of achievement once reached.

Prioritize Reading

Want to read more? Make it a non-negotiable part of your day. Whether it’s 10 minutes during your morning commute, half an hour before bed (or both!) designating specific times solely for reading can make a substantial difference.

Choose the Right Environment

A quiet, cozy corner can enhance your reading experience immensely. Find that special nook where you’re least likely to be interrupted. And remember, sometimes, the biggest distractions come from our own devices. Muting notifications or switching your phone to "Do Not Disturb" can work wonders.

Embrace Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a reader's best friend, especially for those with packed schedules. Whether you're driving, cooking, or even working out, let the narrators transport you to another realm. Platforms like Audible or LibriVox offer a plethora of choices for every kind of reader. My favorite way to listen to audiobooks is with the Libby app when making dinner, doing the dishes, or showering! I read so many more books that way.

Skimming and Speed Reading

To increase your reading speed, try skimming. It's all about focusing on main ideas and skipping over less crucial details. With practice, you can still achieve excellent comprehension while cruising through pages faster than before.

Take Notes Efficiently

While immersing in a riveting tale or a dense non-fiction piece, use bookmarks, highlighters, or sticky notes. They'll help you remember pivotal moments or information, eliminating the need for rereads. Short margin notes can also provide quick context on a future revisit.

If you’re studying, combining speed reading or skimming with taking notes can really help. Once I started skimming my textbooks first then rereading to make notes, I found I retained so much more information. 

Limit Multi-tasking

Although it’s tempting to juggle multiple books, it might not always be efficient. Zeroing in on a single book ensures you remain engrossed and often leads to quicker completion. However, I’m not very good at following this myself. Most of the time I need to mix it up, reading nonfiction and fiction at the same time. 

Join a Reading Group

There’s nothing like a bit of friendly peer pressure! Joining a book club or reading group not only introduces you to new genres but also instills a sense of accountability. Knowing you have a discussion to attend can motivate you to turn those pages faster.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Modern problems require modern solutions. E-readers and apps, with features like adjustable fonts, night modes, and built-in dictionaries, offer seamless reading experiences. Tracking apps like Goodreads can help log your progress and remind you to stick to your reading routine.

Know When to Move On

I used to feel like I had to finish every book I started. I’m so glad I gave that up. It used to take me forever to get through those books I wasn’t enjoying. Life’s too short. If you’re not enjoying a book, pass it on to someone else who might and start on the next book on your reading list. 

Reading more books in less time doesn't mean sacrificing the joy of your reading experience. It's about optimizing your habits and making the most of your available time. Try these strategies, find what suits you best, and watch your book count soar!

How to Read More Books in Less Time