10 Ways to Up Your Reading Intake



Though I don’t go through books as quickly as my sister, I have definitely increased the amount of time I spend reading over the past year. Sometimes I get asked how I find time to read so much, so I thought about ways that I made more room for reading in my life. Here’s my 10-step plan for more reading.

  1. Keep a running list of what you want to read. Some people love to track details about everything they’ve read and find patterns. I just update my Goodreads with what I want to read, what I’m currently reading, and what I’ve read, which helps me remember what to pick up next.
  2. Vary your genres. My reading choices are all over the place – from historical fiction to young adult dystopias to civil war non-fiction. I’m currently reading about politics, which I’ll probably follow up with a YA zombie book. Whatever floats your boat, yo.
  3. Read like-books together. Sometimes I like to make myself short (2-4 book) reading lists of books that are semi-related to read together. Like that time I decided to read books about marriage in preparation for mine. Or these book pairing posts about books that just naturally complement each other.
  4. Spread out a series. Sometimes it’s daunting to think about picking up a long series, even when the first one looks really good! I love the Pink for All Seasons readalong that Amanda and I are participating in – one book a month for 12 books to complete the series.
  5. Watch for deals! In addition to my Goodreads shelves, I keep an Amazon wish list with books I want to read, and I check it regularly to see if anything becomes a Kindle deal. Of course, you know what’s always a deal? The library.
  6. Make time for reading. Perhaps this is the most obvious or the most difficult step, but I’ve started to deliberately make time to read. I spend less time on Facebook. I’ll read a chapter in the morning before work if I find myself with 15 minutes to spare. I’ll sit for 20 minutes with coffee and a book on a weekend morning before doing whatever else I have planned (and if I have no plans, that 20 minutes becomes 40, becomes…)
  7. Read with a buddy! You don’t have to have a book club or a be a blogger to make this work. The reason I got through all the Game of Thrones books earlier this year is because J was reading them and I wanted to keep up! And of course, I love all the books that Amanda and I have read together this year. We live 800 miles apart, but we can (and do) text constantly while reading the same book!
  8. Share your books. I swear more books will come back to you! I know not everyone feels this way, but I’m all about lending or passing on books. Whenever I give a book away, it seems like 3 more end up on my bookshelf, at least temporarily.
  9. Carry a book with you! If I end up waiting around somewhere without a book, I will usually find myself scrolling through my phone – reading articles, texting my sister, or scanning Twitter. If I remember to bring a book with me, that time is much better spent!
  10. Finish a chapter. I didn’t used to be such a die-hard chapter-finisher, but my husband has converted me here. Even if I get interrupted while reading, I go back and finish the chapter asap, before the end of the day. That keeps me moving along in a book, lest I get distracted and completely forget what I was reading and what was going on. Repeat.
  11. Honorable mention by Amanda:  If you have an author that you really love see if you can follow them in some way on social media.  Do they blog? Are they on twitter/facebook/tumblr?  Do they have a newsletter?  I like to hear about what the authors I obsess over are working on.  Authors love to talk books and even about books that they didn’t write.  Lauren Willig has a weekly round-up on her blog talking about what she’s reading and interacting with her reader if you like historical romance.  If you like paranormal or urban fantasy Sookie Stackhouse creator Charlaine Harris reads a lot and shares her thoughts.  I’m amazed at the author reader interaction on twitter-and if you’re on twitter make sure you’re following us too 🙂