3 Steps to Reading Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (from BookRiot.com) has some great ideas if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more.
I often get asked how I read so many books (although I was humbled by the person in this article who reads 2-300 books a year). I would agree with everything written here. Here are a few other thoughts.
1. I would amplify the idea of avoiding distractions. Read where and when you are free from TV, social media or smartphones.
2. Carry a book or e-reader with you for unexpected free moments–waiting for a flight, eating alone, while you are waiting to meet someone or on public transportation. I’ve probably read a book or two just in airports this year!
3. If you are working to cultivate a reading habit, don’t start with the most demanding, dense stuff you can think of that seems “profound”. Start with authors you like, or books in a genre you like.
4. Find book reviews or blogs on the kinds of books you like and see what others like. Goodreads is a great tool to find out what your friends are reading and what they think about their books.
5. After you read a book, try to capture in a few sentences what you liked about the book, a favorite quote, or something you want to remember from the book. Again, the Goodreads site is a great tool for this–you don’t need to be lengthy–think of this as just putting down what you want to remember about the book.
6. If you are a person who likes goals, track your progress through the year. Probably one of the few things I remember from my behavioral psych class from many years ago was that when you track a behavior, you increase that behavior if it is desirable, and often decrease it when it is undesirable. Hopefully reading is the former for you!
7. Read something “off the beaten path” for you — a different genre, an international author, a perspective you don’t think you agree with. Pick up a book at your bookseller’s that they are recommending that sounds interesting that you wouldn’t otherwise read.