How do you read so many books?

How do you read so many books?

8 ways you can read more!

multilingual flashcards book

How do you read so much?

This is question that I get a lot, especially after publishing a monthly round-up where I talk about everything I have read that month (click here to see July’s reads). So far this year I have read 255 books and I am hoping to read many more before December.

Being able to read a lot is a combination of factors, ranging from reading speed to time in your day to read.

I am lucky enough to have one useful transferable skill in that my reading speed is relatively fast (I don’t actually know how to work it out, but my sister and I were always the first in the family to get the Harry Potter books as we were the fastest readers!).

I also make time for reading every day, although I definitely read a lot less as an adult than I did as a kid because of those pesky adult responsibilities which take up so much time!

As a teacher, I also read a lot of children’s books alongside non-fiction and adult books so that makes the number of books read look higher too.

So, enough about me – how can you read more?

Because that’s why you’re really here, right?

(Or else you’re hoping that I’m going to reveal the existence of my time-turner…)

bookshelf rainbow

Here are a few essential tips which I have found have helped me to make the best of any reading time I have:

Always have a book (or two) with you

I never leave the house without at least one book and usually two just in case I finish the first one while I’m out. I also have e-books on my tablet and mobile phone so I am very rarely without a book. If I ever find myself in the situation where I don’t have a book, a visit to a charity ship, bookshop or library usually makes things right…or I read fanfiction online if I’m really stuck!

Listen to audiobooks while cleaning, etc

This is a tricky one because it can be hard to find an audiobook of the right type, by which I mean one that is interesting enough that you want to listen to it, but not so attention-grabbing that you end up unable to do other things. Personally, I find it difficult to listen to audiobooks while doing other things so I usually listen to shorter podcasts or music while doing housework and only listen to the odd audiobook while walking to work or before bed.

And yes, for those people who still debate this, listening to an audiobook completely counts as reading. Just because you are having the information read to you rather than sitting looking at a page does not change the fact that it is reading!

a child of books

Set aside time for reading e.g. every morning or before bed

I always read while I have my breakfast – it takes me a long time to go from asleep to a mostly-functional human being so my morning routine involves coming downstairs and throwing open the patio doors, having a wander around my garden, then sitting in the (hopefully) early morning sunshine while reading and eating my cereal. I try to prepare as much as possible the night before to avoid running around like a headless chicken in the mornings, although it does inevitably happen sometimes. I also set an alarm for myself to avoid getting so caught up in my book that I am late for work!

I also make an effort to get into bed with a book, although this hasn’t been working so well recently because I’ve been falling asleep so quickly! I have been making an effort to go to bed about half an hour earlier than I usually would and use that time to read or for getting some extra sleep.

Get public transport to work instead of driving

I walk to work now so this one isn’t relevant for me, but I used to get so much reading done on the train when I commuted. I read even more then than I do now, thanks to frequent train delays and missed connections! Nowadays, I only really get the bus at weekends to go shopping, but I still bring a book for those 20-30 minutes and get some reading fitted in.


If you have children, read to them

In my job as a teacher I read a lot to my pupils and I count the books that we read together towards my monthly reading goal too. If I ever have children I would love to start a Goodreads page for them to track every book they have read in their lives, because I’m a geek like that.

Surround yourself with books

This is one of the most fun tips on this list and one that most book-lovers will have no problem fulfilling. I have tonnes of books around me that I have yet to read, so there is bound to be something that catches my attention when I’m between books. I also visit the library every week so am always finding new books to add to the to-be-read pile.

Another fun way to add to your reading list is to join a website like Netgalley, where you can request books before they are published. Be careful not to do what I did and request ALL the books like a child in a sweet shop!

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Set yourself a reading challenge or goal

This works for some people and not for others. Some people find that setting themselves a reading challenge can make reading a chore, particularly when you have to read specific books rather than those that you’re in the mood for. I personally find that I am too disorganized and too much of a mood reader to stick to reading challenges where you have to read specific titles. However, since joining Goodreads I have really enjoyed using the reading challenge as a way to keep track of what I have read and spot any themes or common patterns. I don’t think that joining the challenge has made me read any more than what I would have read anyway, but it has proven quite useful when I’m trying to remember a certain title to recommend it to someone else!

This year I have also joined the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge, for a few reasons. Firstly, I want to promote more diverse books. Secondly, I have a lot of books by Asian authors that I want to read. Thirdly, it takes place over the entire year of 2019 unlike many reading challenges which are completed over a shorter time. This means that it doesn’t feel pressured and it makes me more conscious of my reading choices.

Read what you enjoy

Some people are amazing at sticking to a list, while others read books because they feel they have to. I honestly believe that your experience of a book is shaped by who you are, what you’re doing and how you’re feeling at the time you come across it so, if you’re not enjoying a book, put it down and try it again another time. Pick up whatever you’re in the mood for reading and don’t beat yourself up about books that you feel you ‘should’ read. I have loved books because they have appeared at just the right moment in my life while I haven’t enjoyed others as much as I would have hoped because I read them at the wrong time when I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.


Can you use any of these tips to get more reading into your day?

Do you already feel that you read enough or would you like to read more?

Which other tips would you add for somebody trying to read more?

Probably another factor for me that I haven’t included is that myself and my boyfriend usually watch a single episode of something on Netflix over dinner, but that’s it for TV except at the weekends. he usually spends his evenings reading or playing computer games, while I read, blog or waste lots of time scrolling through Twitter.

No matter whether you read one book or one hundred, reading a book opens a portal to another world and links us all together. Read lots and enjoy!

While you’re here why not check out The Secret Life ofย  Book Blogger, 5 easy ways to annoy a bookworm, My Life in Booksย , Bare Your Bookshelf or 5 things I’ve Learnt from a year of Blogging.

Or perhaps read my reviews of Perfectly Preventable Deaths, The Wise and the Wicked, No Ballet Shoes in Syria, Season of the Witch, To Kill a Kingdom, Bestiary or The Burning?

Find me on Twitter , Goodreads or Instagram

Thanks for reading!


29 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicky says:

    I always try and set aside time for reading in the evening. I feel like it’s a really nice wind-down before bed. That said, I also want to get into audiobooks… maybe one day I’ll manage to read 250 books before August as well!!! :O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree, reading is such a great way to wind down. I heard somewhere that reading for only ten minutes can lower blood pressure and stress levels too, which is a bonus. I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks, but most libraries offer you the option of borrowing them to download to your phone, etc, so I recently downloaded one to listen to on the way to and from work. Good luck with your reading!


  2. I’m pretty happy with my current reading speed at the moment, although I always need to make more effort to fit reading in when I’m not off. I’m slightly worried about the impact uni will have, but I’m sure it’ll be fine and I won’t slow down too much, if at all! I love Goodreads too, mostly for being able to track everything I’ve read and the stats it gives me!!
    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I avoided Goodreads for years but I love using it now to see trends in what I’m reading, etc, as well as keep track of what I’ve read and want to read. I do feel a bit of pressure to read and review books when I have been sent ARCs, but often end up prioritising library books as they;re due back. Uni will probably be a mixed bag because you have longer holidays than school and less contact time, but it can also take a while to find a studying routine that works for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great post. I’m sure I could fit more reading into my day, but I read a lot already (I’m on 109 books for this year, I don’t count picture books in my total). I’m always being asked how I read so much and most of my answers are the same as yours.

    This site gives a rough indication of your reading speed. It’s not perfect, and there are others that do it in more depth but it’s accurate for mine:


  4. Jules_Writes says:

    Some great tips although I doubt I will ever be a fast reader ๐Ÿ˜€


  5. Susan says:

    I’m not terribly fast but I think I’ve gotten faster over time. I do think audibles helps when I’m emotionally distracted by other things because there is so much on my plate right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Audiobooks are such a great way for people to access books when they have other things going on e.g. commuting, cleaning, etc. I can find myself getting too distracted while listening sometimes though…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Susan says:

        It is odd. I agree with you but I also agree about traditional reading. It just depends on where my head is at- sometimes it is true of audiobooks and sometimes true of traditional reading. Variety!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. yesmoreblogs says:

    Some really good tips. I doubt I’d read that many books in a year let alone in that period of time. I’ve never tried audiobooks. I think the experience would be alot different and not in a positive way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have only listened to a few audiobooks and I completely agree that the experience is different. This year I listened to Matt Haig’s book, Notes on a Nervous Planet, and it made me feel anxious when he was listing the things that made him anxious – it was like someone talking directly to me so I found it quite hard to listen to! I think it;s worth trying in case you find ones that you enjoy, but it’s definitely different!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yesmoreblogs says:

        I would feel awkward as I think I will.need something to do with my hands ๐Ÿคฃ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe take up crochet, knitting or origami? ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. yesmoreblogs says:

        I shouldn’t really admit it but I can kind of knit. Just scarfs though ๐Ÿคฃ

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wish I could knit! My mum tried to teach me many times but I just couldn’t get the hang of it! I enjoy origami and papercrafting, as well as making things with beads ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Rachael says:

    I’m not the fastest reader and am definitely getting through fewer books since having Peapod last summer! But I agree with loads of these tips – I listen to a book while doing jobs, read on my commute, have an ebook for any longer night waking I’m also awake enough to read during and set aside time I’m the evening to read before going to bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds like you have loads of good reading habits! Sometimes I read loads (usually school holidays) while at other times of the year I read very little (last few weeks of each term) but reading over breakfast is an established part of my routine because it just takes me so long to wake up properly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rachael says:

        I think making it part of your routine is so helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. (Kitty) Cat Strawberry - Meow! says:

    I’ve never been a fast reader so my ability to so many books isn’t so good. But I’m happy with the reading I get done, I don’t see my reading speed or less physical time available in the day as a bad thing. Instead I see it as fully getting engrossed in the book I am reading ๐Ÿ™‚ I think reading kids books helps too sometimes as it’s easy to read a lot of them due to their size often being shorter and more to the point. I’m still so impressed with how many books you get read! I usually need a break after reading a book, especially if it’s one that’s really played on my emotions. I once read a ya called Max about a nazi created baby (part of the eugenics program) and it was so dark and affected me so much I couldn’t read another book for a whole week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have that sometimes too! Like a book hangover! I always have to take a break between books and do something different, then I try to choose a very different sort of book to read next – this helps to keep them distinct in my memory as well as letting me change my concentration levels. I never really thought about my reading speed before I began blogging and started using Goodreads to track my reading – before then I would have just said that i read at the same speed as anyone else. However, since joining the online community, I’ve had so many people comment on how many books I read that it prompted me to write this post!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. (Kitty) Cat Strawberry - Meow! says:

        I have to change the genre of book too, if I’ve read one that was really playing on my emotions! I think on some level it wouldn’t be fair to the new book I’m reading if it had similarity to the previous one and I agree, changing the genre or type does help with that. I don’t know if you read non-fiction too but I also seem to be able to change between non-fiction and fiction easily too (they’re the only two types of books I can technically read at the same time! ๐Ÿ˜€ )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I agree, changing between fiction and non-fiction is a great idea too. I think it;s important to change genres just in case you unfairly judge the second book just because it came so quickly after the last book!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Our ml home says:

    Christina, I just can’t help but wonder: When you read as many as 255 books a year, do you manage to remember each one of them and not forget them or get confused between 2 titles? I ask that because I’ve got the memory of a goldfish (i.e: none) and tend to forget so much of what I read ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the main reason why I love my Goodreads so much! I am pretty good at remembering the titles and events in each book, but am absolutely awful at remembering the names of the characters (I’m not so good at remembering names in real life either…) Certain books really stand out so I will remember them, while others fade in my memory more – that is why I sometimes go back to my reviews and revise them, after I’ve had a bit of a cooling off period i.e. Immediately after reading “I love it!” A week later “Here’s a more balanced review” I find that non-fiction definitely takes me longer to read because I need to give the information more time to sink in.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. BooksNest says:

    I loved this blog post and Iโ€™m in awe of how much youโ€™re reading!


  11. Wow! That’s a lot of books. Great tips on increasing reading potential!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Hope that the tips are useful for you!


  12. Anna Rymer says:

    Thanks for the tips! I donโ€™t know why I donโ€™t count the books I read with my kids!! Especially now my little girl is 6 and weโ€™re reading longer books together! I shall do that from here. And I love your suggestion to open a good reads account for kids! She has โ€˜Bug Clubโ€™ at school that kind of does a similar thing but yes Goodreads is forever!! Thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just love the idea of being able to look back on the books we’ve read and enjoyed together. AS a teacher, I also find it useful when I can’t remember a particular title, etc. It might even be something that your little girl wants to take ownership over when she gets a bit bigger ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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