Looking for easy ways to start reading more books? Learn how to read more books for fun and self-improvement this year!
Despite being an English major in college, there was a period of about 10 years in my life where I hardly read at all.
My kids were babies and toddlers. I was starting a business. We were fixing up our house and then moving to another one. And life seemed to be moving at warp speed.
But in 2019, I decided I wanted to start reading again. I found my groove and ended up reading 62 books that year. Then when the pandemic hit and suddenly I found myself with a lot more time on my hands, I read 200 books in 2020 alone!
Though I haven’t kept up that pace, I’ve continued to read about 100 books per year since then. And I have learned lots of strategies for working in more reading time.
How to Start Reading More Books This Year
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Whether you want to start reading more books for fun or for self-improvement, here are some simple ways to make it happen…
1. Find book genres you love.
This is by far the #1 thing that has helped me read more books.
If reading feels like a chore or you’re bored by what you’re reading, it will be really, really hard to read consistently. But when you find a genre that intrigues, inspires, or entertains you, you’ll find yourself looking for excuses to squeeze in reading time!
I read a ton of romcoms (I’m a sucker for a happy ending!) and love self-improvement books as well.
For you it might be mysteries or biographies or historical fiction. You might love graphic novels or books about art or sports. Start with topics you’re already interested in or drawn to, and find books that are intriguing to you in that area.
Related: See some of my favorite books here.
2. Ask, “What areas of my life could I improve by reading?”
When you find a book genre you love, reading can be just plain fun. But even if that’s not enough motivation for you to start reading more, reading can provide so many valuable opportunities for learning!
Looking to get a raise at work? Read more books about your area of business. You’ll hone your skills, become a more valuable contributor in your workplace, and earn that raise more quickly.
Passionate about politics or humanitarian causes? Read more books on the causes closest to your heart. You’ll become much more effective in your advocacy.
Is your faith really important to you? Finding authors you resonate with on spiritual topics can deepen your faith. It will also help you share your experience with others in a more impactful way.
Whether you’re looking to get more enjoyment out of life or grow in your knowledge in a specific area, start reading more books and you will get there!
3. Always have a book with you.
Whether it’s keeping a physical book in your purse or in your car, having an eReader nearby, or using the Kindle app on your phone, simply having a book close by can help you read more often.
Rather than playing mindless games or spending more time scrolling through social media, pick up a book and read a few pages while you’re in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, in the pickup line at school, or have a few minutes before your lunch break ends.
I have found eBooks to be especially useful for this. I used to swear that I could only read physical books and didn’t want anything to do with digital copies.
But then I won a free Kindle and found that I actually really liked using it. Eventually I moved to using the Kindle app because I always have my phone with me, and the amount of time I spent reading increased like crazy!
4. Embrace audiobooks.
I usually have one eBook I’m reading and one audiobook I’m listening to at all times.
Audiobooks are great for in the car, while I’m cleaning or folding laundry, while I’m working out, and more.
If getting into books is difficult for you, an audiobook with a fantastic narrator can make all the difference. The best audiobook performances make you feel like you are part of the story. And they can be a great way to boost your reading numbers!
5. Download the Libby app to start reading more books for free.
Sometimes getting access to books can be a roadblock that keeps people from reading more. Libraries are FANTASTIC. But we don’t always have time to make the trip there.
Libby brings your local library to you, giving you access to thousands and thousands of titles in eBook or audiobook format for free.
Hoopla is another app that connects to your local library for free books at your fingertips.
6. Keep a running list of books you want to read next.
Not knowing what to read next can keep us from reading consistently. But if we have a list queued up and ready to go, we can immediately choose our next book once we finish our current read.
Keeping a “TBR” or “To Be Read” list can also motivate us to make progress and check off the books on our list.
But how do we find the books we want to read next?
7. Follow bookstagrammers in your genre of choice.
There are entire Instagram and TikTok accounts devoted to reviewing and recommending books! When I started getting back into reading, I found readers on Instagram who liked similar books to me and started following them.
These reviewers will often get access to new books before they are released, so it’s a great way to get info about new titles that may interest me. They also share a lot of books that have already been released and what they loved or didn’t love about them.
To find bookstagrammers that I might be interested in following, I first went to the accounts of authors I love. They will sometimes re-share bookstagrammers’ posts to their feeds. And they are almost always sharing bookstagrammers’ content in their stories.
When the authors share reviews from these accounts, I would let myself go down a rabbit hole for a bit, check out the reviewers’ feeds, and see if I resonated with them and the types of books they share.
After I started following a few bookstagrammers this way, they would also share their friends’ posts, so I would find more and more people who were talking about the types of books I was interested in. And my TBR list kept growing and growing!
8. Find buddies who like the same books as you do.
Along with getting recommendations from reviewers online, it is always fun to have friends in real life who enjoy reading the same types of books you do!
You can get recommendations from one another, talk about the books you’ve both read, or even do a “buddy read” where you both read the same book at the same time.
Book clubs can also be a great mechanism for reading accountability AND an awesome excuse for a girls’ night out! Woohoo!
9. Track your reading.
Along with keeping a list of the books I want to read next, I also keep a running list of books I’ve already read.
It’s fun and motivating to watch the progress I’ve made throughout the year. And it’s helpful to be able to look back and see which authors and genres I’ve enjoyed so I can seek out more of those types of books in the future.
I also find that whenever I track my behavior in just about any area of my life, I improve in that area because I’m paying closer attention to it.
If I track my workouts, I exercise more often. If I track my finances, I spend less money. And if I track my reading, I start reading more books!
10. Make reading a habit.
Reading will happen more naturally when you make it a consistent part of your day.
I like to set my alarm a little earlier and read for a few minutes before I even get out of bed in the morning.
Reading before bed instead of watching TV could help you wind down and sleep better at night.
Listening to an audiobook during your commute could help the drive go more quickly and be more enjoyable.
Getting in a few pages during your lunch break can help you jump back into the work day feeling more relaxed and motivated.
Whenever it fits your schedule, making reading a consistent habit will increase the number of books you read by leaps and bounds!
Related: How to Start a New Habit
Ways to Start Reading More Books: Final Thoughts
Reading has brought so much enjoyment to my life and has helped me learn more about so many different areas!
Once you find the books and reading format you love most, you will be looking for excuses to fit in more reading time!
If you could use help tracking the books you’ve read + your TBR list in a cute and fun way, you can grab our Reading Tracker Spreadsheet right here.
Reading More Books: Frequently Asked Questions
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Thanks so much for following along! Happy Reading!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.