It all started when I saw a YouTube ad that said the average CEO in America reads 52 books in a year. As soon as I heard that, I knew I had to start reading more.
Okay, I’m only partly kidding. That ad wasn’t what got me into reading. But, I did start reading more because I did want to become more successful. See, reading helps us to become more knowledgable, and when used correctly, knowledge is power.
How I Read 52 Books Last Year
Imagine this. Imagine reading absolutely zero books for more than 3 years and then having this “spur of the moment” idea that you wanted to start reading more because you heard all of the amazing benefits that are associated with reading. It helps you to become more successful. It helps you become smarter. Overall, reading just helps you to become a better version of you.
Well, that’s kind of what happened to me. I hadn’t touched a book for at least 3 years. The last book I read was American Sniper, and even with that I still haven’t finished it.
At the end of 2018/start of 2019, I wanted to change that. I wanted to find out firsthand what all the hype was behind reading 52 books per year, or a book a week.
To be completely honest, it was hard at first. I was reading at a sloth’s pace, I didn’t retain all that much information starting out, and part of me wondered if this was just another idea that I was going to give up on after a few weeks of trying.
But I never gave up. Now, a year and a half later, I have read more books within this timespan than I had in my entire life – that’s including textbooks from college and picture books from my early days.
7 Tips For Reading More
So, how did I do it? How did I go from not reading one single book in what would have been three years at a minimum to reading 52 books in a year? Well, I had a goal in mind that I wanted to achieve, but aside from that, I want to share with you some tips that will help you to start reading more.
1. Know your preferred method of reading
There are some people out there who like reading from their Kindle, their iPad, or even their phones. Personally, I am not one of those people. There is something about holding a physical book that I really like, and if I don’t have a physical book, I know I’m probably not going to read as much.
Know what style of reading works best for you. If you are somebody who needs constant light to read, get a Kindle. If you are somebody like me who needs to hold a book, then stick to that.
2. Read for pleasure
This can be a hard habit to break, but if you start a book and don’t like it, don’t feel as though you need to finish it. Put it down, give it away, and move on to a book you are actually going to enjoy.
This spring I was reading the book Flow because a lot of people recommended it. As soon as I started, I felt as though I NEEDED to finish it. But that book wasn’t for me. The more I tried to force myself to read it, the less I found myself reading in general.
Don’t stop reading entirely just because you are trying to force yourself to read a book that isn’t for you. Put it down, find a book that you are actually going to enjoy, and start reading for pleasure. This isn’t high school or college where you have to read books you don’t care for.
3. Find your favorite genre and don’t feel obligated to read anything else
Just as you shouldn’t feel obligated to finish a book you don’t like, you also shouldn’t feel obligated to read any genres you don’t like. Find your favorite genre and stick to books in that genre.
Personally, I am big into the personal development and self-help genre. I know myself well enough to know that I am not going to enjoy a book about vampires or romance books. That’s just not my style. I am going to stick to books that I know I am going to enjoy reading.
Tip: if you are struggling to find a book in your favorite genre, go to Amazon and use various filters to find what books have been purchased the most and what ones have the highest ratings.
4. Build a routine around reading
It sounds silly, but it helps.
When I was commuting to and from work, I would devote my bus trips to reading. Now that I am working remote, I don’t have “time to kill,” so I have been spending my lunch hour reading.
Regardless of if it’s over lunch, in the car, for 20 minutes right before you go to bed, etc, develop a routine and carve out a set time each day that you devote to reading. Ditch technology for a bit and let yourself get lost in a book.
5. Learn how to skim-read
Skim reading can be effective if you don’t have a lot of time, or if you are in the midst of a boring section of the book. You aren’t going to retain every word from every book you read, so don’t feel as though to need to read every word. Read every other word or just a few words per sentence. Your mind is surprisingly smart and can piece together the general concept of the book.
6. Listen to audiobooks
If you are crunched on time or just don’t like reading in general, try audiobooks. Audiobooks can be great to listen to in the car, while you’re working, or if you’re like me, while you’re exercising. While most people listen to music while they are working out, I actually listen to books on motivation and have found that it pumps me up just as much as music does. Plus, I’m learning something as well.
7. Be imaginative
I think this is the best part of reading. Allow your mind to be free. Get lost in the book and picture the main character as you. If you let your imagination run wild and free, reading can almost become like a second reality for you.
Now, as somebody who is big into manifesting and the law of attraction, I think this is incredibly important – especially if you are reading any “success” book. If an author goes into detail about how they found success, I like to envision that as my life. I believe our reality is a magnet of the thoughts we think, so if I want to find more success, then I need to be willing to envision it.
Before You Go
There are so many benefits to reading more books. If you want to experience any of these amazing benefits, then I have one piece of advice for you – read for pleasure. Don’t feel like you have to read a certain book or a certain number of books. Just learn to enjoy the one you are reading. That will bring all of the fun back to reading, and as a result, you will have an easier time reading more. That’s what helped me the most.