I read 19 books in 2019, which is not many by most standards but, it’s the most I’ve achieved in a quite a while. The previous few years didn’t even see me reaching double digits.
This year I’m determined to significantly up my game and the way I plan to do this is by practicing more of what I did towards the end of 2019.
When I looked at my Goodreads Stats, I realized that most of my reading was done in the second half of the year. I started to think back on the what I had differently that led me there.
Here are the few things I learned and plan to do more of in 2020:
Take a Break to Read Something Else
I read non-fiction quite a bit. These books can be long and tedious. So, when I get to a point where I feel that the book is becoming a pain, I switch to an easy novel instead. It’s great for a change of pace and once I go back to the non-fiction, I’ve renewed my energy and it’s much easier to resume reading. What’s great about this is that, I used the time in between to knock yet another book off the list.
Reading Multiple Books at a Time
This is a variation of the above where you’re simultaneously reading two or three books. My highest at one point was five. It’s not always easy to keep track so there days, I mostly have two going and if I feel weary from one, I switch to the other.
I always have an audiobook going. Audible has a great membership plan with 12 credits a year. This allows you to exchange books once you’ve finished with it, as many times as you want. I listed to most books at 2x the speed so it takes about 3 to 4 hours to finish an average-sized novel. Audiobooks are great for situations where you can’t read – during your workout, waiting for the bus, in a cab etc.
Practice Some Sort of Speed-reading
Of course, the more you read, the faster you will get. But, a quick google search will show you that there are actually certain proven techniques that can help you increase your reading speed. I’m certainly not a speed-reader yet but I have to admit that I’ve improved remarkably using some of these techniques.
Have a List of Books; Don’t Break the Chain
I’m a strong believer in “Don’t Break the Chain” when you want to form a new habit. Reading hasn’t been any different. I’ve made sure to read or listen everyday for the past six months, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Having a list of books really helps with that. You have a ready stock of titles when you want to switch or when you’ve finished.
Here’s to hoping that 2020 is a fantastic year of reading!