How to Actually Read More Books This Year (30 Actionable Tips)

by - June 29, 2024
Reading is one of the best ways to learn new things! Naturally, it makes sense to have a goal of reading more books this year, but it's hard to actually put the goal into practice. We all have busy lives so it can be hard to find time to read more books. Don't worry though because if you want to read more books this year than ever before then you are in the right place!

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (29 Actionable Tips)

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How to Read More Books This Year (30 Actionable Tips)

I'm not one of those people who would describe themselves as an avid reader, so if you are like me, then I have some tips and tricks for you. I'll let you take a page right out of my book!

I've already read over 30 books this year, and I'm a full-time college student. In fact, last semester I took 17.5 credits, and still found the time to read, while maintaining good grades.

Even though I'm on summer break right now, I still have a busy schedule. Either way I'm sure you have a busy schedule too!

This list contains tips on how to find books you'll enjoy reading, how to create a habit of reading, how to read books effectively, and even tips on finding the motivation to read.

Read to the end to see what my reading routine is like!

Why Do You Want to Read More Books?

Later on in the article, I'll dish out some tips on maintaining your motivation to read, but if you don't start out with any, then those tips aren't going to help.

Before you set a goal of reading 100 books this year, it's a good idea to ask yourself the following question:

Why do I want to read more books?

Your answer to this question will guide what books you read, and how often you read. Reading a certain number of books just because it sounds like it's a good goal to have, isn't going to be enough.

Books are a great resource, but if you don't like reading, then you just aren't going to do it. I'll answer the question above to help you out a little.

I mainly read to learn new things, and to better myself. I read mostly non-fiction.

Do I read fiction books as well? Absolutely!

I love curling up with a great mystery. If you haven't read The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie, I highly recommend it.

But... back to my main point. Figure out your why, and then you'll find your way. Let's get right into the tips you can use to read more books this year.

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (29 Actionable Tips)

29 Tips for Reading More Books This Year

1. Get a (FREE) Reading App

This is one of my top tips for reading more, and for good reason. Almost everyone (yes, I'm looking at you) has a phone and spends a good deal of time on it.

Instead of spending your 3-4 hours a day looking at random emails from lists you shouldn't still be subscribed to, or just scrolling through random things on social media that you don't even need to know about, why not read something of value to YOU instead?

I'll cut straight to what you want to know. My favorite reading app is Libby.

All you need is a library card, and then you'll have unlimited access to a whole library of eBooks and audiobooks. The app is completely FREE so you really can't go wrong with it, but below are a few of the best features on the app in case you are still on the fence.

  • Percent Read - You can easily see how much you've read, and how much you still need to read or listen to.
  • Samples - Before you decide to "check out" a book, you can read a few pages of it to see if it's worth it.
  • Begin Right Where You Left Off - Your bookmark cannot fall out of the book. I know that is one of my pet peeves! You can also bookmark pages in the book so you can re-find all the best tips at the end.
  • Resize Text + Choose Font - Libby allows you to make the text of the eBooks all the same font and size. Sometimes books do have annoying fonts so it's nice to keep everything the same size. It's a huge plus for people who don't have perfect eyesight, me included!

Yeah, I know it's not a paper book, so it won't have completely the same feel to it that book lovers love, but you always have your phone with you. Having a reading app will help you read more, and that's the goal!

I've hands down read more books this year than in previous years after downloading Libby!

2. Listen to Audiobooks

No one said you actually have to physically look at the words on the page to read books. Speed up the books if you want to "read" more in less time (as long as you can still understand it, of course).

As I said before, you can get audiobooks for free on Libby, but did you know that you can find audiobooks on YouTube as well? I'm all about finding resources for free! 🤣

So next time, you are super interested in reading a popular book, check and see if they have it on YouTube. You never know what book you might find.

I'll get you started by recommending some great books in a few different genres below:

Listening to audiobooks is a great way to actually multi-task.

Listen to an audiobook during your commute to work, while taking a walk, or doing tasks around the house. This way, you can make mundane chores like doing the laundry worth your while because you can learn at the same time.

Listening to audiobooks will definitely help you read more books this year!

3. Always Have a Book in Your Backpack

Or purse! This blog is mainly for girls who are college aged, so I know we are all lugging around backpacks. Maybe pick a small book to stuff in the front pocket? 😂

But seriously, if you always are carrying around a book with you, then you will be more likely to read it.

4. Have a Library Membership

Maybe this should be #1 lol, but who has the money these days to go out and buy books that they might not even like? Certainly not me!

We want to read more books this year, not have more unread books cluttering up our shelves at home.

If you don't have a library membership, and you want to read more books, please go to the library and sign up for a library membership. You will have a whole new world at your fingertips... or on the next block.

Having a library membership is something that you will not regret, unless you don't return a book for like 20 years lol.

If you are currently in college, go and check out your library! I suggest checking out around five books every time you go, and then read the ones you feel like reading.

Flip through all of them, and then start reading the one that looks the most interesting.

When the books are due, go and return all of them. The ones that you didn't finish aren't worth your time. There are other more interesting books out there waiting for you!

5. Start With a Short Book

If you are starting with a blank slate, meaning you don't read or you didn't read any books at all last year, then ease yourself into it. Don't go and try to read the longest book you can find.

Starting with a book of short stories is a great pick because you can read one story in one sitting. It's perfect for people who are just starting out!

I recommend Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie. You can't go wrong this book because they are humorous mysteries!

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (29 Actionable Tips)

Create a Reading Habit

Now, you might be asking yourself, "How can I read more in a day?" By creating a habit of reading, of course!

If you've read my blog at all before, then you know I'm very into productivity and personal development. I could talk about these things all day!

Below, I'll share a few tips with you on creating a habit of reading!

6. Aim to Read a Chapter a Day

The BEST way to read more books in a year is by reading every day! Who would've thought?

Actually, reading every day is the hard part. 😂

Start by figuring out how much you want to read every day. A chapter is a good starting point because it's long enough that you have time to become engaged in the book. Some books though have longgg chapters so it might not be viable.

Generally, you want your daily reading goal to be something you can complete in one sitting. Every book is different though so 10 pages is a good place to start if the chapters in your chosen book are long.

Reading 10 pages a day is manageable even if you are a beginner, or a busy student.

Set a reminder on your phone or watch at a time when you know you will be free to read. Below are a few tips on different times you can read at.

7. Read in the Morning

Now, I'm not going to be one of those people that demands that you read first thing, right when you get up, before you even get on your phone... but reading in the morning is a great way to start your day.

You'll learn something new, and you'll feel like you've already accomplished something right at the start of your day. I enjoy reading during breakfast. It's much more fulfilling than just scrolling on social media.

8. Turn Your Phone Off an Hour Before Bed

*chuckles* You weren't expecting to see this on the list, were you? Turn your phone off, unless you are reading books ON your phone. The hour before you go to bed is a great time to read.

I have an alarm on my watch to remind me to get ready for bed.

You can try this too! Set your alarm for a little earlier, than when you usually get ready for bed. When the alarm goes off, get ready for bed like normal.

Now, you have some extra free time to read your book and everything else is already finished for the day, so you don't have to worry about it!

9. Read During Meals

You already eat every day, right? So... you can tie your love for eating food with and it will help you create the habit.

Everyone spends around three hours a day eating food. That could be three hours spent reading as well! There's nothing like a good book along with a good meal. If you are super busy this is one of the prime times during your day to read.

Give it a try!

10. Read a Page Before Social Media

This tip is for those of you who use social media too much. You can cut down on a bad habit, while making a new, more productive habit.

An effective way to do this is by putting all of your apps into folders. Stick your reading app in a folder with all of your social media apps.

At first, you are going to have to force yourself to click on the reading app first, but after a while, you'll probably look forward to reading more than scrolling.

11. Whenever You Read, Read a Certain Amount

It takes at least a few minutes to actually get into the book (if you know what I mean) so don't just read a page every time you sit down. That's just not enough to do the book justice.

I know. I know. I just said to read a single page before scrolling on social media, but that's because you have to start small to create the habit.

After the habit is created it'll be easier to read more. It ALL starts with a single page though. So read the first page, and then only if you feel like it read more.

Bonus points if you stop reading right when you get to the most exciting part of the book so you can look forward to reading later. Just kidding! 😂

12. Listen to or Read a Book While Traveling

Skip social media and read a book while waiting places! I'm not condoning trying to read while driving 🤣, but have you considered listening to an audiobook?

Let's face it. The daily commute is boring. Making it more exciting by listening to or reading a good book! But make sure you stay safe while doing it.

13. Skip Watching a Movie or TV + Read Instead

This might be a little controversial, but instead of watching a movie (if it's by yourself), find a book to read instead!

It will be a lot more fulfilling! Plus, you can sit in a cozy nook you create for yourself and set the atmosphere by sipping on a cup of hot chocolate.

You can do this by using your TV remote as a bookmark! 🤣

In all seriousness though, you can keep your book right next to the TV remote.

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (29 Actionable Tips)

Finding the Motivation to Read

14. Read Multiple Books at Once

The trick to reading more books is by reading MORE books. Right now, I'm reading five books. I'm probably never going to finish the most boring book, and that's ok!

You aren't always going to be in the mood for reading that personal development, so read an adventure book at the same time. I'll touch more on my own reading routine at the bottom of this post, but an ideal place to start is with a nonfiction book and a fiction book.

15. Join a Book Club

Joining a book club can be a great way to read more books because other people are reading the same book along with you. There is an element of accountability, and you can have the fun of meeting up and discussing your book together.

You can search and ask around to find a book club in your area or you can join an online book club. When you join a book club, you don't have to come up with new books to read!

If you don't feel like getting to know new people, you can start your own book club by reaching out to some friends! This should make for some fun conversations, and then you have an excuse to see your friends on a regular basis without having to come up with plans all the time!

16. Have a Reading Partner to Discuss Books With

Love the idea of a book club, but don't want to have to schedule and meet up, and all of that? Consider asking a friend if they would be your reading partner.

It's the same as a book club, except for just with two people! You both read the same book, and then you get together or facetime to discuss it.

This is a great way to keep in touch with old friends or something you can do with your significant other!

17. Read a Genre You've Never Tried Before

It's always good to get out of your box and try something new! Every once in a while, try reading a book from a new genre.

Look for those almost five-star books so know you're reading something that other people who love that genre enjoyed!

18. Have a Cozy Reading Spot

You generally sleep in the same spot, right? And you generally eat in the same spot, right? So, to help cement your new reading habit, why not have your own personal reading spot too?

When you are sitting somewhere comfy, the book is bound to be more captivating.

It doesn't need to be anything elaborate. Just consider having a seat on your sofa be your "reading chair". Get a squishy pillow for that spot or a cute sign that says, "reading nook" if you feel inclined. 

The last step is to only sit there when you are reading. Enjoy! 😊

19. Don't Finish Books You Don't Like

Yes, yes, yes!

This is one of the MOST important tips on this list. Please don't force yourself to read books you don't enjoy. There is someone else out there who has written the same thing in a style that you'll like.

Life is too short to spend it reading dry and boring books.

So, here's my advice:

Read one chapter, and if you don't like it, then drop it. If the book is due, and you have read less than 15% of it, then it's not your type, so dump it.

And it's important to note that if it's a classic book that you want to read or is famous and worth a read, but just aren't enjoying... maybe, it's just not time to read it right now. As you read more, you'll grow as a reader, and you'll get more out of books. Give that book another go in a year or two!

20. Do a Reading Challenge

A lot of libraries have summer reading challenges so stop by your local library and see if they have anything going on! What are some good reading challenges to try?

  • Read a different genre every month.
  • Reading 24 fiction and 24 nonfiction books this year.
  • Read a book published in 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, etc.
  • Read all of the books by your favorite author.

Search "reading challenge" on Google, and you'll find the perfect reading challenge for you!

21. Find Book Recommendations

Read more of what you love and skip what you don't! There are a lot of places to find book recommendations!

  1. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, you can ask your friends and family. Make a list of all the books they recommend to you and start reading through them.
  2. Make a list of topics you are interested in learning more about. There's a book on that!
  3. Make an account on Goodreads. (More on this later!)
  4. Look up the genre (i.e. "fantasy book list") you are interested in on Pinterest. (Pinterest is a great place to find reviews by bloggers.)
  5. Look up a book you like on a store or library website, and then see what similar books are shown.

As you read more books, you'll find that your TBR booklist will get longer!

22. Read a "Fluff" Book Every Once in a While

It's not a waste of time to read an old book that you've already read four times or to read that cheesy "not-so-well-written" book. Every once in a while, you just need something light and easy to read.

Remember that book you really liked as a child? Go back and reread it again!

23. Follow Book Accounts on Social Media

What better way to remind yourself of your new reading habit, than following book accounts so you have to scroll past book reviews to find other content? Yeah, it's kind of a foolproof method.

Now, I'm always trying to cut back on social media usage, so I don't use this tip myself, but I do know there are a lot of book accounts on various social media platforms.

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (29 Actionable Tips)

Keeping Track of Your Reading

24. Track Your Reading

This is so obvious, but tracking your reading, and how many days of the month you read, will help you keep reading.

It definitely helps me! I love being able to see how many books I've read so far this year!

There are tons of ways to keep track of your reading. You can have a "Books Read" list. You can have a checkbox for every chapter in the book you are reading. And you can also have a simple habit tracker with a checkbox for every day of the month.

It's all up to what works best for you!

25. Make a Goodreads Account

Goodreads is by far one of the most popular sites for readers, and for good reason (See what I did there lol?). I highly recommend downloading the app, if you don't want to track your reading on paper. This app has basically everything a reader can want.

Below are some of the highlights:

  1. You can create a reading goal.
  2. You can post reviews of books you read. (This is a great way to re-evaluate what you just read.)
  3. You can connect with your friends and see what they are reading!
  4. You can follow your favorite authors.
  5. You have a list for books you've already read, books you are currently reading, and books you want to read.
  6. When you finish a book, you get a list of similar books to your email account, so you get recommendations for new books to read whenever you finish a book!

There are also giveaways to enter! I haven't found any downsides to this site so far!

26. Have a Reading Goal

I'm big into goal setting, but you might not be, and that's ok. You don't need to write down a ten-step plan or anything. Just decide how many goals you want to read this year or this month.

If you do love goal setting, check out the post above for some tips!

If not, you can do bare bones goal setting, and just write down how many books you want to read on the last day of your calendar app where you'll see it at the end of the year.

27. Create a "Books Read" + "Books to Read" List

Yep, this is exactly what it sounds like! You just need two lists, and you can create them anywhere: on your phone, in your bullet journal, or simply on two sheets of paper.

My "Books to Read" list is very simple. It's just a list of books I want to read. Most of the books I want to read are on my Goodreads account. It just depends on if my phone or my bullet journal is closer.

My "Books Read" list also contains my rating of the book on a scale of 1-5 stars. I think this list is very handy because, at a glance, I can see what books I really liked, and which ones I didn't.

28. Take Notes When Reading Non-Fiction

I know you've read a great personal development book, felt really pumped up in the moment, and then put it down, and never thought about it again. It's time for that to STOP.

You don't have to do anything fancy. In fact, I think you shouldn't.

Just take some notes as you read on paper or on your notes app.

You might even consider having a special reading journal so you can have all your notes in one place, and *ahem* you won't have an excuse to not reread them because they are all in one place.

In fact, I think the best way to read a book and remember it is by taking notes.

29. Keep Track of Your Favorite Authors

Consider following all of your favorite authors on Goodreads so you know when they publish a new book.

A lot of (still-alive) authors also have their own websites so you can go sign up for their email newsletters, and be in the know.

You can also just make a list on paper of your favorite authors to remind yourself to go check out their other books.

30. Screenshot Pages of eBooks

And... last but not least: An easy way to take notes while reading eBooks is to just screenshot the page.

I prefer screenshotting pages to bookmarking pages just because then I know I have everything important from the book already on my phone where I can look at it again later.

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (29 Actionable Tips)

My Reading Routine

All right, I think if you've read this much of the article, then you probably deserve to have an insider look at what my own reading routine is. It's nothing fancy, but it might give you some ideas that will help you read more books this year!

  • I have a "Books to Read" + "Books Read" list in my bullet journal.
  • I read 2-5 books at a time using both Libby and physical books.
    • If the book is due, and I didn't finish it, then I just return it, unless I'm sure I want to read it, and then I give the book another chance.
  • I usually read while eating breakfast, and then sometime in the afternoon or evening.
  • Some months I read a lot, and some months I don't read at all.
  • I added a 2-hour reading limit on my Libby app to help cut down on my phone usage.
  • I listen to audiobooks while cleaning and doing laundry.
  • Right now, I listen to podcasts while running, but I'm considering listening trying out listening to an audiobook. (It might be too long to hold my interest while running as it can get boring listening to the same thing for a long time.)
  • Whenever I finish a book, I leave a few notes about it for myself on Goodreads, and then I write it down on my "Books Read" list.
  • Then, on Goodreads, I add the recommended books to my "Want to Read" list on the app.

That's pretty much all there is to my reading routine!

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (29 Actionable Tips)

How to Read More Books This Year (30 Actionable Tips)

This post was long, but I'm happy you made it all the way through! I hope this list gave you some actionable tips for reading more books this year!

If you want to recommend a book to other people reading this article, please drop the title in the comments!

If you liked this article, you should read some of these ones too!

Thanks so much for stopping by to reading this article! I hope you'll find the time to read more books this year!
Don't forget to save this post for later!

How to Actually Read More Books This Year (30 Actionable Tips)

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