Want to read more books? It’s easier than you think.

Chances are you’ve already become tired of staring down at your phone at memes and viral videos. If you’re like me, you’re so done seeing pictures of people with bunny ears and doggy tongues. In 2019 it’s time to put your phone down and read more books. You know, the ones with longer sentences and bigger words that require a sustained attention span and a more in-depth knowledge of the world to appreciate. Good news. Books are still around and you just might be first in line to get some. Head on down to your local Barnes and Nobles or used book store and find — actual books. Here’s how to read more of them.

Choose Books You Actually Want to Read

Don’t read to impress people with your knowledge or to say “I’ve read it.” Read because you really want to, not because it’s on a New York Times Best Seller list. Not because your friend read it or because you’ll seem smart or cool if you do. If you disregard all the books you don’t actually want to read, you’ll have a lot more time for the ones you do. And you’ll be more likely to finish.

Skip the Irrelevant Parts

If you bypass the content irrelevant to you and your purpose, you’ll move a lot more quickly. I’m not saying to skip important parts. But if you’re like me, you picked your book for a certain reason. You wanted something specific. For example, I was reading Waking Up by Sam Harris because I wanted to learn about meditation. But there was a huge chapter on the rationale behind the non-existence of the self. I read parts to get the gist, but ultimately I wasn’t interested in that aspect so I skipped it. I finished the book, satisfied that I got what I came for.

Skim or Speed Read Certain Parts

If you don’t want to skip parts, then speed read them. When I get bogged down on irrelevant (to me) content I start speed reading. I skim super fast. If I then come to a place that catches my attention again, I slow down and read more carefully. Trust me, if you do this, you’ll avoid one of the main reasons that people stop reading books. Loss of interest.

If You Picked the Wrong Book, Move On

If you think there is a prize awaiting you at the end of the book you’re wrong. Of course, there is the satisfaction of having finished a task. But don’t you get satisfaction from other areas of your life where you accomplish things through grit and determination? Reading should be about pleasure and gaining knowledge. If you want a feeling of accomplishment, run a 5k or marathon. That brings us to the next point.

Know Exactly Why You’re Reading

If you want to read more books just to say you’ve done it, more power to you. But you probably read because you want more knowledge and pleasure. Finishing a book just because doesn’t accomplish that purpose. Be honest. If your activity doesn’t fit your purpose, change your activity.

Buy Used Books

The bigger the hole in your wallet, the less likely you are to get that warm fuzzy feeling from reading. You don’t have to spend $20-25 on a brand new hard cover book. Stop by a used book store or a thrift store. You will find so many good deals your head will spin.

Buy Books from Amazon

If time is an issue, order online. You can browse thousand of books with the click of a mouse and have it sent right to your house. This is way more efficient than driving to a book store and wandering around (although that can be super fun). On Amazon you can read customer reviews right on the spot. You can also see other similar books that you might also like to read.

Get Off Your Phone

If you’re constantly on your phone you will have no time to read.  A recent study found that the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. If you cut that down to only what’s necessary, guess what? You now have 80 min a day of free time to be used for reading. Bottom line: You can read more books simply by skipping other useless activities.


Featured image by Nicolas Winspeare — Flickr.