Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

10 Ways to Read More Books



How do you read so many books?

Mom and I? We get that a lot. Like, when we read 403 books in one year, 2023.

Short answer: One of us is Simply Brilliant. And reads at warp speed.

“Simply Brilliant.”

The other has to work at it (Hi, Mom). So if you’d like some ideas about how to read more and fit more books into your day, here are some tips. (Mostly from the Simply Brilliant one. Mom’s just sorta along for the ride, if ya know what I mean).

10 Ways to Read More Books (the Mom-ish Shor-ish Version):

1. Turn off the TV.

2. Multi-task. Read audio books while cooking, doing dishes, driving, etc.

3. Use voice mail. Prodigously.

4. Ask the library staff for help. A lot. They’re a huge help, from placing inter-library loans to suggestions for every category and genre.

5. Realize sleep is over-rated. I don’t really need 8 – 9 hours of sleep a night. I’m usually fine with 5 – 6 hours.  That’s an extra 3 – 4 hours a day to get busy.

6. Get a ‘reading buddy.‘ As you know, my good dog, Kimber, happily joins me through thousands of pages. (A golden retriever/black lab/border collie mix, Kimber isn’t really a ‘lap dog.’ She just thinks she is.)

“You gonna eat that?”

7. Set up “reading roosts” – places where you can disappear (or almost disappear) for a while and read, undisturbed.

I have a recliner off a living room window with lots of light, pillows, a big fluffy quilt and a snack stash. Or a closet off the spare room upstairs. I cleaned it out, moved in a rocking chair and ottoman, added a space heater for early mornings, and cleared shelves for books – in – progress. I grab reading lists, munchies and a note pad, and close the door. No electronic devices allowed. (A library cubby hole also makes a pretty good “roost.”)

8. OverDrive. (Now Libby.) Library ebooks and audiobooks via Amazon. If you don’t have the app, now would be good.

9. Prioritize. Like, I cut out unnecessary meetings. This frees up about 4 – 6 hours a week. I dial back on social media, limiting my time to no more than 30 minutes a day. Often less. I evaluate my endeavors and drop those with limited ROIs (return on investment), like regular posting to other blogs/guest posting.

10. Re-read.

Some titles are better or quicker than others. For example, the sparse free verse of Karen Hesse’s Out of The Dust or Calvin Miller’s The Singer read much faster than the detail-laden, history-heavy style of Robert Matzen’s Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe, or Dinesh D’Souza’s magnum opus, Stealing America: What My Experience With Criminal Gangs Taught Me About Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party. Since I’m already familiar with the plots, re-reads are also swift.

The Real Secret

Now, the real secret to reading more books? I. Love. Books. And I love to read. Always have. Ever since I was ‘knee-high to a grasshopper.’ For more, see: Hard Night: Growing Up in the Land of Endless Summer.

Is the library open yet?

How do you fit more reading into your day?


4 thoughts on “10 Ways to Read More Books

  1. May you have and endless year of reading!!!

  2. I read about eight books a year, once in a while, I make it 9 or 10–all depends on pages and size. An example I just finished “The Spanish/American War” by Goldstein and Dillon with lots of pictures and only took 2 weeks. Reading “War” (early Afghanistan) by Junger (an embedded journalist) and can not put it down, should be finished by next Wednesday. So might make 10-11 this year—BUT 100 in 90 days? The wife would divorce me! Well done, now let your eyes rest…Grin PS look forward to this next adventure!

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