Five surefire strategies to get you reading more books

 

I crunched the numbers, I did the math and the simple truth is that I will likely only read another 2675 books in my lifetime.

Seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

But, there are an estimated 130 million books that have been published in the world. With many more published every year. So, even taking into account the books I have already read, I will only ever read a tiny fraction of the world’s literature.

Did you just glance at your tbr and feel a little disheartened? Sigh. Me too.

From here we could sink into despair. Close our current read and never open another book again. What, after all, is the point? We’ll never get through them all, there will always be millions of books that we’ll never read.

Or, we could devise some crafty and clever tactics to beat the odds!

I’m going with the latter and if you’re with me, I’ve compiled a list of surefire strategies* that will help you to read more books.

*I offer no guarantees that these strategies are surefire or even safe!

1. BUILD A TBR PILE!

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“I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.” Dorothy Parker 

As the inimitable Dorothy Parker says, having a stack of bright and beautiful books sitting on your bedside table, stacked around your living room, piled by the front door, is a wonderful way to ensure your next read is never far away.

A towering tbr pile that could be construed as intimidating, and is possibly structurally unsound, means that you’ll never be caught short without a book. That extra pressure that feeling as if you’re drowning in unread books is, I’m confident, sure to spur you on.

2. EXPAND YOUR READING HORIZONS

As a general rule, water and paper don’t mix. Book in bath is an exception, but have you considered book while reading the dishes?

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All you need is a suitably sturdy window sill, a bulldog clip and a sink full of dishes and you’re good to go. Just think about how many hours a week you spend with your hands shoved into that greasy, soapy water and imagine how much better that experience would be if you could read a book with your hands shoved into that greasy, soapy water!

3. ALWAYS BE PACKING

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This seems like a no-brainer, but how many times have you found yourself waiting, standing, sitting, just killing time with no book at hand? What about all those moments wasted at the traffic lights or while you wait for your caramel mocha double shot iced latte? Could have got a quick couple of pages in.

So, next time you’re rushing out the door, stop and grab a book, or two, from that towering tbr pile you’ve stacked up by the front door and never find yourself waiting for the lights to change with nothing to do again.

4. GET MULTITASKING LIKE THE MILLENNIAL YOU ARE

On average, we sleep about eight hours a night, right? Wasted reading time, if you ask me. Of course, sleep is apparently also somewhat useful. But, what about if you could sleep and read at the same time?

Enter: audio books.

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There is evidence to suggest that even when we sleep we are still processing the sounds and smells around us, so why not process an audio book?

5. GET LEAN, REAL LEAN

If all else fails…read shorter books!

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Less 900 page behemoths, more 150 page novellas please and watch that books read number skyrocket!

Happy reading!

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5 thoughts on “Five surefire strategies to get you reading more books

  1. Great post Kirby. My TBR pile is becoming an OH&S hazard so I definitely need all the help I can get to get through it.
    I’m keen to try reading whilst washing the dishes too. But if you don’t have children you can enlist to help you, how do you turn the pages? Kitchen tongs maybe? Chopsticks?

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    1. Hmm, good question! Obviously a small child would be useful in this situation but in lieu of getting yourself one of them, I think kitchen tongs would be a perfect solution. Just not the ones you’re currently washing. Nobody likes a soggy book!

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  2. I think my heart sank when I saw those stats. I never really thought about the *number* of books that are actually out there – 130 million? Sigh. My tbr list lies in both paper book piles and an e-book pile and they keep growing. I think a book read in the bath is a great idea to reduce the tbr list – but as pages and water don’t mix someone should invent waterproofing – a waterproof e-book or waterproofed book pages. That may be a surefire way of reducing that tbr pile.

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  3. I’m also a little concerned about the size of my TBR pile beside my bed, and the fact that a second pile has started to grow on the coffee table. My challenge is to make more time to read and I think that a small book tucked into my handbag for all those waiting moments may well be a very useful start.

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  4. “Always be packing” really is the best advice and the novella definitely helps!
    I’d love to know your take on speed reading and curating/managing that OHS incident waiting to happen on the bedside table—the TBR pile. I’m certain I’ve lost books there in permanent pending (purgatory) guilt status.
    I’m really keen to try the sleep absorption method, there’s a few unfinished classics that would be well at home there for me. It also made me think of my attempted audio book “read” of Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse 5 as read by Ethan Hawke—his odd reading rhythms and voicing might have given me equally odd sleep, but would have been wildly appropriate for the text.

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