Reading nowadays is more complicated than ever.

Raise your hand if you always promise to read more books, or if you have planned to read 50 books on New Year’s Eve and find yourself now with three or four books achieved.

It’s not only you, but simply life seems to have become challenging for readers: stress at work, family meetings, cocktails, meetings, there’s never time! Also, data does prove that, did you know, for example, that:

  • Forty-three million US adults possess low literacy skills.
  • People aged 15–44 in the US spend 10 minutes or less per day reading.
  • 27% of adults in the US didn’t read a book in 2018.

But there are many reasons to strive to be a passionate reader:

  • Six additional minutes of reading per day can significantly improve kids’ reading performance.
  • Children who read at least 20 minutes a day are exposed to almost 2 million words per year.
  • One out of every five children in the UK can’t read at a satisfactory level by age 11.
  • Reading could help reduce mental decline in old age by up to 32%.
  • Fiction novels can make you a better decision-maker.
  • Reading increases emotional intelligence, and consequently, your career outlooks.

Humnblily, in the last three years, I have managed to read around 200 books, and each of them has helped me become a better human. And no, I didn’t sacrifice anything in my life. I have kept doing many things, here is how I managed to do that.

Four ways to increase reading time

Four main factors have mainly helped me to keep with my reading list:

Audio and E-Books

First of all, I have started to listen to audiobooks in dead moments. Audiobooks are a great way to fill tedious commutes or even your fitness activities. Consider also that 300 hundred pages last 4 hours, so potentially you could read one book a week just with an average commute. It’s also straightforward to start: Audible and Storytel offer millions of books at 7-9€/month, which is half of a hardcover book.

In the second place, I have got an e-book reader. Kindles and Kobos can cut a lot of friction between you and read:

  • They are effortless to transport and handle.
  • They can replace phones when you’re a sardine in the metro.
  • If you finish your book, you do not have to wait for the book shop to open.

Looks expensive? Consider that e-books are cheaper than printed books, so you’re going to pay back your investment with 5-10 books!

Getting unstuck and on online

Thirdly, let’s stop getting stuck on books. We should stop treating books as a monotheistic god that need to protect and worship: it’s ok to leave a book if you don’t like it, it’s ok to have more book to start and read when we want. As soon as you stop doing that, reading will be easier.

Finally, I highly suggest you subscribe to Goodreads. It’s a social network about books that incentives you to read in so many ways:

  • You immerse yourself in a culture of books, with much news regarding the books coming out and the titles your friends are currently reading. It lets you think more about reading and thus read more.
  • You know what your friends are reading, so next time you’ll meet them you could start talking about that. Again, when books become a topic, you feel socially pushed to read more.
  • Your friends are also your enemies: you can see how many books they are reading, and you will immediately feel the pressure to beat them.
  • It gives you a scoreboard: you can set a yearly goal of several books to read, and again there will be a positive pressure to beat yourself and stick to your plans. Scoreboards are essential, aren’t they?

All in all

Yes, reading can be painful, but you can see incredible improvement with audiobooks, an e-book reader, less respect for books, and a subscription to Goodreads. What are you waiting for?

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