📚 How to read a lot of books every year
I read over a hundred books per year. It's not as hard to do as you might think. Here are my 5 tips to increase your reading.
In 2020 I read 114 books, in 2019 71 books, in 2018 90 books, in 2017 87 books, in 2016 69 books and in 2015 56 books. I'm well on track for about one hundred books this year.
Listen to audiobooks
Without audiobooks it's hard to read over one hundred books a year, at least when you have a full-time job and a family. I listen to them when I drive, go on a walk, do the dishes, cook food, cut the grass and other opportunities like that. That is hundreds of hours every year.
If you actually have to sit down and read the book it will be very hard to squeeze in as many hours that are needed.
Almost all kinds of books work well in audio, fiction and non-fiction. My only exception is really complicated topics, like physics. Then I have to read slowly, stop and think and often repeat the last paragraphs several times.
About 70-80 percent of my total book consumption is audiobooks.
Increase the narration speed
When you listen to audiobooks do it at a higher speed than 1.0. I have listened mostly at 2.0 x speed, but have now gradually moved to 2.5 x.
That is the trick, to gradually increase the speed. If you jump directly from 1.0 to 2.0 it is really hard to follow what the narrator is saying. But if you go from 1.0 to 1.1 and get used to that speed for a few hours or days it is easy to go to 1.2 and so on.
It's amazing what the brain can learn if you increase the speed step-by-step. After a while, if you go from 2.0 to 1.0 it sounds like the narrator is speaking in slooooow mooootiiooooon.
The feeling of listening at a higher speed is great. A life hack. You read two books in the same time another person reads only one.
Put away books you don't like
It might feel like a book you should read, or a book that is supposed to be good, but for some reason you don't like it. That usually leads to you doing other stuff, rather than continue reading it. And before you've finished it, you don't read anything else.
This could have a very bad effect on the number of books you read per year. It might even get you off reading books at all, and instead spend your time elsewhere.
Instead of trying to force yourself to finish a boring book, just put it away. That has been the key for me to go from 70-80 books to over 100. I'm merciless. If a book is not good enough, I'll quickly put it away and start a new one.
Prioritize audiobooks before podcasts
If you listen to a ton of podcasts, you won't have time to listen to audiobooks as well. I regularly only listen to one podcast, and on occasion a few others.
Use Goodreads to track your reading
In Goodreads I keep track of books I want to read and books I've read. Every time I run into an interesting book, I put it in there. You will always have a long list of exciting books to look forward to.
Every year they have a reading challenge, where you set a target of how many books you want to read that year. It's a great way to compete a little with yourself.
I would be happy to have you as a friend on Goodreads.
Reading many books is not harder than that. It's not hard at all, it's a joy.
If you want to find some great books to start with, check out my best books.