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How to Read More Books

June Monthly Challenge: Read a Book a Week

It's the first day of June, which means summer is right around the corner! (Assuming you live in the Northern Hemisphere).


Not long ago we shared a 2019 Summer Reading List to help you challenge yourself to grow intellectually and emotionally this summer. But reading lists are pretty useless if you don't actually start - and finish - the books.

So we're back with our 6th Monthly Challenge - Read a Book a Week. AKA, finish 4 books in a month.

Whether you want to pick 4 books off of our list or you've got 4 on your own list that you've been dying to read, commit with us to finish them this month!

We're going for one book a week, which for the voracious readers among us may be a snooze, but for the rest of us should be a solid challenge. I know it will be for me - self-discipline isn't always my strong suit.

To make sure we can all complete the challenge, I compiled a list of 6 tips for how to read more books.

How To Read More Books

Set clear goals. And be practical.

You should know how many books you want to read each month, and set deadlines for yourself to finish them.

My June Goals:

1) Women Who Run With Wolves - June 8th

2) Becoming - June 17th

3) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - June 26th

4) Mama's Girl - June 31st


Spend some time thinking about how practical your goals are - you can estimate how many pages you're able to read an hour (you can guess that it will be around 45-70 if you consider yourself a "fast" reader - this timing will likely vary depending on the density of the subject material and your interest it). For example, I allotted more time to read the New Jim Crow than Mama's Girl because it's substantially longer than the latter.

I went heavy on the non-fiction with my picks, which is a bit ambitious. Try balancing fictional novels with heavier subject matter if you know you tend to move through plot-driven novels much more quickly than memoirs or other kinds of non-fiction.

Oh, and make sure you actually buy the books in advance. A little investment can go a long way in making sure you follow through on your goals.

Choose a Couple Books To Read at Once

Don't start so many books at once that you don't finish any of them, but do consider selecting two to read at the same time. Ideally, books of two very different styles.

This way, if you're not in the mood for one, you can swap to the other. Not awake enough to read about climate change? No worries, swap to that romantic thriller you've been dying to read.

Get rid of the "I'm just not in the mood for X" excuse.

Block off time on your calendar.

You should designate reading time the same way you'd schedule time to go to the gym. Defend it at all costs.

Set a timer.

Setting a timer for 20 minutes is a great way to motivate yourself to read when you're just not feeling it. And who knows, by the time the timer buzzes, you might be so engrossed that you decide to keep going.

Reading > TV

Reprioritize. Make your mantra "I won't watch TV until I've reached my daily pages goal."

When you find yourself typing Netflix into your browser or turning on the TV, ask yourself - have I read yet today? If no, make it a 1 for 1 swap - "If I read for 30 minutes, I can watch 30 minutes of Netflix."

Make Your Books Your Besties.

...And take them with you everywhere.

If you like reading on Kindle, this should be easy! If you prefer physical books, get into the habit of keeping your book in your bag so that if you find yourself with unexpected downtime, you can make the most of it.

If you're a kindle fan, be sure to download the app on your phone as well! Even though phones are distraction pits from hell, they sure are convenient backups when you find yourself stuck with nothing to do. Better to open Kindle than Instagram.

---

Now get reading! And let us know what you picked.

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