How to Read More Books

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What’s up One Degree fam! This week, it’s just me (Xan) because Nathaniel is pretty busy this week. Plus, the topic of this episode is how to read more books, which is a topic near and dear to my heart. So, we’re gonna keep this really practical. For context, I went from reading a couple of books a year to a couple of books a week so these tips are very much from experience. 

Reading has become “the thing” lately. I wanted to read more, so these tips are some of the things I put into place. So, if you have seen all of the talk about reading on social media and want to start reading more, this episode is for you!

1. Start with books you like, not the ones you want to like

You may not know what books you like, but take a guess! Don’t feel the pressure to read what everyone else is reading or talking about. Read what you know you like. Read whatever is not intimidating to you and build the habit of regularly reading. Go for the low fruit of the books you like in order to implement the habit of reading.

For example, I normally liked reading theology books, not fiction. So that’s what I started with!

Eventually, I did branch out and start reading fiction, which leads to the next tip…

2. Try out different genres

I used to think that reading fiction was a waste. If I was gonna read, I was going to read to learn! But then I read “Book Girl: A Journey through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life” by Sarah Clarkson.

It’s all about how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and shape who you are as a person. She gives tons of book recommendations and talks about how fiction is actually good for you. The discipline of listening to stories can help you with your spiritual life and develop as a person.

I was selling fiction a little short, but this book gave me the nudge I needed to try it. I really enjoy reading fiction now and it has been really enriching for me!

3. Read in different formats

Read in different mediums and formats! Don’t knock ebooks or audiobooks until you try them. This is the number 1 thing that helped me read more. I now read three books at a time- one physical copy, one Kindle/ebook, and one audiobook! It helps to read them at different times of the day and I use different apps too.

I love to use the Libby app. It’s connected to your local library card and it allows you to check out digital books, magazines, audiobooks, etc… There’s usually a hold for books, but if you get on the waitlist for a lot of books, eventually, you will always have something to read/listen to! If it’s an audiobook, you can listen to it in the app’s player. Or if it’s an ebook, it will send it straight to the free Kindle app! You can also listen to audiobooks through Audible, but it’s more expensive.

I normally read fiction books on Kindle and at night right before bed. But, I go through audiobooks the fastest- probably because during this season of life, I’m doing a lot of chores. I try not to listen to them while the kids are awake/around. So, I listen while I do chores or other things before they wake up and after they go to bed. So, that means I listen to a lot of books while I’m driving, folding laundry, doing the dishes, etc…

4. Join Book Clubs, Goodreads, StoryGraph, etc…

I’ve personally never joined a Book Club (#introvert). But they are great opportunities to meet new people who have a common interest!

Or, if an app is more your speed, you should check out Goodreads or StoryGraph (Goodreads is my personal pick)! You can track what books you’re reading, rate them once you finish a book, and see what other people think of the books they’re reading, too! I’ve gotten so many good book recommendations from seeing what other people are reading. It’s so fun to see what friends are reading and what they think of the books they read. Plus, you can put your yearly reading challenge in and it helps you track it!

Honestly, everything’s better in community!

5. Bring a book everywhere

Replace your screen time with reading time! Treat your book like your phone. Get in the habit of bringing a book with you everywhere and picking that up first, instead of your phone. Train yourself!

A little caveat: I’m a slow reader. I just don’t read as fast as some other people do! I’ve tried to train myself to read faster, but it’s honestly not that important to me and I think it would take the fun out of it for me,

One Degree Shift

Read one more book this year than you did last year! Pick one book you want to read and start reading it, even if it’s just a chapter a week!

Also, you should follow me on Goodreads, and I’ll follow you back. I want to see all of your reading recommendations!

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