How to actually read more this year

January 5, 2021

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Let me cut to the chase: I am a regular reader. Yes, I’m a voracious reader, but I’m still a “regular” reader. By that I mean this: I don’t speed read, and I don’t read a book a week. I’ve got two jobs, two kids, and I still like to watch a show with my husband at night. So for me, my general goal is roughly two books a month. Last year my goal was to read 20 books because I wanted to give myself room to have a busy month. This year my goal is 24 books.

But I am VERY passionate about helping people figure out that they can like reading regularly, too. I love showing friends and students how to use Goodreads, how to get books for free from the library, and I get that excited, nerdy feeling every time I find out someone I know is a reader. 

I’m passionate about it because I think it’s effective. It allows you to escape, yes. But it also really DOES make you smarter. Whether you’re a teenager trying to get into a top college, a mom trying not to lose her intellect to the 500 questions about Wild Kratts, or a guy who doesn’t just want to know about his profession, YOU CAN DO IT! Reading really does make you smarter and more cultured.

So, for those of you who want to become a reader– regardless of your reason– I want you to know you CAN! There is a way! I’ve seen it in teenage boys who hadn’t finished a book since The Outsiders, and in busy working parents who don’t have extra time to give (so they say). 

Helping people– teenagers and 50 year olds– learn to like reading is one of my favorite things to do in life. From years of research and instruction on how to help people love to read, here are my best tips on how to actually become a regular reader this year:

#1 You have to want to read.  

This is a basic principle, but the MOST important. (Hey– it’s #1!) When you want something– to exercise more, to eat less sugar, to run a marathon, to learn Spanish– you’ll figure out what needs to be cut back in your life to make that goal a priority. That friend who landed her dream job? It’s because she wanted it and went after it. That time you knitted 20 beanies over Christmas break? You wanted it, so you did it. If you want to read more, if you want to stay sharp, if you want to broaden your understanding of other people, then you’ll make the time to do it.

#2 Leave books everywhere.

Leave ‘em on your nightstand, on your bathroom counter, in your bag, by the TV. If ever you have 10-15 minutes, like when you’re waiting for your turn at the dentist, you can read your book. Those little chunks of time ADD UP! If you don’t have the books near you, you’ll reach for your phone instead and you’re done-zo. 

#3 Start with a book you can read quickly.

You need a quick win. Find a short memoir or a fiction book from an author you’ve read before. Don’t go for Goldfinch to prove a point. No, no. Wait until you’ve gained some confidence that you can knock off a book (or two or three!) a month. 

#4 If you have time to scroll and swipe, you have time to read a chapter. 

Seriously. If you are watching a show with your kid, chances are you’re going to reach for your phone and swipe down to refresh to see if someone responded to your email or how many people have watched your story. If you can do that, you can read a few pages of a book.

#5 Read a lot at first.

The first few chapters of ANY book are awkward. You’re not sure if you like it, not sure if you connect, so you get distracted. Once that happens, you’re a goner and you forget about the book for 6 months. Don’t do that! Give yourself an hour to read the book the first go-around so that you feel like you’re friends and you want to come back to it, even if just to avoid being rude. 

#6 Read books you ACTUALLY LIKE.

If you’re NOT a reader, this is especially true. Don’t read a best seller just because you feel ashamed for not having read it. Read it if you’re genuinely interested in the topic. I’m a people person, so memoirs have always been my favorite. I love nonfiction books, but at this stage of life, they take too long. And I don’t have time for that. So, give me all of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club books and I’m a happy girl. 

#7 Make a list of books you want to read.

I’m a list person in every facet of my life, and it’s true with reading, too. I have a list of books I want to read on Goodreads so that when I’m searching for books on the library app or have an Amazon gift card to burn, I’m ready to get the next book. Fun mail!

#8 Read for 15 minutes before bed.

I know you’re tired, I know you have dishes to do, I know life doesn’t stop because you just set a New Year’s goal to read more. But you 100% deserve 15 minutes to yourself to read. Fifteen minutes is just enough to get into the flow of reading, but not too long that you’ll fall asleep. 

Bonus point: If you’re a parent, you know that reading to them will improve their literacy. So will having them watch YOU read. You’re not just reading so that you stay smart, you’re doing it for your kids, too. 

Whether your goal is 5 books or 25 books, you can do it! 

Work with me

share this post

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

IMG_3688.JPG

Let me cut to the chase: I am a regular reader. Yes, I’m a voracious reader, but I’m still a “regular” reader. By that I mean this: I don’t speed read, and I don’t read a book a week. I’ve got two jobs, two kids, and I still like to watch a show with my husband at night. So for me, my general goal is roughly two books a month. Last year my goal was to read 20 books because I wanted to give myself room to have a busy month. This year my goal is 24 books.

But I am VERY passionate about helping people figure out that they can like reading regularly, too. I love showing friends and students how to use Goodreads, how to get books for free from the library, and I get that excited, nerdy feeling every time I find out someone I know is a reader. 

I’m passionate about it because I think it’s effective. It allows you to escape, yes. But it also really DOES make you smarter. Whether you’re a teenager trying to get into a top college, a mom trying not to lose her intellect to the 500 questions about Wild Kratts, or a guy who doesn’t just want to know about his profession, YOU CAN DO IT! Reading really does make you smarter and more cultured.

So, for those of you who want to become a reader– regardless of your reason– I want you to know you CAN! There is a way! I’ve seen it in teenage boys who hadn’t finished a book since The Outsiders, and in busy working parents who don’t have extra time to give (so they say). 

Helping people– teenagers and 50 year olds– learn to like reading is one of my favorite things to do in life. From years of research and instruction on how to help people love to read, here are my best tips on how to actually become a regular reader this year:

#1 You have to want to read.  

This is a basic principle, but the MOST important. (Hey– it’s #1!) When you want something– to exercise more, to eat less sugar, to run a marathon, to learn Spanish– you’ll figure out what needs to be cut back in your life to make that goal a priority. That friend who landed her dream job? It’s because she wanted it and went after it. That time you knitted 20 beanies over Christmas break? You wanted it, so you did it. If you want to read more, if you want to stay sharp, if you want to broaden your understanding of other people, then you’ll make the time to do it.

#2 Leave books everywhere.

Leave ‘em on your nightstand, on your bathroom counter, in your bag, by the TV. If ever you have 10-15 minutes, like when you’re waiting for your turn at the dentist, you can read your book. Those little chunks of time ADD UP! If you don’t have the books near you, you’ll reach for your phone instead and you’re done-zo. 

#3 Start with a book you can read quickly.

You need a quick win. Find a short memoir or a fiction book from an author you’ve read before. Don’t go for Goldfinch to prove a point. No, no. Wait until you’ve gained some confidence that you can knock off a book (or two or three!) a month. 

#4 If you have time to scroll and swipe, you have time to read a chapter. 

Seriously. If you are watching a show with your kid, chances are you’re going to reach for your phone and swipe down to refresh to see if someone responded to your email or how many people have watched your story. If you can do that, you can read a few pages of a book.

#5 Read a lot at first.

The first few chapters of ANY book are awkward. You’re not sure if you like it, not sure if you connect, so you get distracted. Once that happens, you’re a goner and you forget about the book for 6 months. Don’t do that! Give yourself an hour to read the book the first go-around so that you feel like you’re friends and you want to come back to it, even if just to avoid being rude. 

#6 Read books you ACTUALLY LIKE.

If you’re NOT a reader, this is especially true. Don’t read a best seller just because you feel ashamed for not having read it. Read it if you’re genuinely interested in the topic. I’m a people person, so memoirs have always been my favorite. I love nonfiction books, but at this stage of life, they take too long. And I don’t have time for that. So, give me all of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club books and I’m a happy girl. 

#7 Make a list of books you want to read.

I’m a list person in every facet of my life, and it’s true with reading, too. I have a list of books I want to read on Goodreads so that when I’m searching for books on the library app or have an Amazon gift card to burn, I’m ready to get the next book. Fun mail!

#8 Read for 15 minutes before bed.

I know you’re tired, I know you have dishes to do, I know life doesn’t stop because you just set a New Year’s goal to read more. But you 100% deserve 15 minutes to yourself to read. Fifteen minutes is just enough to get into the flow of reading, but not too long that you’ll fall asleep. 

Bonus point: If you’re a parent, you know that reading to them will improve their literacy. So will having them watch YOU read. You’re not just reading so that you stay smart, you’re doing it for your kids, too. 

Whether your goal is 5 books or 25 books, you can do it! 

Work with me

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

share this post

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