A few days ago, I was talking to one of my best friends about a book I just recently finished and her response was “damn girl how do you read so fast?!” I just laughed it off but then I got to thinking about what she said. I don’t think it’s that I read faster than most but that I just know how to prioritize my to-read list, how to chose books based on what’s going on in my life and my world, and I have a clear understand of what I like and don’t like. So I thought this might make for a good blog post since I am currently in between books right now and won’t be ready to write another review for another day or so. So if you have trouble checking books off your to-read list or you want to get through your list a little faster then I present to you my exclusive reading hacks.
1. Know what you like.
It sounds stupid and super obvious but before you even crack open a book you should have some basic understanding of whether or not that book is going to be your style. For example, I tend to avoid the romance isle at the bookstore because I know that’s not the type of story I like to read. I can tell based on the cover with a picture of a buff guy with his nipples showing that that’s probably not going to be a book that I am going to finish. So if you are notorious for picking up a book and only reading half of it or find that you are struggling getting through it then maybe you should re-evaluate what type of book it is and if you even like that type of story. Just because everyone at your work read it and loved it doesn’t mean you will (I’m looking at your 50 shades of Grey!) And that’s ok! You just need to find what type of story and genre excites you and then find a book that fits your style.
2. Bigger isn’t always better. When I do a review I always include the page count of a book. I do this for one sole reason: I want the potential reader to know what their getting into and how much a commitment they are going to have to make before starting a story (nothing like being in the market for a “quick, light hearted summer read” and someone recommends to you the Game of Thrones series. Then your stuck poolside reading 848 pages of deception, war, and death while your friends are all drinking mai tais in the hot tub talking about the latest Nicholas Sparks or Sarah Dessen novel.) I don’t want to scare people off by including a ridiculously lengthy page count but I do want people to be informed by how much time it will take to get through a particular novel. My advice here is super simple: when looking at your to-read list, start by listing the books from smallest page count to largest that way you can get through the smaller novels first and get to the larger ones later. Goodreads is a good tool (and free!) to look up any piece of information about a book including page count! It even includes a brief synopsis and a 5 star rating system so you can have a pretty clear idea of whether or not you will enjoy the book and if it’s even worth your time.
3. Keep in mind your state of mind.
I love to read dystopian novels. The darker, bleaker, and scarier the better. But I know even though this is my favorite genre to read that I cannot read them in the winter. I get really bad seasonal depression. I love warm weather, being outside, blue skies, and going swimming and when it’s too cold and dark to do those things I get depressed. The last thing I need when it’s dark and gross and snowy outside is a depressing novel to make me feel worse. So I know when the weather turns and the skies are grey that I need to whip out my lighter reading list. Chances are you are less likely to finish a heavier subject matter book when your feeling down so keep in mind events going on in your life and your world before you start something heavy.
4. Book nook
We are busy people who live and lead fast paced lives and Facebook, emails, Twitter, Tumblr, or *ahem* WordPress, etc are big distractions! When I make time to read, I make sure I go into it completely undistracted. I unplug from all my social media. I turn off my phone or leave it to charge in the other room. I turn my computer and laptop off. I get a big fuzzy blanket and a good brewski and curl up in my favorite spot, and I ready myself to be completely immersed into another world. Reading should be an escape. It should be a way to wind down and escape from the chaos and stresses of life. If you find that you get easily distracted by things when you are trying to read, then maybe you ought to try unplugging too. Set up a technology free space just dedicated to reading. It’s much easier to get lost in a good book when you put the rest of the world on pause.
5. When reading isn’t an option
Maybe you really want to read a certain book everyone is raving about but you would much rather do long division than actually sit and read a book start to finish or maybe you just are simply in a place where you just aren’t able to read but you still want to pass the time (anyone else here get ridiculously car sick like myself?) Then maybe audio books are a good fit for you. They are great for listening to in the car, in a waiting room, while your cleaning house or doing the dishes, or maybe you are one of those crazy people who LIKE to jog! All great places to listen to an audio book. Or maybe your like my husband and can count on one hand how many books you’ve actually read cover to cover. Audio books are a really great option to get through books quickly and still reap all the benefits of the book rather than just going out to see the movie 😉
So that’s all my hacks for this post! Do you have any to add to the list? What methods and strategies do you use to whittle down your to-read list? Leave your ideas in the comment section below to let me know!
As always thanks for reading! And if you have any suggestions for my next blog post, feel free to let me know!