Do I spend all my time reading? Heck, no. I have a full time job and an online business as well as a family. Since I started keeping track of the books I read I found I easily read over 200 books each year. This year I hit my high count of books though. Why and how? I'll share in the video.
First of all, why would you read more books?
Probably because you love reading. I love to read. Most people aren't going to shoot for reading 300 books in a year. That was certainly not my goal, but it happened because I love reading and I read a lot.
You're not going to read that many if you don't love reading, but even if you just want to read a little bit more, maybe your goal is 30 books in a year or 10 books in a year, start where you are. Don't compare yourself to me, but if you want to read more books, let's talk a little bit about how you can do that.
What to stop doing
I'm reading 300 books in a year. I regularly average well over 200. I've been tracking on GoodReads.com for quite a few years now.
I don't watch TV. There's maybe some shows I'll watch the recording later, like one or two, but that's just not how I spend my time. My husband and I maybe average one movie a week that we watch, but even that. I really have the screen off.
My computer screen is a whole different matter, but TV is just really not something I spend time on. It gives me a lot more time.
This year, secondly, both the kids have graduated and have moved out of the house. That does free up some time for things like reading. Let's be honest. But even when they weren't out of the house and we had them half time, I was still averaging well over 200 books a year. There's those are a couple of things to stop doing.
Finding Time To Read
Have a book with you wherever you go. Back in the day, we would go on trips and in my luggage, in my carryon bag, I'd have books and magazines, I mean lots of books, and it was heavy. These days I take my e-book reader, just a Kindle Paperwhite with me on any trips.
I read a lot at home and listen to audiobooks a lot. Maybe 50% of the books I read are audiobooks I listen to. Multitasking, that is a big part of how I can listen to so many books, I listen to audiobooks on my way to and from work as well as when I'm doing things around the house, and as I'm working on the computer…I multitask. Listening to books at work was also common for me for most of the year.
Speeding up the audiobooks allows me to read more as well. I used to do double time a lot and I've cut back to half of that, so it's usually one and a half times and then 1.75% faster. Occasionally I'll slow it down to normal speed, but that just usually goes way too slow for me.
[How? The apps Audible, Overdrive and Libby all have the ability to speed up or slow down audio built in. If you want to speed up audio on a browser I recommend MySpeed. ]
Track Your Reading To Read More Books
Those are some things to start doing to fit more time in for reading. Help yourself by tracking. Like I said, I use GoodReads.com to track all the books. With Kindle, you can add books easily to the GoodReads read shelf. Add it to the read shelf and then I later go in and add the start date or the end date (You need to have the end date defined for it to count on your reading challenge).
Every year GoodReads has a reading challenge and you can choose a book number you would like to read for the year. If you are just starting and don't read often yet out you might choose 12: 1 book a month.
To track audiobooks, go into the goodreads app on your device or browser and add the book, date and shelves.
Tracking helps, it's nice. It's interesting to know and you can actually also go look at some stats and see how many pages.
You can actually see it broken down by year of how many five star, four star, three star reviews. I rarely leave a text review of new books, but I leave stars just for my own personal interest. Frankly, I need the list of books read on GoodReads to sometimes figure out if I've read the book before. (sad, I know) Once you start the book, you figure it out, but I don't remember book titles or authors most of the time.
I read for pleasure way more than I read for learning or studying specific subjects because that's a whole different thing. If you're reading intense books, I doubt you're going to hit that many books a year. I read some more intense books and sometimes I read really long books. In 2014, I read The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and all of those books are 800 pages or more each. I was reading on audiobook, but that's like 13 books of over 800 pages each, something like that. Those took a long time. (you can see that in the image above)
Encourage Reading More
The other thing I came across today, if you want to encourage yourself to read more books, is I saw this app called the Bookout. Check that out on Apple or Android for your mobile phone. You can, I understand, set a goal on there for how many pages you want to read a month or a timeframe. It helps you with reminders. I am definitely not going to do that because I read enough and I think that would take away for me a little bit of the joy of reading if I'm constantly tracking.
A couple of years ago I got pretty close to 300 books. It was in December and it was kind of funny because I started thinking, “Oh, I can make that number.” Then I started going, “Yeah, maybe I should pick shorter books so I can hit it.” I was just like, “That is not what reading is about for me.” It really felt yucky. So I decided “I'm not going to hit that number this year and that's fine.”
Tracking Pages Read For Children
If you're trying to encourage yourself to read or maybe you have a child you want to read and they're already needing to track pages read for school or something, I think that could be a great too to encourage reading. There might be other apps like that. If you know of them, let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear about them.
Things that encourage people, you know people to read, kids to read, are really great. I definitely took part in those kinds of competitions when I was a kid. I would get a free Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas for reading lots of books. My parents were readers, too, so it was modeled for me. The more you model reading to your kids, the more they might pick it up and find that they really enjoy it.
Where To Get Books When You Read A Lot
The other thing I wanted to talk about is where to get books. If you're reading 300 books a year, a lot of books, you're like, “Where do I even find any I'd like?”
How To Find Books You Might Like
First of all, how to find ideas of what books you might like, I would go on GoodReads and I would look at the books you like and see what suggestions they have for that. There are lists. There's a lot of groups that create lists on GoodReads that you could check out. Occasionally I do that.
I'm on Amazon a lot and I see books suggested or I have authors that I like or if I find an author I like, I go start reading all their books. I try a lot of new authors and series.
Also, before I switch, ask your friends what books do they like and start a list. You can do that in GoodReads. You just put it in the want to read shelf. Start a list of books you're interested in reading. That's a great place as a recommendation for people. That's another way I can see what books other people are saying they've read or they want to read. Then it pops up and it brings up my attention so I can look. Oh, does that look interesting? I can mark it as I want to read.
How To Actually Get The Books To Read (for less)
How do I actually get all these books to read, because if I'm buying them all, that's hell'a expensive. Frankly, I probably spend a lot more than I could or should on how I do get my books, but it works for me right now, so it's fine.
Love Your Local Library
First of all, the library. Your local library, love it. You can go to the physical library and pick up books. You can get books on CD. When I get a book on CD, I will actually rip it to an MP3 and put it on my phone and I do not share it with other people. If you do this, listen for myself, and then delete it, please don't share the audio file with others.
For audiobooks, most libraries also have some form of online media where you can get and download ebooks or audiobooks. As well, a lot of libraries are affiliated with Overdrive. Then you can go through Overdrive. They actually have a new, brand app, called Libby. Now you can get your audiobooks and ebooks, too, through Libby. On my library Overdrive system you can send it to Kindle.
I read a lot of those library books right on my Kindle, and that's great. I'll put a lot of books on hold there. Then when I get them, download them, read them whether it's an ebook, whether it's an audiobook that I can speed up.
Find A Book You Like, Check The Library
Libraries are a great resource, and a lot of time even if I find a book I'm interested in somewhere else, I'll go see if the library has it, especially on the online media section and try to get it there. I know I'm most likely to listen to an audiobook or read an ebook than I am a physical book. It's like audiobooks probably number one, ebooks number two, physical books, number three because it's just I'm kind of unlikely to pick them up.
I've got a physical library book sitting around right now. I've had it for awhile. I haven't even started it because it's just … It's unlikely. For me, this is terrible, if I'm reading a physical book, most likely I have to focus and only do that. I tend to multitask which is frowned upon these days, but I do tend to because even if it's an ebook, I could be in the bath. I am a lot less likely to take a physical book into the bathtub with me.
Anyway, back to where you can get your books. Okay, we talked about the library. Next, I signed up for BookBub. When you sign up you can choose the types of books you are interested in aws well as authors and they will send you free or low cost books that you can get from Kindle or Amazon.
I get lots of books from Bookbub. I'll just give it a try because a lot of times they're by people I don't know and, probably like everybody, you pick visually. You're like, “Oh, cover looks interesting. I'll look at the description.” Maybe it looks good, maybe not. If it's free, yeah, probably I'll grab it. Then I'll read it if I have time or if it looks interesting or if I'm drawn to it.
Occasionally I'll pay for a book that I see on there. That's usually if I know the author and I really like that author or something. You can get a ton of free ones. I get these, the recommendations, from BookBub every day. There's probably at least two free ones a day on just that list, their recommendations for me, some days a lot more.
Now, that doesn't cost you anything, if you're just getting free ebooks that are recommended from BookBub. They might not be the top, most popular books out there but you can find a lot of good books that you probably can enjoy, and you'll find some gems.
What About Books You Start Reading But Don't Like
I have and I've found a lot that I don't like, either. I've probably stopped reading more books than I ever have this year where I'm just like, “Please, not this storyline again,” or just, “I don't like this.” I will delete it, remove it. I'll stop reading it especially, I find, since I've been reading so much my tolerance is much lower for what, for me, is just a really crappy book or just a tone I don't like in the book. It's out. I don't have time to waste on that, I read for pleasure and don't want to waste time reading something that I'm not going to enjoy.
Can You Overload Your Kindle With Books? (I did)
My Kindle Paperwhite, which isn't the newest one, is a couple years old. Kindles have a LOT of memory and ebooks aren't huge in size, but you can definitely use all that memory up when you constantly get new books! My kindle has been giving me warnings, often, recently. I have over 1,100 books on there and 90% of those are not read because once I read a book, I'll remove it from the Kindle unless it's one that I read over and over.
The majority of the books on my Kindle have to be from BookBub recommendations. Yesterday I was deleting books to free up room on my Kindle, which Amazon could really do some better ways to be able to look and see those books and categorize them. We won't go into that today.
Kindle Unlimited Program
The Kindle unlimited program is a great place to get ebooks too. It's $10 a month, $9.99, and actually I got a deal where I bought a year or two years worth for savings, so I saved more off of that. The Kindle Unlimited program allows you to get books that you would have to pay for otherwise (10 at a time). Occasionally I will see books on BookBub that are also on Kindle unlimited, so it's not a must have, but it's another good option.
The majority, probably 70% of the books I read in a year are romance books. Like I said, I read for pleasure and because I do a lot of learning about different topics in other ways. Outside reading, I take a lot of online courses and listen to podcasts. So, if I'm reading, I'm usually reading for pleasure. I will read and listen to non-fiction books or other genres occasionally, but the majority is romance.
Through BookBub, normally I can find a lot that I like and enjoy and authors that have a bunch of books that I can then find what I like and do a bunch of others in the series, so that's nice. The other one is Audible. I've been a member of Audible for a couple of years now, and I like it.
Until just recently, I got two credits a month and I would usually save those credits for the deals where I could buy for one credit gets me two books or something or two credits gets me three books or whatever, when they have special deals. Then I would go get them because I need volume. I need a lot of content for how much I read.
I like Audible, it works really well. The App works really well.
Audible Alternative…was it worth it?
I did try another service earlier this year, Playster. They have ebooks, audiobooks, music, and I think videos. I did a free trial and a month of just the audiobook subscription.
The reason I wanted to try that is it was unlimited audiobooks of whatever they had for $10 a month. That's a good deal for me versus Kindle or Audible where I was paying $20 a month for two credits, which is essentially two books unless you're stretching the way I was stretching.
Why I Canceled Playster
I used Playster for a month or two. When I canceled … I'm a software tester by day, not necessarily an app tester, but I test software. The amount of bugs and the problems I had were so frustrating that the deal on the books was not worth it for me, and especially because I'm using that app every day. It was frustrating.
You could have lists that you'd put your books in. That would maybe work sometimes and not work other times. Then the books would be there or not be there or they were there but it would say it wasn't there. It was weird. I would start playing a book. Something would happen and it would lose my place, totally. Then I'm wasting my time trying to figure out where it was. It would never remember the speed I was at, either. Then when I came back in, I also had to fix the speed.
Finding books was also difficult. They had a bunch of categories and stuff, but it didn't really work that well. I think if you knew what you were looking for, it was better, like if you had a title or … Just for browsing, no. It did not work that well. They had more capacity for that than Audible does on the app, but on the … I don't even think it worked that well on the website. It was too much. It was too much for me.
I was like, “You know what? Maybe I'll come back and try this again at some point and they'll make it better,” but from my point of view, they probably bit off more than they could chew; trying to do e-books, audiobooks, music, video in one app. They were doing all sorts of stuff. If your app isn't really working well, your customers aren't going to be very happy. You want to focus on it and then add the other? No. It didn't work for me, but I will add the link if it's something you want to check out. Like I say, it's been nine months now. Could be they're working a lot better. I don't know. If they are, I'd love to go back.
Audible Romance Package (New!)
I went back to Audible, it had been on hold during the Playster trial. Then just last week or the week before, Audible has a beta program or a new program where they call it the Romance Package. You have to be a Kindle unlimited member because Audible's owned by Amazon. You have to be a Kindle unlimited member and it's like $6.95 a month and then all of the, not all of their romance books, but all of the romance books that are in this package, you can listen unlimited 10 at a time. Kindle unlimited is also 10 books at a time. Then when you want a new one, you just return one and you just manage that.
This Romance Package works the same way. You can have up to 10 books at a time. The options seem to be pretty good. Not every romance book they have is in there, but a lot are. I'm really hoping that they're going to expand this to other genres. An unlimited package for many genres would be even better!
I've probably listened to four or five books on there so far, and of course it's the same experience as any other Kindle book. Works pretty well. There's a few things software-wise they could improve on for that, but I like it. When they offered that, I went back to just one audible credit a month. For me, that ended up being a pretty even trade off. The price for me for one audible credit a month plus the romance package was about the same as the cost of two credits a month which, like I said, for the amount I read it's a great deal.
I still have a lot of other books I'm listening to, so I'm not only listening to books on the Romance Package, so I don't have a feel for in six months how many I might be going through, but it's definitely worth it for me.
Where To Get Physical Books For Less
I forgot to cover this in the video, other than mentioning the library. If you prefer to read physical books where can you get them when you read a lot.
Rummage Sales, Yard Sales, Garage Sales whatever term you like is one of the best places to get a great deal on a ton of books. Yes, you have to go to a lot to find someone selling a bunch of books. But you can get boxes of books and make a great deal for them. Estate sales is another good option.
Used book stores or your local Goodwill are great spots as well. Be sure to purchase when you get extra off if you are going to be buying a bunch. You can also check out Craigslist or eBay for boxes of books but you'll have to pick over a bunch you aren't interested in.
Okay, hopefully you got a lot of good information for you, so recap. I read a lot of books. Who cares? You might want to read more books and I've got a lot of good info on that for you!
I was not trying to hit this goal this year at all, it just happened. Reading a lot of Kindle unlimited and BookBub books, I think, results in a lot of shorter length books. Maybe they average 150 pages. I've never done a study of it, but I think a lot of them are shorter. That does bring the number of books up. Certainly not all the books I read are short, but a lot of them I can't see because their ebooks and audiobooks and I'm not measuring like that.
Anyway, to fit more time in for reading, it's less screen time, less TV, more time for yourself and finding some time in those middle minutes when you're waiting in the doctor's office, when you're driving too and from work.
Long baths are a great time to read. Also, in bed at night is a great time to read as you wind down from the day. Sometimes that's supposed to be 30 minutes and it ends up being two hours. Reading clearly is a priority in my life because I really enjoy it. For me it's that down quiet time. I'm an introvert and I definitely recharge by myself.
Books Are A Great Mental Escape
You know what? I love my life, it's great, but we all enjoy that mental escape, which is what so many people get from television, right? Instead of TV you can get that mental escape from books.
I've seen a lot of benefits in my life from how much I read, the words that I know that my husband, who's a teacher, he's never even heard of. I'm pretty sure I know those words just because I've read them in a book and I've got the context of what the word is.
Anyway, that's how to find some more, and for tracking I really love GoodReads. You can find me on there. Go there if you want to be friends with me on there and look at the books I read. Like I said, I admit, at least 70% are romance books. If you don't like that, you might not have an interest in what I'm reading. There's interesting things as well.
Personal Development Books I Recommend
I read a lot of good non-fiction books too. This year it's been a lot of Brene Brown. I think I really only started reading her books this year, and a couple of Gretchen Rubin books. The Four Tendencies I just read recently. It was really good. A new book, I started just yesterday The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. That's what I'm reading right now. I'm about halfway through. Well, it's I usually have a lot of books normally.
Anyway, those are a bunch of ideas for how you can fit in some more time reading, where to get those books, how to do it, how to encourage yourself to read a bit more. I hope this info was helpful for you. If you have questions, I'd love to hear them and I hope you maybe find a little bit more time to read and enjoy it as much as I do. Have a great day.
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