"I want to read more books. I just don't have time! And I wouldn't know what to read!"
It's the response that many come up with when discussing the idea of reading books. If taking up reading has been your goal for a while, here are nine tips for fitting more books into your life.
1. Join Goodreads
Goodreads is a bit like Facebook, but for reading. With a huge book database, you can find nearly any book, put it on a 'to read' shelf or list, mark the books you have read, create custom shelves, leave reviews and ratings, join groups, participate in book clubs, discuss on the group forums, and find books by list. Since joining Goodreads in 2009, my own reading has increased more and more.
2. Set a reasonable goal
A good starting yearly reading goal is 10-20 books, but you can tailor the number to any you think is achievable. That goal can be 12 if you prefer to read one book a month. If you join Goodreads like the first tip suggests, you can set a goal for the year and every book you mark as read in the year goes towards that goal.
3. Fit reading into your routine
Find a point in your day that is perfect for reading. It may take several attempts, but you can fit in it somewhere. I like to read after I wake up while having breakfast and coffee. Others like to wind down with a book before bed. Start with a goal of thirty minutes per day, and you'll eventually find yourself reading for long stretches of time. Perhaps too long.
4. Talk to the bookworm in your life
If you know a bookworm or a well-read person, ask them what to read. You can ask depending on what you're interested in or based on what that person's favorite books are. Talking to someone you know about books is probably the best starting point for begin
5. Visit your local bookstore
If you're not fortunate enough to know a bookworm, ask in your local bookstore. Anyone who works at a bookstore is often a voracious reader trained in the art of book recommendations.
6. Buy second-hand books
For most readers and readers on a budget, buying second-hand books is the best way to fill our shelves with amazing titles. I recommend finding books at a local place, on Amazon, or on [abebooks.com], the last of which also carries special and signed editions.
7. Subscribe to an ebook sale email list
If you'd like to build up an ebook library instead, sites like Bookbub have email lists delivering you daily deals straight to your inbox.
8. Use library resources
You can even read books for free. Once you sign up with your library, there are usually more options than simply checking out physical books (which is good, too). My library granted me access to services like Hoopla digital, which allows up to 10 'borrows' per month on comics, ebooks, and audiobooks.
9. Read what you want
Sure, there are lists you can find online of all the huge great tomes of Literature with a capital "L," but the best way to start reading is to read about what interests you. So, read what you want.
10. Know why you want to read
Reading isn't just a fun past time (though it definitely is that too). It improves your mental well being, develops your analytical skills, reduces stress, expands your vocabulary, and improves your focus and concentration. On top of that, it's important to have personal reasons and goals, even with reading.