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November 8, 2015

How Do I Read So Much?

As a person who, on average, reads 12 to 20 books per month, I am a pretty fast and productive reader. One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, "How do you read so much?" I usually answer with the very vague (and most likely annoying) answer of it's MAGIC. In actuality, I do have some things that I do and tips that I could share with you guys that I hope will help.

Just for some statistics, I can read 3-4 pages in one minute and can read 120+ pages in one hour. Just remember, everyone has different reading speeds and all speeds are okay. It's okay to read at the pace of a snail. IT'S OKAY. You're reading! And that's amazing. These are just some tips that may help you.

I bring a book with me EVERYWHERE I go.

And I mean, EVERYWHERE. Whether I'm going to school, the doctor's office, the grocery store, a restaurant, etc. I've read so many pages during car rides, in between classes, waiting for my appointments to start, and even walking around grocery stores. I usually go grocery shopping and I have mastered the task of pushing the cart and reading a book at the same time. I don't know if I would recommend doing that but practice makes perfect. ;) You may only get to read a few pages at a time but they're a few more pages than you would have read if you left your book at home.

I read during commercials.

I know a lot of you avid readers also love watching TV. I know lots of you watch Netflix but if you're watching regular programmed television, read during commercials! I usually mute the TV and read until my show comes back on.

I (attempt to) put away all distractions.

When reading, I usually put my iPod far, far, far away from me. Another thing I really enjoy doing is posting a tweet on Twitter saying, "I am not allowed back on Twitter until I reach page X. I am on page X right now." This way I am being held accountable and I can't go on social media until I have read a substantial amount of pages. I usually read 50-60 pages before allowing myself back on.

I balance activities out.

If I do hours of homework and finally finish, I am usually too tired to read which sucks because throughout the entire school day, the only thing I want to do is READ. If you have a lot of homework/studying/work to do, balance it out. Do 50 minutes of homework and then read for 10 minutes. You'll still be getting more homework done but you can also slam through some pages!

I make daily goals.

At the beginning of each day I usually look at my current read and make a goal of where I want to get to that day. I usually put sticky notes into my book at the place where I am hoping to reach that day and that usually helps a lot. I like making goals and having to-do lists so this won't work for everyone but if you're goal oriented (like myself), definitely try this out!

I create a reward system.

It may sound crazy BUT reward yourself for reading! I usually get my favorite snack (lately I've been using M&M's from Halloween) but I will make a reward system. For example, every chapter I read I get to eat a M&M. It may sound weird but I'm going to really want that M&M so I am going to force and push myself to get through another chapter! Before I know it, I need to go and refill my cup with more.

I participate in reading sprints.

I know that everyone doesn't enjoy reading sprints but I also know tons of people that do. If you don't know what they are, you usually pick a time and length (for example, :00 for 20). You then read for whatever length you guys decided on and after the sprint is over, you come back and report how many pages you read! I find these to be super motivating so I try and participate in these often. I also will sometimes host some on my Twitter!

I make weekly TBRs rather than monthly TBRs.

Monthly TBRs work great for some people but there's tons of people who make them monthly but NEVER stick to them. Usually, it's because they lose interest in reading those books at that point in time. I've found that making weekly TBRs have really helped me. Usually every Sunday night, I sit down, look at my shelves and think of what I have to do that week. If it's a busy week, I will pick 1-2 books I have been really looking forward to reading and if it's not so busy, I will usually pick 3-4 books. This helps because I am usually still interested in them and it's the books I am interested in RIGHT THEN. TBRs can be really great motivators for me but not if they are too spread out.

These are all things I do that make me read more and read faster. What are your tips on how to read so much? Did any of these help you? Let me know!


  1. These are awesome tips Jacquelyn! I read around the same amount per month and one thing I find helps me, which may also help your readers, is audiobooks. If I have to clean or do some chores, I throw in my headphones and listen to a book while doing it. It helps me read and get the stuff done I have to!

    I may start doing weekly TBRs though, that's a good one. I find some times I am going by what I have to have read next for blog tours or review requests more than anything lol so some semblance of a plan might be nice for the week!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    1. Thanks, Jamie! I was thinking about putting that on the list, since it helps so many people. It sort of escaped my mind, aha. I've only listened to 1-2 audiobooks and I can't really stay interested/attentive to the audio. I always need to be reading along. I know they help tons of people though! :)

      Yeah, I love the weekly TBRs. Super helpful! If you start them, let me know how they go for you!

  2. I read about the same and as fast as you. I get asked this all the time too. How can you possibly read 300 books a year??? Its all about timing and commitment. One thing that works well for me is I set my alarm on my phone and I get up at 9pm and go read every night before bed.

    1. I usually go up around that time too. I always try and read something, even if it's just a few pages, before I fall asleep! :)

  3. I wish I was able to stay as motivated as you are. I feel like I would read lots, but after reading a couple of really good books, if I find a mediocre one, I find myself losing the urge to read so quickly. In October I only read 5 books because I fell into a 2 week reading slump! Also, when I have a lot going on and occupying my mind, I find it difficult to concentrate on reading. I wish I could be as determined to read as you are though. That is so amazing!

  4. Thank you so much for all of these amazing tips! I'll be sure to put some in pratice :)