How to Increase the Amount of Books You Read in a Year

How to Read More This YearIt’s time to get a fat brain. The best way to do this is by following my next piece of advice for reading more this year: Read more than one book at a time.

You might be wondering how a scattered mind and attention span will help you succeed in reading more instead of increasing your focus and reading one book at a time. Everyone is different, but if you are a product of this media generation, and if you are reading this blog, you probably are, then you are probably more skilled at task shifting (since multitasking is a myth) than you are at accomplishing long projects.

Channel that kind of behavior to reading and you have a recipe for devouring multiple books at a time to keep yourself interested and constantly learning.

If you checked out the last post on book lists, then you know I pick books from different categories to read in a single month. What I did not mention is that I read between 3-5 of them at a time. For me, this works best with non-fiction, so allow me to explain.

I typically wake up and read 1 or 2 books on spiritual growth. This is a sort of catch-all category that includes anything relating to God that will help me know and love Him better.

In addition, I usually have 1 or 2 non-fiction, non-spiritual books that I am reading. These usually relate to culture, the mind, or professional development in some way. I often listen to these kinds of books on audio, which limits the actual time that is required to stare at the pages of a book.

From each of these books, I shoot to read at least one chapter a day. Now that doesn’t seem too overwhelming, does it?

The majority of my pages (100 a day is my goal-read my book goals if you missed them) come from reading fiction. While I read one chapter a day from the other books, I will read until my heart’s content from whatever work of fiction I am devouring at the time. I never read more than one work of fiction at a time. I don’t know about you, but my imagination gets overwhelmed enough with suspending disbelief and making new friends with the characters in just one story. To try to do that with multiple stories at a time is crazy talk.

So if you initially thought 100 pages a day is outrageous, then this should help explain how it’s accomplished. It breaks down to about 50 pages of non-fiction reading and 50 pages of fiction. It’s sometimes more than this depending on the time I have available and how good the story is or how long the drive is if I am listening to a book. So there you have it, make your brain fat by reading more than one book at a time.

12 thoughts on “How to Increase the Amount of Books You Read in a Year”

  1. I always have at least three books going at once: fiction, non-fiction, and work-related. Often there is a fourth book I’m working through more slowly on personal growth. You are right that this is a great way to get through more books each year – though I fall well below your 100/year and shoot for 20 myself.

  2. I average 2 a week, depending on the material. My biggest struggle – The Bible. I find myself happily devouring Clancy or Keller’s writings on grace, prayer and God as a way of excusing myself not to read The Bible. Because, unlike most books, it’s not one you devour and get to grips with fast! I joined an online reading study group to keep me accountable. Takes will. A book club is also a good way of keeping your reading habit up. And wine intake, if it’s that sort of book club 🙂

  3. I enjoy reading several books at the same time as well depending on my… wait for it… MOOD!! Normally I have a theology book going, a historical fiction, cooking/gardening/home type book and whatever I am reading in the Bible. Phil Lowe, I struggled with reading the Bible regularly until I came across the One Year Chronological Bible. It reads like a narriative and I have fallen back in love with the Word! It might work for you, too! Another thing that spurs me on when I get in a reading low is to invite others to read a particular book wih me to then discuss together. It helps keep me moving forward towards my reading goals. Love your posts, Jessica, even though I rarely post I read them all! Hugs

  4. I understand. It’s definitely tempting to read more about the Bible than the actual Bible. Lisa responded to your comment here with a possible solution, so check out her comment. And I am all about the book club. We are reading Unbroken next. Have you read it or seen the movie?

  5. Lisa, first of all, I am thrilled you are reading. It’s so refreshing to connect with like minds whether you are commenting or not. And what’s neat is that my mom just started reading the Chronological Bible. I have been thinking about trying it because I love the idea of reading it like the story it is. Have you thought about keeping track of the books you read on Goodreads? It’s neat to share what you’re reading with friends. I feel like I might have asked you about this already. Anyway, thanks for reading. It means so much to me.

  6. Jessica, yes, I have been o Goodreads still working on navigating through the books. BTW: I just finished Unbroken, WOW! Of course the book is way better than the movie. If you are enjopying this book, read The Boys in the Boat, when you get a chance. I highly recommend it! Oh, and, Audibles and me are besties! Squeeze Bam for me!

  7. I am loving Unbroken so far, so I will definitely check out The Boys in the Boat. Thanks! And Bam sends his awesome snuggles your way. Have an amazing weekend with the ladies. I will be thinking of you all!

  8. I like this strategy for reading more books. My problem is I like memoir best, but I can only read one memoir at a time.

  9. I love memoir as well, and I completely understand. I can only read one book per genre/subject matter at a time. We just gotta keep putting one page in front of the other 😉

  10. Thanks for this. I need to take more time in the fiction area. I really enjoy a fiction book when I take the time to start it but I often feel too overwhelmed to pick up a new book and read begin.

Share your thoughts...