A lot of people ask me how I read so many books so quickly, so I thought I’d share about that today!
First of all, let me say that my employment status hasn’t really affected my reading speeds. Currently I’m self-employed making custom gold foil paper goods, but working from home doesn’t really mean I’m reading much more than when I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off as a personal assistant. So with that in mind, here’s how I read so much!
Diversify what you read
I’m one hundred percent that girl who’s reading six books at once.
Seriously though. I have a system that I’m always reading at least three (but usually five or six) books. But the catch is, I’m not reading 6 of the same type or genre. I would lose track if I’m reading three whodunnits or two Elizabethan novels or four theology books that err on being dry or hard to engage.
At any given time, I’m reading at least one fiction book, one nonfiction book, one theology/Christian book, and possibly one classic. The fiction is often an audiobook – it’s what I burn through the fastest.
I try to read a Christian book every morning, when I read my Bible and spend a little time praying. I don’t read these very fast, but I love getting a bit of time growing in my faith on a regular basis, and along with my Bible I like to let what I read roll around in my head as I go the day.
I read fiction every night before bed, either on paper or via audiobook. This is also the book I’m most likely to tuck into my purse for dentist waiting rooms and the like.
Finally, I’m usually reading a nonfiction book that’s usually some kind of self-development. This can be professional or personal, but reading these typically takes a certain mindset for me and I’ll plan to read a chapter every few days. I try to read this when I’m fully
caffeinated alert and ready to absorb whatever it’s teaching me.
Audiobooks get it done
I listen to audiobooks like it’s going out of style! Check out your local library to see what audiobook app they subscribe to, allowing you to access for free. My favorite app is currently Overdrive, which has a ton of fiction and a fair amount of brand new selections. But my NC library has about three subscriptions, so you have the selections of multiple apps. Make sure you do explore your options! I always have five audiobooks on hold with my local library (the max). Confession: I still get stuff from my previous local library as well as my Oklahoma library! I especially love it for nonfiction/memoirs, because those are often read by the author. There’s nothing quite like listening to the author read their work: you get such an authentic feel for what they’re trying to communicate, without reading in or having an actor guess at the author’s intended interpretation.
Catch up on the classics
Have you discovered the audiobooks app? It’s free, and it has public domain books available for free download. It’s read by volunteers, and I love finding the dramatic reading (books read by a different actor for each character).
Build it into other activities
I seriously listen to audiobooks all the time. Any activity that doesn’t use my intellectual side, I listen to books. Commuting? Throw on the audiobook. But also vacuuming, running, cooking, or even falling asleep. Don’t overestimate how much you can listen to while doing things that don’t actively engage your brain.
Since I’ve gotten into podcasts, I confess I listen to books a little less. But they’re fulfilling a similar need, just not adding to my goodreads book counter.
Ask your friends
I have no idea why this isn’t more of a thing, but some of my best book recommendations I’ve ever gotten have come from my friends. Ask what people you love are reading! I think this is a great get-to-know-you question: if they don’t read, move on to TV shows, but if they do, I know we can instantly connect over great books. Since living in Oklahoma, I’ve had several people recommend – and then lend me copies – of great books based on what we’ve each read lately! Raiding friends’ bookshelves is a fantastic way to broaden your book horizons, or find your next favorite!
Check out the thrift store
I’m a huge fan of visiting the library. It’s free, for goodness’ sake! What more do you want? I can always buy my favorites on amazon if I fall in love with them.
That being said, one of my favorite ways to get cheap books is at thrift stores. I’ve discovered that this is especially great in college towns – people are constantly buying and then discarding great books. But check out your city’s thrift shops to see if they have a book section. At least half of the fiction I own came from there, and I’ve never paid more than a quarter per book. That alone has kept me working through books I own rather than spending more money on books.
Those are my bookworm tendencies in a nutshell! Most of all, my type-A self is learning not to force it. I haven’t been reading nonfiction lately, mostly because it hasn’t sounded appealing and I haven’t wanted to keep up with it. So I’m learning to not pressure myself by adding that nonessential expectation, and enjoy my beach reads if that’s what is caring for me right now.
What are you reading? Are you a four-books-at-once kind of person, or stick to one at a time??
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