Struggling to find the time to read? Follow these tips to get through that book faster.
As Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events once said, “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
Reading every day helps drive creativity, empathy and intellectual development, while simultaneously keeping us relaxed.
Though people are getting increasingly busier day by day, we continue yearning to read books as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the world.
Below, we’ve debunked the myth that busy people have no time to read with these easy steps that will prompt you to find the time to read, and to read faster.
Read with your finger
Trying to focus on a mass of words on a singular page can be quite difficult for the brain.
Movement is the key to helping our eyes focus on anything. By underlining the text with your finger, less mental effort is required to adjust your eyes to follow a sentence and actually read it; instead, you can easily focus on comprehending the crux of the story.
By using this method you’ll be able to read quicker – as proven by film director, Woody Allen who has previously said, “I took a speed reading course where you run your finger down the middle of the page and was able to read War and Peace in 20 minutes…” For your information, this book is more than 1200 pages long, depending on the book.
Reading with your finger means that you won’t lose your place and you won’t have to read a line for a second or third time. With this technique, you’ll get through books quicker and your natural reading rate will speed up.
Stop reading books you don’t like and start reading what you love
It’s self-explanatory… yet strangely, so hard to follow. There’s no shame in finding the Harry Potter series too long of a read, or The Great Gatsby too mumbo jumbo.
Like discontinuing a TV show when you don’t like it, you can stop reading a book whenever you desire.
Mark Manson, New York Times bestselling author of non-fiction book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, says, “The point of reading is to serve you, not for you to serve the book.” He also notes that skipping lines, pages or even chapters is perfectly acceptable too.
In particular, with non-fiction books, research can get repetitive, Manson recommends going back to the contents page and picking and choosing the information you’d like to read.
Better yet, put down the book altogether if you’re not enjoying it. Manson says, “I always read 10% of a book before I decide to put it down or not.”
Reading is an incredibly easy and portable activity, so even without scheduling, it’s not hard to find the time. Read on your commute to work, during your lunch breaks, in line at the grocery store, before going to bed instead of doing your nightly TikTok scroll – your time is in your hands. So, pro-tip, keep your reading material with you at all times.
Ultimately, becoming a natural reader is all about consistency. Carve out some time. to read according to your schedule. Set an alarm from 2 minutes to 30 minutes and read at a comfortable rate. On the other hand, set a goal of reading from 5 to 10 pages. In no time, you’ll be ready for another read.
Read multiple books at the same time
Whether it be reading books to help you figure out your 20s, or books that will help you change the way you think about the world, or even good old newspapers – reading different materials at the same time is possible.
Though it may sound intimidating or mentally strenuous, you’ll find that a stack of unread books will disappear a lot quicker when you read more than one book at the same time.
This method is particularly helpful for students, who will be able to benefit from balancing required reading with pleasure reading.
In summary, read on paper, or on your tablet, read non-fiction or fiction – it may seem contradictory, but it certainly adds variety and excitement. With this technique, there will be no need to force yourself through to the end of a story or make out a complex paragraph.
In addition, you’ll avoid a reading dry spell. Instead, you’ll come back refreshed and curious.
Tell your friends
Reading with your friends is just as fun as the activity of reading itself. Kind of like a book club, you can share thoughts about books you’ve read independently or together.
Telling your friends about a storyline or the challenge you’ve set yourself will help you hold yourself accountable.
So, instead of scrolling endlessly through Instagram, you’ll feel more motivated to grab a book – and in no time, you’ll be dying to discuss that epic cliff-hanger of an ending.
If you’re on the hunt for a good book to read, see our selection here.