7 Tips for Reading More Books in a Year

kleon reading tips

On Twitter, Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative has served up 7 tips for achieving the seemingly impossible–getting more books read in this age of constant distraction. The tips are simple and effective–effective enough to help Austin read 70+ books during a year, a new personal record.

No doubt, you have your own strategies for spending more time with books (and not just watching them pile up, unread, on your shelves. There’s a word for that in Japanese folks. It’s called “Tsundoku.”) If you care to share them, please put your best tips in the comments section below. We, and your fellow readers, thank you in advance.

Looking for free, professionally-read audio books from Audible.com? (Speaking of an easy way to spend more time with books.) Here’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free trial with Audible.com, you can download two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here. Also note that Audibooks.com has a very similar offer that you can explore here.

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Comments (24)
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  • Kathy L Kirk says:

    When driving, I always have a book on DVD to listen to. Makes the drive painless, I “read” and enjoy the drive.

  • Tony H. says:

    1) I read books on my phone.
    2) Thanks to my phone and Project Gutenberg, the world’s greatest literature is available to me for free.
    3) My phone lets me carry hundreds of books with me — all the time.
    4) Here he has a point. I don’t want to fling my phone across the room.
    5) My phone lets me read anywhere and any time I happen to have a free moment. Standing in line, waiting rooms…wherever.

  • Francis Pecquet says:

    The only advice anyone ever needed regarding reading is make as much time as you can to read what you truly enjoy while always keeping an open mind to discover different authors, genres and even reading materials outside of your habitual niches.

    Certainly not paying heed to hucksters of “cool” and “creativity” that present reading as a quantitative accumulative commodified experience for you to constantly show off in social media as others might show off their “net worth” or fancy cars.

    I mean come on guys. I generally enjoy this blog/site, this kind of thinking should be beneath you.

    Hell, by this kind of logic you might as well not bother reading something like, say, a brick like Roberto Bolaño’s “2666”, since in to read and appreciate like that you could have bragged on Twitter about at least like FOUR or even FIVE books man gotta make it to 75 this year!……Sigh.

    • Dan Colman says:

      Francis, It seems like the simple question is how can you discipline yourself to spend more time reading. It’s not about the number of books. It’s about the time spent reading. Hope that lets you come to terms with the premise of the post.


  • Fran L says:

    Buy books on an ereader like Kindle. Then you can read on the Kindle (where you can make the print as large as you need), also can continue the book on your phone or any computer.

    Borrow ebooks from your local library to read on your ereader. These are free.

  • Gina F says:

    I use my phone for reading way more that for phoning. It’s amazing to have access to all these riches, isn’t it?

  • BETTY says:

    Thanks for the tips! But it is really hard with facebook and twitter.

  • Kevin says:

    The graphic only has 6 ways to read more. What is the 7th!? I can’t start reading more without knowing all 7!

  • Sue Hutchings says:

    The 7th one is: turn off the computer and pick up a book. Or just switch off the internet part and open your computer apps for Kindle, Kobo, Adobe, etc.

  • Beaugrand says:

    1.) Buy a Kindle. Any model. The basic reader is about $75, the basic Fire is $50. I have both.

    2.) Download free books. You can store an amazing number of books in a Kindle, text doesn’t take much memory.

    3.) Locate all the free WiFi hotspots within a 5-mile radius of all the places you go to. You need this to download more books.

    4.) Read.

  • Wendy says:

    No cable, therefore I don’t watch tv. Reading is all I do at night.

  • Leo says:

    I signed up at goodreads.com last year. It’s a site where you can rate books, organise them in “shelves” (lists) and mark them as reading, read or want to read.
    You can challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in a year and then keep track of your progress. It made me read a lot more last year and keeps on working fpr 2016, too.

  • Saurabh Hooda says:

    That’s a great piece of advice :)
    Another way to read more is to borrow, lend or exchange books with nearby book readers (same college or neighborhood). Lenro (https://lenro.co) can be used to find nearby book readers.

  • Thor Heyerdahl says:

    Or,get out of your apartment and go embrace life and do something? Don’t sit and read about everything?

  • Eric Gilliland says:

    Just suggesting an alternative approach to reading. I do live a life the best I know how, most people are probably better at it than me I suppose. Thanks for reading anyway.

  • Jean says:

    This makes me so happy. I aspire to do the same.

  • Audrey Kinley says:

    I love your tip on carrying a book with you at all times. I’ve done that before, and it’s pretty fun. I love reading, I have since I was a little kid. It’s always been a good escape from reality. I’m trying to find more books to read right now but I can’t seem to find a place where to look at.

  • Maggie says:

    This is some great advice on getting yourself to read more often! I think that my favorite piece of advice is the one about carrying a book everywhere. Instead of a book, though, I think I’d much rather bring around a reader for e-books. Then I wouldn’t ever have to worry about not having enough reading material.

  • Elaine Brown says:

    I average more than one book a day. I haven’t watched tv for 15 years. TV seems to mesmerise people and they can’t look away. My advice – don’t turn it on.

  • Fernando H. Rivera says:

    I’m interested in philosophy,psychology,and human rights…

  • Ankit says:

    Last Year I Read 5 Books in 6 months time period. This Year I am going to read more than months in a year.

    Reading is a good habit. My first book which I had completed was “Not Without my daughter” By Betty Mehmoody. For the first time, I completed a book but after that, I started enjoying books reading.

  • kanak says:

    Book riot website is a great source for book recommendations. They also have a Read Harder challenge.

  • Dhyana Winant says:

    Truly identify with number four ! I do fling a book across the room, or drop it to the floor, or toss it into the charity bag when I don’t enjoy it. Used books online are the best. I try the library first but it’s not often they have what I seek.

  • Evangeline Englert says:

    It was hard for me to give up reading a book I had bought without quilt as I grew up in the depression age. Now I can do that and give it to a fellow reader or
    a thrift store.

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