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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Spike Jonze Presents a Stop Motion Film for Book Lovers

Books Savored in Stop Motion Film

“Tsun­doku,” the Japan­ese Word for the New Books That Pile Up on Our Shelves, Should Enter the Eng­lish Lan­guage

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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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