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Header Image: How to Read More Books
March 19, 2020

There is no time like the present to read more books!

Although I espouse the many benefits of reading daily in my book, “Live the Life You Have Imagined,” I recently discovered some NEW ideas on how to read more books.

The average American woman reads just over one book on average per month.

In the last thirty days, I have consumed 9 books, an outstanding number for me. What if you could read just one more book a month. You'd almost be double the average. Imagine what you could learn or be encouraged to do by reading those 12 more books.

So what did I suddenly start doing differently to reach such a high number?

First, you must know that it was so simple and easy that I didn't realize I was reading that many books until I started thinking about it.

Second, did you notice that I used the word "consumed?" If you're just thinking about "reading" words on paper, you're missing out.

Image of a woman reading a book

Here's the technology tricks and a few simple, small habits that I used. Here's how to read more books yourself:

  • Listen” to your Kindle books on Alexa. I buy lots of Kindle books and I do read them while waiting at the doctor’s office or times when I have just snippets of time to read. But learning Alexa would read the books to me was a great find because I could "read" my Kindle books while doing other things.
  • Listen to books, but not just on Audible.com. Check out the app Chirp Books. They offer daily, bargain-priced books to listen to at your leisure or on the go. There are other audio apps too, so just look around.
  • Read or listen to summaries. I read my first few summaries because quite frankly, I didn’t have the time to read an entire book and I still wanted to join my book group’s discussions. I was delighted to discover that I could more succinctly explain the main points when it came to the discussions! Now, I listen to the summaries to get the main take-aways, which is usually enough for me. If I want to delve a little deeper, then I buy the full version.
  • Read or listen to a variety of books at the same time. At times I would get stuck reading just one book. I didn’t feel like reading another chapter in a self-development book, so it would remain unread for a bit (or maybe even longer). Instead, I have found that having various books in various topics can help me read more. When I don’t feel like reading a self-development or business book, I switch to a romance novel. (Spending time reading something as frivolous as a romance novel was not even on my radar previously.) It is a great change of pace. It can be relaxing, yet thought-provoking, but doesn’t require as much concentration as other types of books. I thought switching between books would be difficult, but it was surprisingly easy. For me, reading about 4-5 books at once is about all my brain can handle.
  • Buy books as inspired and keep a variety on hand. Make it convenient. Leave Alexa in the room where you’re more apt to have her read to you. Have lots of books on Kindle or in audio versions, and stacks on your nightstand. Make it easy to read or listen. These are basically little ‘reminders’ to read more. When you hear about a new book that might interest you, check it out on-line right then. If it’s not to your liking, fine. But if it is something you want to know more about – buy it. On-line shopping is easier than ever.
  • Say NO to what your friends suggest if necessary. Like I mentioned above, check a book out on-line and see if it resonates with you. It might not. Don’t fill up your reading list with books you aren’t really going to read just because your friend suggested it. Everyone is on their own journey of self-discovery and self-development. You need the right books for YOU!
  • Meditate or pray on what books you are ready to read. Ask God or your higher power what topics or authors are best for you at this time in your life. You might just hit on that ONE BOOK that transforms your life!
  • Change where you listen to books. For instance, I found I can listen to a book in the morning when I am getting ready for work. That is a lot of time (20-40 minutes per day) that I used to just listen to music. Listen while you have your morning coffee or tea, take a walk, sit outside for a short break, shop at the grocery store, in a tanning booth, cook or do your food prep or during your usual commute in the car.
  • Read in a comfortable setting with good light. Sometimes I would try to read, but it just wasn’t conducive or inviting enough. The chair was too hard, and it was difficult to see the print. I solved that by consciously finding a comfortable chair with an ottoman, and a good, really good, reading lamp. I created a comfortable place where I can read without eye strain. Now the issue is getting me to put the book down and get out of the chair to do other activities. I could literally sit there for hours. This is remarkable for someone who didn’t grow up with a reading habit or even develop such a habit until recent years.
  • Establish rituals for reading. Whether it is your morning routine with 15-20 minutes of reading, your commute time with audio listening,  or a night-time ritual before bed, make your reading ritual non-negotiable. Look for new opportunities to read more often so you can slowly increase the minutes you spend reading or listening to books.

Woman reading in a book store.

This leads me to the last insight I want to share – ALLOW YOURSELF the time to read.

It is not just an escape (although sometimes that is a great idea); nope, it can be a time of reflection. Reading can be a time of learning and growth. We can relate to those in the stories – even business or self-development books have stories.

We don’t have to experience everything in life to learn from it. We can learn from others. That’s often why authors  (like me!) write their books in the first place!

Here are some ideas for pondering and learning more from your books: How does the main character’s life compare to mine? What can I learn from her situation? What can or should I do differently in my own life? What small step could I take to incorporate the author’s suggestions into my life?

When you allow yourself the time and space to read, it makes you open to new horizons and you learn to relax. Most of all – you are letting your subconscious know that reading is important and that YOU are important and certainly worth that small investment of time!

 

Here’s the list of books I finished reading or listening to in the last 30 days:

  • “The Magic of Thinking Big”, David Schwartz, PhD
  • “Tiny Habits” by BJ Fogg, PhD
  • “Co-Creating at Its Best” by Esther Hicks and Wayne Dyer
  •  “The Fulfillment” by LaVyrle Spencer
  • Summary of “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
  • “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
  • Summary of “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”, by Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • Summary and Analysis of “Becoming Supernatural” by Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • Key Takeaways, Analysis and Review of “Mindset” by Carol Dweck

What books have you read lately? Share the titles in the comment section! Have a tip of your own on how to read more books? Share those too!

  • “Janie has been an inspiration to me. Her no-nonsense, no-fluff approach to finding the most important ways to make the biggest impact on her own life has helped me grow in my life too.”
    Beth Bridges
    The Networking Motivator
  • “‘Live the Life You Have Imagined’ covered everything I needed to be reminded of as I continue life's journey in an easy, concise format that will allow me to go back to it over and over for direction and inspiration.”
    Pat Birkle
  • “Janie, You are my inspiration! I have enjoyed watching your life grow as you share your best life with others and I can hardly wait to read your next book.”
    Karen Bowser
  • “Janie's writing is engaging and entertaining from the start. She challenges you to reflect on daily choices and make/or remake future decisions.”
    Susan Zumwalt

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