My passion for books started even before I could read. My parents told me that at one point, when I was five years old, I was holding a book and pronouncing every word that was written. They thought that I somehow learned to read by myself.
The truth is that my parents used to read that story to me so often that I memorised every word. The obsession with reading books started a couple of years ago. I saw an Internet challenge to read 100 books in one year year, so I decided to go for it. The first year was a struggle. It took me two weeks to read a 300-page book. That was too slow. I needed to read faster and still remember what I had read.
To read 100 books a year, you need to read at least two books per week. So, I started researching, trying different techniques and at the end of the year, I achieved my goal. How did I manage to do it, you might ask?
Here are the 10 pieces of advice that can help you read more and faster:
READ BOOKS THAT INTEREST YOU
From all the advice I will give you, this is the most important one. If you read something you don't like, it feels like torture and obligation. Eventually, you develop aversion to reading which discourages you from picking new books.
Reading books is not something you feel you have to do - it needs to be something you want to do. When you feel excited about the book you are reading, you are on the right path to achieve your goal.
START READING BOOKS THAT ARE EASY TO UNDERSTAND FIRST
I would recommend reading easy and short books first. You will find more books in a shorter period of time which will boost your motivation to read more. As time passes, start adding a bit more difficult books to your list.
SKIP FLUFFY STUFF
Even when you find a book you love, it might not offer the knowledge that you are trying to gain. This is why it is okay to skip some parts of the book. As a matter of a fact, I would even recommend you to do so.
DON'T READ BOOKS YOU DON’T WANT TO
Personally, I try to finish every book I have started. However, sometimes I put a book away and don't pick it up again. When a book is badly written, difficult to understand, when characters are boring and you are not interested in finding out what comes next or how the story ends, it is preferable to stop reading it.
If you keep reading something you don’t enjoy, it can put you in a mood called ’a reading slump’. It means you will not be able to pick up a book and read it because you don’t feel like reading at all. Besides that, books you don't like will take twice as long to read then when you are reading a book you enjoy. If you are reading books you are interested in, it will help you achieve your goal much faster and have more fun along the way.
ALWAYS CARRY A BOOK WITH YOU
I always have a book, ebook, or audiobook with me. Now more than ever, it is easy to always have a book with you.
When I was younger, I couldn't afford to pay for audiobooks, Kindle, or even print books. I would rent a book from the local library and carry it everywhere I would go. Now, I can turn on an audiobook when I walk home from work, when I am at the gym, etc. The excuse that I don't have enough time to read no longer works.
READ MORE BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME
I know that this might seem intimidating, but, trust me, it's not. You will remember things you have read in each book without getting confused. The trick here is to read books of different genres. For example, you can read a fantasy book and a business book. The first one is fun, the second one is educational. In this way, you won’t mix the topics and you will remember what each of them is about.
CHANGE THE GENRE
In order not to get bored with books, I sometimes change the genre of the book that I am reading. I sometimes read a fantasy book and a business book at the same time. While fantasy books are quick and fun, business books are interesting and practical.
The level of reading difficulty is important, too. If you start reading something fairly difficult, choose something lighter and more fun for your next read. Don't be afraid to read different styles or genres you otherwise don't read so often.
READ IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEDIA
Reading books in different types of media helps me read even faster. When I listen to an audiobook I can read two times faster which means I will read a 4-hours long audiobook in just 2 hours.
However, If you have enough time to sit down and read something, it's a good idea to go for printed pages. Listening to an audiobook comes in handy when doing something else, like washing dishes or driving a car. Ebooks are a good option (although I don’t prefer that format) if you are traveling and you can't take a print book with you.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
To read a hundred books in a year, you have to read an average of two books a week for fifty weeks, with just a couple of weeks left for your spare time activities.
The trick here is to keep a track of what you are reading. My suggestion is to have a book journal where you will write down each book you read, including the date when you finish reading it. You can also add a short review of the book and rate it.
You can find all kinds of tools online that can help you track your reading progress and organise your books by different criteria. Goodreads is one of them. I love it because it shows how many books you still have to read to reach your goal.
It is perfectly fine not to read every day. You don't have to read every day to achieve your goal. I don't even read every single day. It’s like when going to a gym and trying to get into shape. If you go to the gym every single day you will soon get tired, get sick of it, and eventually give up. Persistence is the key to success.
Reading 100 books a year is a goal I’ve been trying to reach for the past few years despite being a full-time student, working, learning new languages, and exercising regularly in my free time. The key to success is to be consistent and do things because you want it, not because you have to. Keep in mind that it is okay not to read 100 books, but rather to enjoy what you read and gain new knowledge with every new book. What book are you planning to dive in next?