Tuesday 1 February 2022

How to read more in 2023

Reading is one of my favourite hobbies and I do a lot of it. It's something I really enjoy, and losing myself in a book is my favourite form of escapism... okay, after city breaks I suppose! I share a lot of book reviews here on my blog, and my last 'recent reads' post had 11 books in it. A few people asked how I manage to read so much, and I wanted to share a few tips in case you were interested. If you want to read more in 2023 and beyond, have a look below!

Getting books

Buying books can get expensive. But there are plenty of cheap (and free!) ways to get your hands on loads of books. Look out for when Amazon do their 99p Kindle deals, first of all. You don't even need a Kindle device to utilise this - I have the Kindle app on both my phone and iPad. I do find my phone too small to read on sometimes, but it's good in a pinch. It works great on the iPad though! 

Next up, for cheap books - The Works is your friend. Of course they don't generally have the latest titles but they do have a huge variety of books in their 3 for £6 deal. This is available both in store and online. Amazon of course also sell paperbacks fairly cheap, and you can get them even cheaper second hand on there too.

Charity shops, used book stalls and car boot sales are also fantastic for getting cheap second hand books. I regularly dip into our local charity shops (chazzas, if you will) to see what people have been getting rid of. I donate my own books too, sometimes, if I'm sure I won't want to read them again.

Getting free books in 2023

What's better than books, though? Free books! There are various ways to get free books. You can see if your local area has a book swap page/group on Facebook, or just set up a book swap situation with pals/family members. The library is a fairly obvious one, but they are criminally underused. Sign up for your local one and see what they've got in. An easy way to read more in 2022 is by making use of the library.

My favourite for free books, though? That has to be NetGalley, where you can sign up to review ARCs. These are 'advanced reader copies', meaning they are books you can read on there aren't out yet. You don't need to be a member of the media or a blogger to use this platform - simply sign up, and apply to review books. You won't always be successful and you want to make sure you're actually leaving reviews for the books you're reading, or you won't get picked to read more. It's give and take, you know? Anyway, you can see Aoife's video below which explains how it works!

How to read more in 2023

So you've got the books - but now you want to actually read them. Making time can be really difficult, especially as we all lead such busy lives with work, socialising, exercising, sleeping and so on. But if you want to read more, here's some tips!

Make reading a priority

I know it sounds obvious but you have to actually purposely do this, or you just won't read more. If you spend most nights scrolling TikTok, tell yourself you want to spend that time reading instead - put your phone in another room if need be. Usually settle down to watch a film with your cat on a Sunday evening? Dedicate that time to reading instead! It's all about swapping out other things to focus on reading, if that's what you want to do.

Set yourself some goals

It doesn't work for everyone but if you're goal-driven then set yourself the task of reading X amount of books in 2023. I never really track how many books I've read because goals don't always work for me (I find the idea of having to hit even a self-imposed target pretty stressful), but this is a fantastic trick for a lot of people.

Incentivise reading

I saw someone say they put £1 in a jar for every book they read - I think it was Hollie in Wanderlust - and I have absolutely stolen that idea. There is now a jar on my bookcase which will hopefully be full of money by the end of the year, ready to spend on more bloody books! This is definitely how I'm hoping to read more in 2023 and beyond.

Organise your bookshelves so they look more appealing

Mine are in alphabetical order, making them easy to navigate and just, in my mind, a lot neater. I also have my hardbacks on a separate bookcase, also in alphabetical order, so they don't look out of place as I don't have many. Some people organise theirs by colour which looks really funky. Having a system in place means it'll be less overwhelming when it comes to choosing a book to read.

Create a TBR list

Also known as a 'to be read' list, this is just a list of the books you want to read in a set period of time, be it a month or a year. Organising your reading list will stop you from getting into the "I don't know what to read so I won't read anything" habit!

Start a book blog

If you have somewhere to talk about books and write reviews, you'll feel more compelled to read as you'll want to have something to write about. The same goes for Booktube, Bookstagram and BookTok too, of course - it's a great way to read more in 2023.

Remember, don't force it. I read a lot - some people read way more than me, some people read way less. And that's okay! Read what you can and above all, enjoy it. Leave any other tips you have in the comments below...

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