Last year I tried something I had never done before. I tried to read 50 books by the end of the year (and amazingly, I did). But I wondered if my strategy would work again this year.
I thought perhaps last year was a fluke, so I tried it again this year. Guess what? It still works.
Because your life, like mine, is busy, I’d like to share with you 5 ways I’ve found that you can read more books—and 5 ways you can even find some free ones.
(If you’re curious, I’ll also share the 50 books I read—and tell you my favorite.)
Finding Time to Read More Books
I think most of us would love to read more if we only could find the time. I’ve been amazed at how much time we can find if we know where to look for it.
Here are 5 ways I have found that can us read more books.
- Read with your ears. An easy way to read more books is to listen to them on your smart phone. This allows you to read while in the car, while exercising, or while doing yard work. Get started by downloading a FREE audiobook at Audible. They even allow you to exchange a book you don’t like, no questions asked.
- Keep a book on hand everywhere. Take your restroom strategy elsewhere and keep a book handy for idle moments. Keep one in the car for the checkout lines, doctor offices, solo lunches, and traffic jams. Or, if you don’t want a stack of books in your car . . .
- Take your tablet with you. I always have an e-book I’m reading on my iPad mini so that if I’m never staring at the ceiling or stuck reading some magazine. I read more books this way.
- Learn how to read faster. This is a skill that will benefit you all your life. A few years ago I read a great book called How to Read Better and Faster. It really helped me read more—better and faster. It takes practice, but hey, what skill doesn’t?
- Turn off the TV one night a week. Okay, obvious—but in a culture where the average home has the television on 8 hours a day, the obvious needs mentioning.
(Photo: By Eneas De Troya from Mexico City. Uploaded by russavia. CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
If we think about it, we have a lot of time “in the cracks” of life in which you have time to read more books.
But reading more books doesn’t have to cost more money.
5 Places to Find (Free) Books to Read
Here are a few FREE ways to read more books, from sources both obvious and not-so-0bvious.
- Your Nightstand—You could start with that stack of books on your nightstand. They’re totally free. I have a stack there too.
- Your Bookshelf—We all have books we’ve stacked away that we meant to read but never got around to it. You could even re-read a great book you’ve read before.
- Your Local Library—In addition to physical books, most libraries now also lend e-books and audiobooks. Again, totally free.
- Free Kindle E-books—Bookmark this link and check out Amazon’s Top 100 Free Christian Inspirational E-books. You’ll need a Kindle or a free Kindle reader for your iPad or computer. If there’s another genre you’re interested in, just follow these instructions.
- Free Christian E-books —Here are a few good free Christian e-books I have found.
(Photo: By Martouf. Own work. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
The 50 Books I Read This Year (and My Favorite One)
Listed in no particular order, here are the 50 books I read this year. If I wrote a review of the book, I included a link to it. You can see all my book reviews here. I also post quotes I like from many of these books.
My favorite book (other than the Bible) is the first one, Essentialism. GREAT read. I recommend it highly.
- One Year Bible (NKJV)
- To the Jew First
- Exploring Christian Theology: The Church, Spiritual Growth, and the End Times (book review here)
- Cradle My Heart (book review here and interview with the author here)
- Dangerous Calling
- Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue (book review here)
- The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive
- One Thousand Gifts (book review here)
- The Social Church
- On a Becoming a Leader
- A Tale of Three Kings
- Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus (I read it as I recorded the audiobook!)
- Greater Expectations (book review here)
- Prayer: An Invitation to Meet with God
- A Severe Mercy
- Forgiving Our Mothers and Fathers (book review here)
- Whispers in the Vineyard
- Little Things that Make a Big Difference
- Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
- Falling Upward
- Name Above All Names
- Make Your Mark (book review here)
- The Making of a Leader
- God Is Just Not Fair (book review here)
- The One Jesus Loves (book review here)
- Dear Son: A Father’s Advice on Being a Man
- A Woman’s Joy: Loving the Life God Gave You
- Redefining Leadership (book review here)
- Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith
- Words Fail Me
- Lord, Teach Us to Pray
- Eat That Frog
- Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
- The Effective Executive
- A Little Bit of Everything for Dummies
- The Problem of Pain
- The Hope Quotient (book review here)
- The Maxwell Leadership Bible, NIV (book review here)
- The Checklist Manifesto
- Write Good or Die
- How to Tell a Story and Other Essays
- Good Leaders Ask Great Questions
- Vanishing Grace (book review here)
- 10 Women Every Christian Should Know (book review here)
- Names of Jesus
- Exquisite Agony
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years