Do you like walking through used bookstores? I could do it for hours. Reading offers an author’s best thinking on a subject, but it comes at a price more than the book. I’m talking about time.
For many years, December showed up and I realized I had read very few books that year. The past few years, I’ve set a personal goal to read 50 books by December 31. It was a crazy goal because I had “no time.” With a busy family, a full-time (plus) job, a demanding blogging and writing schedule, and lots of home projects on my plate, I held the goal loosely—but pursued it eagerly. Well, I completed the goal. (If you’re interested, I’ve listed the 55 books at the end of this post.)
But more importantly, I want to show you the strategy I used in hopes you can read more books next year.
I would also love for you to tell me how you read books and what books you enjoyed this year.
4 Ways to Find Time to Read More Books
I have discovered that we have a lot of time “in the cracks” of life in which we have time to read more books. Here are a few ways I make it happen:
- Redeem the time—I give some practical tips on finding time in my post called 8 Ways You Can Start Redeeming the Time.
- Always carry a book with you—I always have an e-book I’m reading on my iPad Pro so that if I’m standing in line, waiting for someone to show up, waiting in a doctor’s office, or eating lunch alone, I’m never staring at the ceiling or stuck reading some magazine. I read more books this way.
- Read with your ears—An excellent way to read more books is to listen to them in the car, while exercising, or while doing yard work. You can download a FREE audiobook at Audible.
- Read faster—A couple of 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? You’ll be reading all your life.
4 Ways to Find Books to Read (Free)
Solomon nailed it when he wrote:
Excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. —Ecclesiastes 12:12
With millions of volumes to pick from, where can you begin? And how can you keep books from being a major part of your budget? Often, we read books that come our way via impulse purchases or the recommendations of friends. That’s great, but those books usually cost (and often, they’re worth it).
I have discovered 4 FREE ways to read more books.
- Amazon Kindle Books—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.
- Book Review Programs—I have used two book review programs—from Booksneeze and Baker Books Bloggers—that allow bloggers to read more books or e-books in exchange for an honest review. I have found that writing reviews often helps me process the book’s content anyway. You can see my book reviews here. I also post quotes I like from many of these books.
- Your Local Library—Obvious, I guess, but I had to mention it. Most libraries now even lend e-books and audiobooks.
- Your Nightstand—You could also start with that stack of books on your nightstand. They’re totally free.
The 55 Books I Read This Year
Here are the 55 books I read this year—listed in no particular order.
Tell me what you think: What books have you enjoyed this year? To leave a comment, just click here.
- Holy Bible
- In the Name of Jesus
- The Entitlement Cure
- God is with You Every Day
- Will it Fly?
- Living Forward
- In the Masters Steps
- Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little
- The Shell Game
- Elon Musk
- Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
- The Hiding Place
- All of Grace
- How Can I Find A Literary Agent?
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
- Sir Gibbie
- Great Leads
- The Gift of Fear
- A Short History of Nearly Everything
- Keep It Pithy
- Worth Living
- Resolved: 10 Ways to Stand Strong and Live What You Believe
- The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain
- Rescuing the Gospel
- The Personal Efficiency Program
- The Barefoot Executive
- On Writing
- The Daniel Prayer
- When Breath Becomes Air
- Thinking Fast and Slow
- Becoming a Writer
- Being Mortal
- Talk Like TED
- Made to Stick
- The First 20 Minutes
- Book Yourself Solid
- The ReWired Brain
- A Different Kind of Happiness
- Virtual Assistant Solution
- The $100 Startup
- America at the Crossroads
- What Is Reformed Theology?
- It’s Not Too Late
- Wilderness Wanderings
- Summary of Remote: Office Not Required
- The Quick and the Dead
- Summary of Deep Work
- Accidental Genius
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- The Final Days of Jesus
- The Temple and the Tabernacle
- The Person Called You