How To Read A Lot

There’s a post over at Read Aloud Dad’s blog about — somewhat ironically, given the title of the blog — how reading aloud doesn’t actually matter as much as we think it matters.

What really matters is reading the right stuff.

This echoes someone else’s advice I read about a year ago. That someone had read a lot of books in a single year and he said that the secret to reading a lot of books is reading only what you feel like at any given time. Forcing yourself to read books you think you should read is not a good way to read a lot of books, even if you would benefit from the perseverance.

Too true. Over the past two years I’ve read a book a week, which is quite an increase on previous years. I have done that so far by reading exactly what I want to read. Even though I belong to a book club, I don’t read the designated novels unless I really want to. I still have enough to say after reading the first chapter or so, even if it’s only about how I wasn’t motivated to continue.

This is one of my pornography to-be-read piles.

book spines inward

Some books are concealed in boxes. For others, I have turned the spines inward because there’s this strange thing that happens when I see a book peeping out at me from the cupboard. A couple of strange things.

  1. Its very presence reminds me that it hasn’t been read yet. A silent nag, if you will.
  2. I get sick of seeing it, and end up not wanting to read it at all, ever. (#firstworldproblems)

Oh yes, and also I spend far too much time contemplating which book it is I’d like to read next. I wonder, ‘What if I died next week?’ (In a car crash. Always in a car crash, as if there’s no other way to die next week.) ‘If I died next week, which book would I really regret not having read?’

Moot point, because if I were dead I’d either be nothing at all and therefore absent of regret, or I’d be some sort of sentient, omniscient ethereal being who has larger concerns altogether. Also, it’s morbid.

That’s why I have turned my book spines inward. By the time I get to the books in this particular reading ‘pile’ I’ll be itching to open them up, not least because I’ll have forgotten all about them. Which is exactly the same feeling as getting brand new books!

Best idea ever.

Oh and also: listen to audiobooks when you’re doing mundane things like dog-walking and folding washing.


How to read faster: tips from Bill Cosby – preview, skim and ‘cluster’.

Margaret Atwood Says It’s All Right To Read Whatever You Want from Book Riot

Advice on how to get your reading mojo back from The Library And Step On It