How I Read 90+ Books a Year
Each year I set myself a reading goal via Goodreads, and this year I decided to read 90+ books. A lot of people, most book bloggers, don’t like doing this as they feel it pressures them into reading, rather than allowing them to read for pleasure. However, I love it.
I love having goals, and it’s always nice to set myself a reading goal at the beginning of the year.
In 2019 my reading goal was 90 books. I’m quite likely to surpass that.
In 2018 my reading goal was 80 books, and I surpassed it, in 2017 it was 70 and I reached that. In 2020 I’m going to set myself a goal of 100 books. That’s nearly 2 books per week, which seems impossible. But it’s not.
I won’t ever go over 100 books as a goal, because after that it does seem to feel more like a challenge than a pleasure.
Here’s how I manage to read so much though, whilst working a full-time job and several side hustles.
Audiobooks are key
I love audiobooks and I’ll be honest and say that most of my reading is now done through listening to books. I have several apps for audiobooks I use regularly, including BookBeat, Audible, Libby and BorrowBox.
Libby and BorrowBox are both library-based apps which means you can listen to any of the books via that app for free! The only downside is that they are loans, so you, therefore, have a set timeframe to listen to them. But audiobooks vary in length, anywhere from 1 hour to 56 hours. The latter being series like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. These are great apps if you want to read 90+ books a year which is only short.
I mostly use BookBeat. For a £13.99 month subscription, I have access to any of the books on the apps whenever I want. Many of the major publishers supply their books to BookBeat so I’ve been lucky enough to read books from Lily Allen and Jonathan Van Ness’ autobiographies here the second they came out. I’ve also listened to some old favourites like the Hunger Games series and even discovered new authors, thanks to this app.
Where do I listen to audiobooks?
I listen to audiobooks on my commute, in the mornings when I’m getting ready for the day, and at work when I’m doing a mundane task that doesn’t involve writing. You can listen to audiobooks when you’re cooking when you’re walking – I did this when I did my Memory Walk in 2018 – it keeps your hands free.
Traditions and re-reads
Each year I re-read the Harry Potter series. It’s a tradition for me, that began when I was fifteen years old. Because I re-read them, usually very quickly because they’re my favourites, that’s seven books right then and there.
I also tend to re-read at least one or two other books each year. In the past, I’ve re-read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd or The Reader by Bernard Schlink. Two of my other favourites.
When you re-read a book you can usually read it a lot quicker than other books.
Reading for work
I have the advantage of working for a publisher. Not only does this mean I have access to many amazing books, but it also means I have to read some for the sake of my job. I work for Avon, and HarperCollins therefore each year I will undoubtedly read a book by C.L. Taylor, Laura Jane Williams and many other authors – particularly debuts.
Because I have to read these for work I’ll prioritise these over other titles when I have to.
Honestly, the easiest way to get many books to read a year is to enjoy them. Try to read books when you want to read them, rather than planning to read them. For example, if you find a book in a charity shop that really piques your interest, then read it almost immediately.
Try other formats beyond your standard paperbacks, hardbacks and ebooks.
Set yourself reading goals like reading 5 classics a year or finishing a series. Sometimes having a goal to go back to can get your reading back on track when you’re in the middle of a reading block.
No matter what though, if you want to read 90+ books a year you have to enjoy what you’re reading. It’s the most obvious tip, but it’s true. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, if you want to read a book by E.L. James then do it. If you want to read a self-help book or a book on business do it. You don’t have to follow the trends or what your friends are reading either. It’s up to you.