Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
If you like reading books, you need a Kindle. There are really no two ways about it. You might need some help choosing the right Kindle, but Amazon’s eBook reader has outclassed all others at this point.
More importantly, anyone who likes to read books will find themselves reading more often once they get a Kindle. Unsolicited responses are the best indication, right?
Realized that I've read 42 books for the year. Kindle has really made me read more :)
— Abhishek L (@abhishekl) December 20, 2014
Naturally, Kindle’s ease of use, long battery life, and instant buying ability means it’s more likely to get you reading books you want to read. But there are some other tips and tricks you can employ to read more books than you ever have before.
The 10% Rule
Like many others, Sam Thomas Davies got a Kindle to read more books. The author of habit-reformation book Habits of Change came up with a simple daily ritual to increase his word consumption: The 10% Rule.
The only thing you need to commit to is reading 10 percent of a book every day. Remember, Kindle doesn’t count progression in pages, it counts it in percentages. And 10 percent isn’t as large an amount as it seems. You’re free to read 10 percent in one sitting, but you can also chop it into installments. For instance, if you commute to work every day, split it into 5 percent of the book each way.
Of course, 10 percent will change depending on the length of the book. Try reading 10 percent of one of the A Song Of Ice and Fire books in a day and you won’t get anything else done. In that case, feel free to turn that 10 percent into a more manageable number. Davies advises reading when your energy is at its highest, so you don’t succumb to decision fatigue.
One Place, One Routine
If you want to read more books every year, then make it a habit by setting aside some time or place for it every day. It’s pretty much vital to your quest.
— jared adamson (@AdamSongJared) December 30, 2015
This could mean something as simple as keeping your Kindle in your bathroom so that it’s part of your routine when you answer the call of nature. Instead of fiddling with your smartphone, use your “throne time” to boost your brain. Pair it with the 10 percent rule or a smaller percentage and you’ll get into the habit of reading every day. Just remember to buy a waterproof cover though!
My kindle dropped in the bathroom sink :(
— GeezusCraisHotRod (@Missus_Boss_) April 15, 2016
We’ve got plenty more advice on how to form a new habit and stick with it, so if you’re serious about reading more, make it a part of your daily routine.
Read More Than One Book at a Time
I know what you’re thinking. “I can barely get through one book, and this loon is telling me to read two simultaneously?” But hear me out.
— Deirdre Kingston (@DKingstonWrites) April 5, 2016
Think of books like your favorite music or TV shows. Sometimes, you’re in the mood for Breaking Bad, but sometimes, you just want some mindless reality TV entertainment like Keeping Up With the Kardashians. You might also enjoy classic rock days, and then some electronica days. So why should books be any different?
I so ? my Kindle. Reading is my favorite thing to do & I usually have multiple books going at the same time. I wanna get a #KindleTouch too.
— LauriMarie (@MyPinnedLife) August 8, 2013
The Kindle’s biggest benefit is that you can store multiple books on it, and it automatically remembers your last reading position on them all. That’s a big advantage, so make the most of it. As Redditor kaylakoo says:
I like reading multiple books at once. So while I want to read on my break, I don’t know which one I’ll want in the morning when I’m leaving. Kindles let me have my entire library with me at all times.
Download two or more books from different genres, like one humorous, one thriller, and one biographical. Then pick a book based on your mood. You can find free, unlimited content for your Kindle, so there’s no reason not to load it up with a big library.
Ignore Bestsellers and Peer Pressure
One of the biggest hindrances to reading more books is that you think you ought to have read a famous book that everyone is raving about, even if it isn’t really to your taste. Shed the social pressure that a “bestseller” carries, and read only those books that are recommended by trusted sources.
As well as launching the Kindle, Amazon acquired Goodreads, a social network for book lovers, which acts as a recommendation engine. Whenever you finish a book on your Kindle, it is marked as read in your Goodreads catalog. Over time, this builds your reader profile, which lets Goodreads recommend books you’ll like.
Alternatively, you can find other people on Goodreads who share your tastes, and see what they’re reading.
I've read more books in the two months since I bought my Kindle than I have in years. Thanks to those who encouraged me to get one. :)
— Andy Corrigan (@FlameRoastToast) March 14, 2014
Personally, I trust my own network of friends and family, and you should do that too if you are surrounded by bookworms. I know the tastes of my friends and family, and I’ll choose to accept or ignore recommendations based on the history of our common likes and dislikes.
Remember You Don’t Need to Finish Books
This is the one point where so many of us trip up. A book feels like a commitment. It’s an intellectual pursuit where you feel like you ought to see it through to the end, whether or not you’re actually still interested in it. Well, it’s time to get over that habit.
Abandoned that final book in the series– life is too short to read books that don't do it for you.
— Jackson Pearce (@JacksonPearce) May 17, 2016
In our tips to read more books we suggested you shouldn’t finish books you aren’t enjoying. Trying to get through an uninteresting book will slow down your speed, and worse, make you abandon the act of reading to do something else, breaking your habit ritual.
Note To Self : When a book is too boring for me.. don't even bother to finish it.
— S (@Suhila_xx) April 5, 2016
Instead, stop feeling guilty about not reading a book to the end. Be honest with yourself that this one didn’t do it for you, whether it’s an acclaimed classic or not, and move on. Enjoying more books is a far better way to spend your time than judging yourself.
Do You Have Any Tips to Share?
In addition to the above, audiobooks deserve a brief mention. If you haven’t tried them, you should get started with audiobooks on your Kindle app. In fact, thanks to buying Audible, Amazon boasts the biggest audiobook library of all, and there’s a 30-day free trial to take advantage of too.
These techniques should have you reading more books than ever before with your Kindle. For those trying to inculcate a new habit of reading, I’d recommend starting with “One place, one routine”, but if you already read a bit and want to up the ante, then play around with the 10% rule, adjusting the percentage as you see fit.
If you have a technique or tip to reading more, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!