Easy Ways To Read More Books In 2024

It's not exactly out of the ordinary to kick off a new year with plans to read more books. In fact, The Happy Guy Writing Services found in its global book reading statistics for 2022 and 2023 that 64% of the 945 readers surveyed intended to finish more books in 2023 than they did in 2022. And we totally get why. Along with improving your vocabulary, reading has been shown to aid with relaxation, improve self esteem, and even reduce rates of depression.

Of course, making that commitment to read more is always easier said than done. For many adults in the U.S., finding the time to read between busy work schedules, child care, exercise, and errands can seem impossible. Add in factors like having too much distractions, or not having a private space to read, and it's no wonder so many of us have a collection of unread books piling up on our shelves. 

But if that sounds like you, then worry no more. We're sharing some of our top tips that will make picking up a book and diving in easier than ever. Perfect for making 2024 your year of reading.

Work reading into your existing routine

One of the most common reasons for not reading as much as we'd like is not having enough time. But even if it's literally impossible to carve out even a few minutes to read a book in your day, that doesn't mean it's impossible to get a few pages in. If you're super busy, instead of trying to magic time to read, try incorporating it into your existing daily routine instead. "Do you always make coffee first thing in the morning? Try having a book on the counter and maybe read a few pages while sipping your coffee. Always have to wait on the same train platform to transfer? Maybe a great time to read a page," psychologist Peggy Loo suggested to Today.

If you're a busy parent, try leaving a book or e-reader in your car or bag so you could read a few pages while on carpool duties. You'll probably find you have more time than you think when you conveniently have a book to hand that you can pick up during just a few spare minutes. The same can be said for keeping books in other places you may find yourself with a little time on your hands. "If you have a stack of books next to your bed, you're gonna you're more likely to pick them out. Wherever you're going wherever you're hanging out, there should be books there," Today's book lover in chief, Jenna Bush Hager, said.

Try reading with others to keep you motivated

One of the best ways to do better at something is to do that thing alongside other people. You may have heard that those who workout with a partner reach their fitness goals faster – and the same can happen for some people when it comes to reading.

There are a few ways you can do this too. Of course, there's the traditional way of joining or forming a local book club, but we know that may not work for everyone's schedules. If you can't physically leave the house or dedicate a regular time slot, try being part of an online community instead. There are plenty of virtual book clubs out there, such as Reese Witherspoon's Reese's Book Club. "A social connection [is] really helpful, because reading can be a very solitary experience. They make it feel more like a communal thing that you're doing," Chasity Moreno of the New York Public Library's Reader Services department, told Time.

Similarly, it may also help to join an online reading challenge. "The great thing about it is it makes you read things you might not ever pick up on your own. Lots of places do these challenges, and they're really fun," Moreno shared. The 52 Book Club's 2024 Reading Challenge, for example, is a customizable reading challenge that offers prompts, such as read a book that includes a wedding or read more than 40 chapters. Ideal for keeping you motivated at your own pace!

Create a cozy and technology-free place to read

We know, not everyone has the space for a cozy reading nook or even a designated reading space. If you do have the room though, it's a good idea to make that space as alluring as you possibly can to make it somewhere you don't ever work from, so you're not blurring work and pleasure. "Make your reading nook as inviting as possible, with no piles of stuff, no work to be done — add good lamps, a little table, coasters for a mug of whatever you're going to drink," author Julie Morgenstern shared with RealSimple. That way, you'll give yourself an area you actually want to sit in and read.

If you can't make yourself a specific dedicated reading space though, Jenna Bush Hager recommended going into a room without the distraction of technology so you can keep up with your reading a little more easily. "I have a room where there's no technology allowed. It's a new room. I just take books there, put my phone away and read," she told Today. That could even be the bathroom if you enjoy a book during a relaxing bubble bath away from your phone or the blaring TV.

Don't be afraid to read multiple books at once -- and put them down if they aren't serving you

Let's be honest, the whole point of reading is that it's supposed to be fun and stimulating. So, if you're finding it a chore to read, it may be that the book you're trying just isn't for you. That's why you may want to try reading a few at a time to see if you gel better with another. "We can talk about time-management strategies all day, but if a reader doesn't have good books at the ready, then there's a duty — but no motivation or enthusiasm," book podcast host Anne Bogel told Time.

In that same vein, don't be afraid to stop reading if you're finding a book's just not keeping your attention. "Quit a book that's not for you," Bogel confirmed. Putting a book down that you're not loving will only free up your time and energy to read something you fall in love with.

Julie Morgenstern agreed, even though many of us may feel like we have to finish any books we've started. "Don't torture yourself when it comes to reading. People can be really hard on themselves, thinking that they should just finish the book," she explained to RealSimple. After all, you can always come back to it later if you change your mind. Jenna Bush Hager recommended to Today reading 100 pages of a book, then decide if you'd like to carry on.

Make use of your local library or second-hand books if money is a factor

One of the hardest parts of reading can be having the money to keep buying new books. But there are a few ways to get around the cost that will allow you to keep on reading book after book. Firstly, of course, libraries were literally designed to allow you to take out books as you please for a set fee, so if you're not signed up to your local library yet, especially if you're a fan of a physical book, make that your first port of call.

Secondly, second hand books can be a godsend for those who don't have the money to buy an endless supply. There are so many places out there to get your hands on pre-loved copies that are cheaper than buying a new copy, from online retailers and bidding websites, to flea markets or yard sales. "People are always trying to lessen their book load through yard sales! I have found treasures, both contemporary and classics, for less than a quarter each," Liz Daly of The Lit Lady Not blog, told Today

Not to mention, by going second-hand, you'll also be helping to saving the environment. Plus, you can then sell the books on again (so you can buy more) or donate them so that other people can enjoy the magic of reading. Talk about a win-win, right?

Don't be afraid to read books you've read before (or older books you haven't)

One of the big problems many of us find with reading is that need to quickly finish that book everyone's been talking about to discuss it with friends. But if you're rushing through a book at someone else's pace to be a part of the conversation, that may mean you're not really taking it in or enjoying it in a meaningful way. To avoid the pressure that can come with the latest read, allow yourself to return to some oldies you may have read before but know you'll enjoy. "You won't feel in a race against time to finish the contemporary book it seems everyone is talking about, or under pressure to formulate your own quick take above the din of other voices," literary agent Emma Patterson told Elle

And there really are so many benefits to picking up a book again. Re-reads can be comforting, less intimidating, and may even help you to gain a new understanding you missed the first time. You may also get that nostalgic feeling that will keep you reading. Plus, Kelly B. Cartwright, a psychology and neuroscience professor, explained to Everand that re-reading can even help strengthen our reading fluency.

You could even try this method with older books you haven't gotten round to. That way, you also won't feel the pressure to rush through the new hot read, and can take things at your own pace.