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How to Read One Book a Week

Your brain was built for reading more books.

Reading changes everything. The way you think, the way you speak, the way you approach life. What’s more, reading can feel like a kind of meditation. When you set the rest of the world aside and allow yourself to become totally lost in a book, your brain is given the chance to both rest and grow at the same time. 

Reading more books allows new ideas, possibilities, and modes of thinking to enter your existence. It’s not a coincidence that successful, happy, life-loving people often read voraciously.

The human brain is better when books are nearby. Here’s how to start reading one book every single week.

Read good books. 

This may seem obvious, but finding the “right books” that hold your attention and leave you wanting more is crucial when making reading an everyday habit. Choosing books you want to like is setting yourself up for failure. Reading is an intimate, individualistic experience. It’s just for you. Choosing books you know you’ll love will make reading easier and more enjoyable. 

Follow the 50 page rule.

Great books exist and bad books exist. The great will fuel you and the bad will slowly deteriorate your motivation to read at all. If you’re not feeling a book immediately, give it a fighting chance. As author and librarian Nancy Pearl once famously suggested, read the first 50 pages and see how you feel. While you shouldn’t be afraid to try new genres and authors, don’t hesitate to put the bad ones back on the shelf. Reading books you objectively dislike is a waste of time.

Woman laying down reading book on couch

Set page goals each day.

Nothing ever gets done without a plan. Create disciplined, regular reading goals for yourself. Start with 20 attainable pages per day and go from there. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can get through short books and novellas with simple daily reading goals. Plus, your capacity for long-form reading will grow with each book. The thing about reading is that the more you do it, the more you want to do it, and thus the easier it gets. Reading more books will come naturally.

Read everywhere. 

Don’t save your books for late at night when you’re tired and nearly falling asleep. Take a book with you everywhere you go and read snippets throughout the day. Waiting in line at the grocery store is a great place for a quick read. Little reading breaks between work lets your brain recalibrate and explore. The world was made for reading more books.

Woman reading a book outside

Make reading a priority.

Reading needs to become an integral part of your day if you’re to read one book a week. That means easily deviating into “reading mode” whenever you’re given the chance. Instead of setting aside long stretches of reading time that you’re more likely to put off and skip, make reading a quick, almost unconscious habit. Just as you’d easily pick up your phone to check messages and scroll when you have a moment or two, train your mind to reach for a book instead. You’ll be reading more books in no time.

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