Many people set the intention to read more each year. That’s because we intuitively know that reading is good for us. It’s relaxing, rewarding, and fun. It gives us something productive to do on long trips. It helps us get away from the screens that soak up our energy, time, and sanity. Reading helps us get out of the crazy world of TV and the Internet and into our own little private world where we are exploring and learning. Both fiction and non-fiction books have benefits, which is why this challenge is about reading at least one fiction and one non-fiction book every month. If you are already doing that and you want to scale it up, do so. Try to double it or triple it. The rewards are worth it.
5 Benefits Of Taking A Challenge To Increase The Number Of Books You Read Per Month
1. Become A Lifelong Learner
Being a lifelong learner is a great attribute to have. And, developing the habit of reading every day will help you continuously grow in many different ways.
Fiction helps you develop your imagination along with empathy and compassion as you relate to different characters and their struggles and successes. It helps you to think outside of the box and see things from different perspectives.
Non-fiction introduces you to new ideas that can help change limiting beliefs and your whole way of being in life.
Reading, in general, can give your brain a workout and make it stronger, which means you can develop a better memory, more comprehension, a longer attention span, more creativity, more ability to think critically, more open-mindedness, and more. All this boils down to an ability to learn more.
2. Reduce Stress
Reading can help us get into a state that is similar to meditation. It’s different from TV, where you don’t really chill out but, rather, go from highs to lows along with the shows you are watching. Reading can help you stay in a state of relaxation, which helps lower stress.
This isn’t a small thing. The benefits of reducing stress are huge for both your physical and mental health.
3. Build Your Vocabulary
Interestingly, fiction readers are more likely to have a larger vocabulary. But, reading, in general, can help you build up your vocabulary, which gives you the ability to write better, speak better, and engage with others better.
A larger vocabulary will help you communicate more effectively in your personal and work relationships. It will help you get your point across and avoid misunderstandings. It will help you understand other people better.
In short, building your vocabulary may be one of the best things you do for your personal, work, and social life.
4. Become More Interesting
The more you read, the more you know. This means you can fit into more conversations by having more to add to those conversations. It means that you can form new relationships easier, which is good whether you are looking for business partners, new friends, or even a new lover.
In short, if you want to be the person who can carry on an intelligent conversation, or can always grasp what is being talked about, then reading is your ticket.
5. Replace Bad Hobbies With A Better One
As you start to become more of a reader, you will find yourself opting out of other less valuable hobbies so that you can read more.
For instance, if you are addicted to YouTube, and often fall down the rabbit hole of videos you never intended to watch, reading can help. The desire to finish your story or learn more can pull you out of the rabbit hole and get you off YouTube where you waste your time and energy and into a book where you can learn, relax, rejuvenate, or experience some other benefit.
Challenge Yourself To Read One Fiction And One Non-Fiction Book Every Month
It would be nice to read a book a week. I think many of us would like to read more than that. But, if you are not reading much at all right now and would like to read more, than two books a month is a good challenge to start with. It’s doable, even with a few screwups along the way. And, once you master it, you can increase the challenge to two fiction books and two non-fiction books a month – or, one book a week.
How To Read Faster And Comprehend More
Following is a quick video by Jim Kwik and Vishen Lakhiani. Jim has a course focused on memory called the Superbrain quest (which can help you remember more and retain more information from what you read), and Vishen Lakhiani is the founder of Mindvalley and creator of Becoming Limitless.
This is a great video to help you understand how to read more and comprehend what you are reading.
Schedule Time To Read Each Day
Schedule time to read. By scheduling time into each day, you will make reading a habit. And, trust us, if it’s not a habit to read right now, you will not consistently make time to read. You may make time on the first couple of days, but after that, you will fall back into your old routine that’s comfortable and does not include reading.
Carve out time each day to sit down and read and write it down somewhere. Make it non-negotiable by writing it into your daily planner or calendar. Do this until it becomes a habit to sit and read each day.
The good news is that reading is enjoyable and it shouldn’t take long to make it a habit. It’s a way to detach from the daily grind and get into another world or learn something new.
And when you decide you want to read more, you can simply double or triple the amount of time you schedule to read each day. It’s so simple, but it’s a great way to read more books in a month or year.
Tip: Many people think that reading fiction before bed is a good way to disengage from the day, ignite your imagination and become more present, and get a good night’s sleep. So, try to schedule in your fiction reading before bed to see if you also experience those benefits.
Schedule The Number Of Pages To Read Per Day
This helps you to read a minimum of words per day, which helps you to get through your book faster.
If you think that five pages may be all you can do on really busy days, then schedule five pages per day into your calendar. It won’t hurt anything if you can go over five pages a day, but make sure to stick to at least five pages per day to help you move forward on your challenge of reading two books a month.
This guy reads 30+ book s a year by reading 20 pages a day. He does his reading first thing, which may be a tactic you want to use. Although, not everyone wants to sit down and read first thing in the morning. So make it work for you.
Make It Relatable
As you are reading, reflect on your own life and how the information applies to it. Or, try to identify with the characters in the book in some way and find yourself immersed in a story as if you are in it. This will make reading more fun and help you get into it more.
Talk About The Book
This is why book clubs are so great. You get together with other people who have read the book and discuss the information inside. It helps you remember things, reflect, and retain the information read, and it’s a great incentive to read each day!
You can also use social media to reflect the important points you read, as Vishen said in the video above. You can create original tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc. Just remember to give credit to the author if you are going to quote them.
Sneak In Time To Read When You Can
Apart from your scheduled time to read, you may find moments in your day to sneak in some reading. Going for a car ride as a passenger, waiting for family or friends to meet up with you, or opting out of activities you dislike to sit down and read instead can all give you more bang for your buck in the number of books you can read. A few minutes here and there can really add up over a month or a year.
Most importantly, if you want to read more, you need to enjoy it. You can’t push yourself to read if you hate it. So, find the reasons that you love to read. Don’t view it as a hobby that you NEED to partake it. View it as a hobby that you WANT to partake in. Think about the benefits. Think about the escape from your everyday life and the stress relief that comes from sitting down and getting into a really good book. If you can find reading enjoyable, reading more is not going to be a hard challenge for you.