Book the Time

8 Tips to Get You Reading More

I love to read. It’s an essential part of my work; it’s an important part of my social life (I am in four book groups); and, most important, it’s my favorite thing to do—by a long shot. 

Whatever you find fun, reading or otherwise, the point is to make sure you find time to do it. Having fun is key to having a happy life, so don’t let it get pushed aside by other priorities.

Here are some habits that I’ve adopted to help me get more good reading done—and have more fun.

1. Quit reading

I used to pride myself on finishing every book I started. No more. Life is short, and there are too many wonderful books to read.

2. Read books you enjoy

When I’m reading a book I love, I’m astonished by how much time I find to read.

3. Skim

Especially when reading newspapers and magazines, I often get as much from skimming as I do by a leisurely reading.

4. Don't fight your inclinations

I let myself read what I want because otherwise I end up reading much less.

5. Always have something to read

Never go anywhere empty-handed. I almost always read print books, but I travel with e-books, too, so I know I’ll never be caught without something to read.

6. Maintain a big stack

I find that I read much more when I have a pile waiting for me. Right now, I have to admit, my stack is so big that it’s a bit alarming.

7. Choose your own books

Books make wonderful gifts—both to receive and to give—but I try not to let myself feel pressured to read a book just because someone has given it to me. I always give a gift book a try, but I no longer feel compelled to keep reading if I don’t want to.

8. Set aside time to read taxing books

Every weekend, I spend time “study” reading, which covers books that I find fascinating but demanding and that I might put down and neglect to pick up again. Now that I set aside time for study reading, and I finish those books.

If you haven’t already, start now to develop good strategies to find more time to read—or to do whatever it is you find fun.


Gretchen Rubin is the bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Her newest book, Better than Before, all about how we can develop positive habits, is scheduled for release in March, 2015. She is considered one of the most influential writers on happiness today, and has become an in-demand speaker and keynoter. You can read about Gretchen's adventures at GretchenRubin.com.

From the February 2015 issue of Live Happy magazine.