11 Doable Tips to Complete Your Reading List Like a Pro

Creating a Reading List

Once upon a time, I was reading too many books simultaneously, had many more books I wanted to read, and even more books in my library that I had never read. And then, reading became a chore. The end.

At the time, the best solution was to make a reading list that would help me get through my long wish list of books. Which I desperately needed, because a great reading list guides you through a journey of books, making sure that each book is at least given a try.

But I didn’t want my reading list to end up like my long wish list of books, dragged out and burdensome. I, again, needed some tips, guidelines, and advice on how to successfully get through a reading list.

And so here are my findings.

11 Tips to Finish Your Reading List Like a Pro

If you’re a pro at creating reading lists or struggle to get through them, I would love to know which one of these tips works for you. (Or not)

1. Research Books Before Adding Them to Your Reading List

For new books…

To avoid coming across a book you will absolutely hate and will regret buying, get to know the book before putting it on your reading list.

If you’re into spoilers, go as far as researching the whole plot. If not some generic things to look for are

  • Book genre
  • Book summary
  • Themes the book may portray
  • What other readers, or publications say about the book

Books are most definitely subject to personal preference and taste. Discover a book’s red or green flags to avoid regret and wasted time even if you’re trying something new. There is such a thing with books.

2. Give yourself a deadline

Deadlines in general, push us forward: Pushing for more productivity, efficiency, and time management.

Reading lists aren’t meant to last forever. As you prepare times to start your book, prepare a prime time you want to finish. Do take into consideration, books that have long reading times.

3. Get specific about when you might want to read certain books.

A reading list doesn’t have to be random. Arrange your reading list and reading times according to when you’d be able to best enjoy a book.

If you’re planning to start you’re reading list in the middle of summer, put your most adventurous and sun-soaked books towards the top of the list and the more cozy ones towards the bottom, near the end of summer.

If you focus better in the morning plan your reading times around the morning times.

4. Strategically reading simultaneously

Some people can handle reading three different books at the same time, others can’t, and that’s okay. Read your books simultaneously if you can and be strategic about how/when you juggle your books.

Read each book a day at a time or each book a few chapters at a time. Whatever helps you get through your list productively, do that.

5. Resist making an unnecessarily long list

A reading list that goes on forever, will go on or forever.

Reading lists don’t have to be super long, even if you and I really do want to read that many books. An unnecessarily long reading list can tiringly overwhelm you into abandoning your list.

  • Be realistic about what you’ll be able to handle
  • Give yourself time away from reading in between reading lists.

6. Diversify the genre & kinds of books in your list

Reading lists can be themed. But not boringly so. Reading the same kind of book can make a reading list dry.

Have fun with the types of books you add to your list. Surprise yourself and make a list that you’re excited to go through.

7. Diversify the length of books in your list

Similar to diversifying the kinds of books in your list, change up the length of books in your list. Reading 4 1000-page books back to back is a tall task. Give yourself some variation and place similar lengthed books away from each other in your list.

8. Explore your reading list with friends

Heated conversation, debates, opinions, and shared likeness for a book can motivate you to finish your reading list with speed and thrill.

Sometimes, when reading lists seem to lose their glamour, read with a friend to bring the buzz back and get through those books.

9. Put prospective books aside for your next list

As you go through your list you may notice more books you want to read. Set these aside for your next reading lists. Once you settle on a certain set of books you want for a list, try your best to close those gates.

10. Take your time

Your reading list is yours to curate, edit, share, and accomplish. In this way, be patient with yourself and time. There is no need to rush.

Sure, it may not be ideal for reading lists to continue forever. But it’s also not ideal to speed through a reading list and miss out on all the good stuff.

11. Don’t be afraid to cut books off a list

Reading lists aren’t life contracts. If you really aren’t into a book, even after giving it an earnest shot, take no shame in cutting it off the list.

Get Through Your List

I may have to come back to number #11 for every reading list to remember that I am not legally bound to complete all books in a reading list. Whenever I cut a book out of a reading list, I often feel that I have to replace it with another book. By the end, I want to complete the total number of books I set out to read. But reading lists are supposed to be fun and explorative. Which is why I create them anyway.

Let me know if you loved this list and have more tips to help us all be reading list pros.

Don’t just be a good writer, be a great one!
Until my next words (on here that is),

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