How Fast Can You Finish Your Reading List With These 12 Tips?

Creating a Reading List

Last week I posted that I just made my first reading list. I officially start this reading list next week. I created this reading list because to put it simply,

  • I was reading a couple of books at the same time. And this made it really hard for me to finish one book.
  • I already have a list of books I wanted to read (sometime in the future)
  • I have been trying to clean out my library: keeping the books I want and the ones I don’t. But I have a good amount of books that I have yet to read. So I need to read them and continue cleaning out my library.

But I didn’t just get to creating my reading list that easily. The reading list I did end up coming up with is one I am excited about getting through. Read the full post here. But I know I am not ht only one creating a reading or wanting to finish books. With a busy schedule or distracting habits, it can be a little hard to finish books. So as promised in that post before this one I’ll have all the tips I can fit in this post, to help you finish your reading list and love it.

Reading lists can take forever to finish. But they don’t have to. Whether you’ve got to clean out your library like I do or just are excited to read great books and can’t wait to move on. You’ve got 12 tips to help speed up the process and definitely not the procrastination.

How to Create The Reading List You’ll Love

But first, you must have a reading list: a list you’ll love. Think of your list of books as a list of episodes for your favorite tv show, or the list of movies for your movies marathon weekend. If you’re going to take the time to read those books, love it.

In my case, I already had books in mind and in my library to construct my reading list. If you have books you haven’t finished yet or unread books in your library, you could start there.

If you don’t have books in mind, start searching for books. Lucky for you there are many places books to check out

  • The Library
  • Goodreads
  • Barnes and Noble
  • BookTok
  • Social Media
  • People you know
  • A Bookstore

12 Tips to Make Sure You Finish Your Reading List

Okay, so you have your reading, now what? Next, make sure you’ll finish your list by applying strategies and tips along the way. If you struggle to finish your reading list, just created your reading list, or are just thinking about creating one, use these tips and let me know if they worked for you.

Research your books before

Have you ever bought a book and realized that you’ve wasted money, on a book that you’re excited to get rid of. That happened to me recently. It was a reminder to research books before I add them to my list or buy them.

Researching your book does not mean reading spoilers, but reading the plot and some reviews on it. I also love to check out some featured themes on Common Sense Media (they don’t have all books). Common Sense Media is also great to check for mature themes if you’re buying a book for your child, younger sibling, or family member.

This tip may not be for everyone. But if you like to plan ahead and research things before you do them, this tip is for you.

Have deadlines 

Reading lists aren’t meant to last forever. If you put time into creating a reading list and prepare a time for you to start it, have a time for you to end. I know that some books may need some extra time for completion ( like a crazy dramatic event that knocks the wind out of you). But that’s not the case for every book.

Deadlines, whether we finish them on time or not, push you and me forward. Setting a date for you to start and end is a tip to remember. If you’re competitive like I am or like to be early, deadlines can push you to be more productive and effective with your time management. Which helps you finish that reading list.

Strategically have books for certain times

If you’ve got a busy day and a day full of commutes dedicate certain places and times for reading. Reading can be a great way to wind down, so times like lunch, before bed, in the uber, or on the train, heck even your time on the toilet will work. The point is you can choose to read during certain times of your day and week based on what works for you. Initially, my idea of tackling a reading list included me reading anytime that I had the chance. And sure I can do that but I also can schedule to read, and purposefully use up certain times to read. This way I don’t have to read all day, but just consistently during those chosen times.

One Book At A Time… Or Not

Read one book at a time. You are in control of your reading list so you don’t have to read them all at once to finish. Read at a great pace and focus on one book at a time. Reading this way really helps you remember the book, enjoy the book, and actually read it. Reading too many books at once may be overwhelming and may set you back.

Buuuuuttttt, if reading 2 or 3 books at a time truly work for you then, go for it.

Don’t have an extra long list

This tip, I think, is one of the most obviously helpful tips for a reading list. When creating my reading list I was tempted to put as many books as I can find. And round that 9 into a 10. But then I realized that my goal isn’t to make the reading list only but to complete it.

Everyone reads at different paces, comprehension, and engagement levels, no matter the age. So remember to make a reading list according to what you can realistically handle: A reading list doesn’t have just one book on it. That’s just a book you want to read. But it also isn’t an endless list of books. An endless list will never be completed. And a super long list (based on what’s too much for you) can make the reading list overwhelming and boring.

If you like to take your time and read or just don’t have the time to read that many books within a month or week start with 3-5 books.

Diversify the genre of books your read

Mix things up with the genre. Non-fiction books are amazing. But a reading list of only non-fiction books is not for me. Spice your reading list up with some fiction or comedy books. Diversifying the genre of books can help you look forward to your next book.

Diversify the length of books you read

Mix things up with the length. Five 600-page books back to back would have me backing out my reading list commitment real quick. You don’t want you’re reading list to feel like a reading assignment. So diversifying the length of your books can help to keep you going.

Conquer a reading list with friends

Reading aloud can be awkward, funny, and irritating but nonetheless fun. Reading with friends can be a great chill activity or mindless activity to enjoy with loved ones. You might find it interesting or appalling what your reading partner thinks about certain parts of the book. But you can always learn more with another mind.

You can have even more fun with how you guys read. Like

  • Assigning every other chapter for each person. And learning about the chapters not directly read through conversation.
  • Only reading out loud in funny voices
  • Making reading a fun competition and etc.

You can read with friends in a book club or with a few. However you do it, friends can make a book more memorable.

Include audiobooks

Multitasking is great. Though there are such things as good multitasking and bad multitasking. Luckily audiobooks pair well with many things. Catching up on chapters or listening to the last half of your book in audiobook format can help you ‘read’ your book at any time and anywhere. It can also help you finish your books faster, especially if you’re a great listener. You could even have whole books in your reading list as audiobooks.

Set other books aside

As we read, we often find out about more books we may be interested in reading. These discoveries are what help to make more reading lists. But you have to set those other books aside for later. Concentrate on your reading list and look forward to those other books in other reading lists and reading times.

Read a Little Bit at A Time

Having a reading list is not only to get through books but also to enjoy books. So sure finish as fast as you can. But when you finish your books…

  • do you remember what you read?
  • do you remember the name of the characters?
  • did you like it?
  • did you hate it?
  • do you remember the first part of the book?
  • could you spot a theme?
  • would you share this book?

Stop Reading If…

a book isn’t your cup of tea. It’s okay when a book doesn’t work out. If the book is boring or totally not to your taste, stop reading it. Repurpose your books or gift them to someone else.

But don’t just stop reading every book, do try to give some books a chance.

Using The Tips

For my reading list, I took 4 of these tips for me to use as rules for my reading list. All of these tips are great but if you ( like I am ) are actively referring to tips or rules to keep progressing, 12 tips may be too much to refer to so definitely take as many tips as you can handle.

Take it day by day. Reading lIsts take time to get through, especially if you’ve got a ton of books. So you can focus on tips one by one. For example, you could intentionally set aside time to read on Monday. Tuesday to read some more with friends or family. And on Wednesday and Thursday read the rest of the book as an audiobook. But with these 12 tips, you will finish your reading list. Comment how fast you finish your lists.

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

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