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How to read more books

Replied to 8 Ways to Read a Lot More Books (

I read a lot of books. I agree with several of this author’s suggestions for reading more*:

  • Quit more books, earlier
  • Make your space comfortable for reading, and set it up to encourage you to read books over other activities
  • Always be bringing in new books and cycling out others
  • Track your reading

But I think he forgot an important thing: you should read books you actually enjoy. Reading will become much easier when you recognize that not everyone’s reading tastes will match yours — even your family and friends. Just because someone recommends a book directly to you doesn’t mean you’ll like it, or even that you have to try it. Just because a book is on a “best of” list doesn’t mean it’ll be meaningful to you.

Don’t treat reading as a chore, the brain equivalent of eating your spinach. Honor your own interests and read at whim, for pleasure. That means you need to learn to know yourself as a reader. The more you read, the better you’ll learn your own tastes, so you can choose books you’ll enjoy in the future and feel confident about quitting books you don’t.

*And if if turns out you’re actually not that into books as a storytelling medium, that’s totally fine too! There is nothing inherently virtuous about reading books versus watching video or listening to podcasts. If what you’re worried about is your ability to pay attention to long-form storytelling, you don’t have to win back your attention through books.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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