Let me just start out by saying that I don’t think this is particularly impressive. Sure, it’s cool. Admirable, even. A great way to spend my time, for sure. But there are people out there who read five books a week, or some insane amount like that. I read one book every week, give or take, and that’s the most I’ve ever read. If that’s something you’d like to do, too, then you might want to keep reading. Just this post, for now.
Why I do it (and what I’m missing on)
I read one book a week because I love it and want to read as much as possible, while still enjoying each book. That’s it. It’s not a competition or a bet, I just enjoy reading. I don’t read more because I like taking my time and actually reading every single sentence, sometimes more than once. There are many techniques that help you “read” super quick, like reading the first and last sentence of each chapter so you can get a vague idea of what the book’s about. I’m not really into that.
I’m missing on many hours of netflix shows, nights out with friends and fun stuff like that. It’s a choice, and I still do all these things whenever I want to, but I also read. I’m missing on extra hours of sleep, because I like to read in the mornings and before I go to bed. Personally, I don’t feel like I’m missing on anything (if I would, I’d read less and do those things instead), but you get the point: you do one thing instead of the other, and you define your priorities.
How I started
I’ve always loved reading, but I’ve gone through different phases over the years. I read two books a month when I was in middle school. During college, I must’ve read five books in total. A year ago, I was probably reading one book per month.
I started reading one a week when I found this book I really liked and managed to read it in six days. Then I started pushing myself to do the same with the ones that came next – sometimes I managed to finish on time, sometimes I didn’t. And I kind of got into the rythm, and now it’s what I’m used to, what comes to me naturally.
How to read one book a week
I don’t count pages or chapters (some people do, and it works for them). I don’t have an amount I’m supposed to read everyday, because each day is different, each book is different. Sometimes I wake up at seven, read for three hours, and before I go to bed read for another three, and manage to read half a book. Some days I read for an hour, and that’s it. But I do try to read every day, and that would be my main advice to anyone who wants to read one book a week.
Here’s how you can do it: set a specific time as reading time, like before you go to bed, or before breakfast, or when you’re on your way to school or work. It doesn’t matter how short that period of time is, as long as you create this habit you can stick to. I go to bed at different times each day (even though I try to be consistent), but I know that when I lay down and my night mask is on, it’s time to read.
Bring your book with you everywhere
If you have to wait for a bus, if you have any time to kill during your day, take a book with you. And instead of scrolling through social media, which gets tiring at some point anyway, read another chapter while you wait.
Read one book at a time
Some people like to read multiple books at the same time; if you’re not reading much right now and want to start doing it regularly, I would say stick to one book and read it from start to finish. Repeat until you feel confortable reading multiple titles in parallel.
Track your progress
I know I said this wasn’t a competition, but I lied. Reading a book a week kind of is a healthy competition I have with myself. I use goodreads to track my progress and update the pages I’ve read so far, and I do it almost everyday. This is not only a fun way to update your friends and followers on what you’re reading, but it’s also very cool to see how fast you’re reading each book, and how far you’ve come on your annual reading goals. If you’re starting out, I highly recommend this.
Find a book club, or get an accountability buddy
Nothing will push you to read more like a group of people reading along with you, especially if that group has deadlines to meet. Joining a book club, or having a friend that reads along with you, is a great way to stay on track and create this habit that will eventually turn into an effortless part of your day.
Now, I can’t say much about audiobooks because I don’t really use them, but they’re a great way to get some reading done when you’re shopping, walking somewhere, or cleaning the house. While reading a physical book requires your full attention, listening to an audiobook allows you to get other things done at the same time, which is great if you’re always busy and struggle with finding extra time to read.
Start with something short & sweet
Especially if this is the first time you’re attempting to read one book in a week, choose something you’re very excited about, and with less than 400 pages. Actually pick something you think you’ll be able to finish, and then get to reading! You might feel like this isn’t a real challenge, but it’s important to just start, succeed, and feel motivated afterwards. The big books will come, and you’ll be able to get those 600 pages done in no time, but I would advise you to start small at first. However, if you have to choose between a bigger book you can’t wait to read and a smaller book that doesn’t sound that exciting, I would say go for the bigger book. A good story will keep you reading.