Did You set a New Year’s Resolution to Read More?

by Lynn Cahoon

So did I. I used to read a few books a week. Then I became a published author so when I’m reading, it’s my own book. But I love getting lost in a story so I needed to find a way to make reading a larger part of my day or week or month.

These are a few strategies I use to increase my reading time. Maybe some of these will work for you too.

Don’t shy away from audio books.

I can hear the groans now. Listening isn’t reading, but in a way, it is. It’s getting involved in the story. As someone who has published an audio book, I know authors (and narrators) take care in making the audio book match the digital or print book. And bonus, you can listen when you’re doing other things. Like driving. I tend to hear descriptions that I might skip over while I’m reading. And, unlike the movie version, they usually don’t cut out the best parts.

Speaking of other formats, don’t discount digital.

I have a reading app on my phone and it’s filled with books. Ones I bought at a can’t-pass-up low price or bought to support an author friend or are part of my Amazon Prime account. I don’t read digitally much (as it reminds me of working on my own books, LOL) but I always have a book in case I’m in a long line or dining alone.

Break up your annual goal into weekly, monthly, or quarterly goals.

I have all of the above goals. Sometimes a week isn’t enough time to finish a book. But if I have the intention listed on my weekly goals, I’m more likely to pick up a book after dinner and get at least a few pages or chapters in.

Switch up what you’re reading.

I go through stages, but give me a good time-travel book? I’m in love. I like reading a fiction and non-fiction book at the same time. It helps me break up the time and if I can’t get into one, I have the other right there. I don’t read as many cozies as I did before, but give me a good paranormal woman’s fiction and I’ll be happy.

Don’t overwhelm your TBR.

Okay, I get it. I’m not saying don’t buy books. I buy way too many books and I can’t leave a bookstore without one or two new discoveries. My husband just shakes his head and mutters something about Not another book. I tell him, and myself, that’s it’s part of my job to stay up on what’s being published. And if I love reading the book too? That’s a bonus. On the other hand, experts say that when you have too many choices, you can get overwhelmed and do nothing. So limit your TBR to no more than five books you can see. Then make a second (or third) TBR pile that’s not right at your fingertips.

Keep a list of what you want to read and what you own.

If you follow me on Facebook (Lynn Cahoon, Author) you’ll know I love to read series. I’ve read the JD Robb series a few years ago (but now I’m behind again), the Dresden Files, and now I’m reading Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters. But I’ve got books all over in that 32 (33?) book series. I made a list I keep in my planner with the books I own and those I’ve read. That way, when one goes on sale, I’m there. Or if I’m in a bookstore. (Okay, you get my drift here.)

Finally, keep a list of what you’ve read.

This could be a reading journal. I’ve seen some cute ones on Amazon. One easy way to do this is to join a yearly challenge like the one on Goodreads. That way, you have a visual list of all the books you read over the year. It’s fun to look back and remember the books you loved. And when you read then. A lot of times, I think I’ve just read something when it was actually years ago.

Anyway, there’s a few ideas on how to increase your reading for 2022. I hope you consider one or more of my books for that list, like A Fatal Family Feast in the Farm to Fork series. Angie and the gang are putting on a wedding in this one. If they can keep the groom out of jail.

What are some of your hints on increasing your reading output?

Angie Turner’s Idaho restaurant, the County Seat, is the perfect site for a picturesque country wedding, but the party planning skids to a halt when the groom-to-be is implicated in a murder investigation…

When Angie’s best friend and business partner, Felicia Williams, picks the County Seat to host her upcoming nuptials, Angie wants it to feel like a family affair–especially since Felicia is set to marry the farm-to-fork restaurant’s talented sous chef, Estebe Blackstone. Unfortunately, the bride’s actual family is far less enthusiastic about the union. They’re pulling out all the stops to cancel the couple’s wedding, even arranging for a surprise visit from Felicia’s ex-fiancé (and her father’s current lackey). But when her ex is killed days before the ceremony and Estebe is framed for the crime, Angie and the County Seat crew must scramble to solve the murder and save the wedding . . .