This is how to read over 50 books in a year

In 2020 I read 57 books. A massive part of this will have been that we were all in a pandemic so had far more time on our hands. However, I work for a hospital and so work never stopped, we simply worked from home where we could – so that excuse may not be as valid for me as others. So how did I manage to read that many books in a year? Below are some tips on how to do it.

How to read over 50 books in a year

I read books I already knew

I had no aim to read such a vast number of books, I simply decided to change the way I read. One of the huge ways that I managed to fit multiple books into one week is by reading books I already knew most of the plot.

During the pandemic, I read so often and regularly that every now and then I just wanted to revisit a story that I knew I already enjoyed but couldn’t quite remember fully. Two examples of this were my decision to reread the Harry Potter series (I got up to around the fourth book) and the Alex Rider series (the Amazon Prime series came out and I wanted to refresh my memory).

Reading books I already knew the plot to allow me to listen to their audiobook versions and even if my attention was lost, I could quickly retune myself back into the story as I could fill in the missing pieces from what I remembered previously.

Audiobooks can be listened to anywhere

Something I always recommend to people when they ask me how I read so many books is to download the audiobook as well. I’d recommend getting an Audible subscription and then using the monthly credits to purchase alongside your book. There are two advantages to listening as opposed to reading:

  1. You can listen to audiobooks anywhere – whilst walking, doing house chores, driving and cooking. This gives you so many more minutes/hours of the plot to follow that you wouldn’t be able to do if you had to be physically reading every word.
  2. The “Whispersync” technology that Amazon uses is brilliant. This essentially allows you to read a book on your Kindle or Kindle app and then pick up the audiobook directly from where you left off. And this also works in reverse too, allowing you to listen to an audiobook and then when you open the kindle version, bringing you to the page you’re up to. It’s a huge time saver!

I read more sequels

I don’t think it’s any secret that you get hooked when you find a good TV or book series and want to watch the next episode or book straight after. If you want to read a lot of books, continuing a series straight after you’ve read the first book alleviates the delay of finding another book or potentially picking up a book that you’ll struggle to read out of lack of enjoyment.

I was more aware of the length of books

In 2020 I read my first novella and was actively looking at the number of pages to books when buying them. You can usually find this on any decent book website. I know Amazon shows it when you buy their eBooks.

When picking a book sometimes you just want something you know you’ll get done in a few days or a week, you don’t want to spend the whole month trudging through a 1,000-page epic. So it is definitely worthwhile checking the length of books first.

I used “How Long To Read” to find out how long it should take me to read a book 

The website How Long To Read allows you to go through a short process of timing how long it takes you to read different difficulties of books and then once this is complete, you can search different books and based on the previous test, it’ll tell you how long you should be able to read that book.

This is a great tool because some 500-page books are 500 pages because they have a larger font. However, some are 500 pages and have a smaller font. It’s all about the word count, which isn’t something that is easily noted for books.

Summary on how to read over 50 books in a year

Yes, 2020 saw everybody have a bit more time on their hands than usual and so it’s very unlikely I’ll be able to manage to read 57 books in a year again (unless I dedicate a year to Novellas). However, I have set myself a goal of 50 books this year and am around halfway through May.

I also realised that having a reading goal makes me want to read books I may not have bothered with before. I will pick up a couple of shorter, easier reads after a longer book as I may be a bit behind with my reading goal. What’s your reading goal for this year? Do you have any other ideas on how to read more? Read some of the books I read last year.

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