I often get asked how I find the time to read as much as I do. In general, I think it’s easy to find time for the things you love. But that doesn’t mean it always happens. Like with any habit, it takes time to establish. During college, like most students, I didn’t have time to read books for my own enjoyment, and after graduation I struggled to get back into the habit. Here are four things I did to help me read more.

How To Read More Books

Love It, Or Leave It

This might feel like a bookworm no-no, but one of the best gifts I ever gave to myself was the permission to put down a book I wasn’t enjoying. Setting aside a book you don’t love gives you more time to read one you do. Reading shouldn’t be dreaded or feel like a punishment, and it’s no fun to struggle through a book you aren’t enjoying. There’s no shame in not finishing every book, just move on to the ones you love!

Start Small

Make a goal to read 2 pages a day, then 5, then 15, then 25. Habits need to start small or they can feel overwhelming. Just like with other habits, practice makes reading easier. The more you read, the easier it will be to read more. Soon you’ll be tearing through books and wearing out that library card.

Explore New Genres

For a while, I was stuck on reading just fiction since that’s why I read growing up. But once I branched out and discovered memoirs, I was hooked. Now I can’t get enough of them. Think of the stories you find engaging …. are they more fantastical or based on true events? Do you like a story of struggle or one of romance? Don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t before because you can always leave it if you don’t love it.

How To Read More Books

Read More Than One Book At A Time

Wait, hear me out. Most people advise against reading more than one book at a time, but I find that much more engaging. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a memoir, sometimes not. Having the freedom to hop from story to story enriches my reading life and holds my attention span. I can’t image only reading one book at a time! But this is a tip you’ll need to figure out for yourself. Experiment with reading more than one book, it takes some practice, but if it works for you, go with it!

Carry A Book With You

I always have a book on hand even if I don’t anticipate reading throughout the day. Chances pop up all the time – like waiting in the doctor’s office or during a morning commute. Instead of scrolling through Facebook, turn a couple pages in your book. You’ll be surprised how many chances you’ll get to read throughout the day.

How do you set reading goals and incorporate daily reading into your life? For more book recommendations explore this column and follow @PhillyBookClub on Instagram.