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This year is quickly coming to an end and with it the tally of how many books I read in the past 52 weeks is also ending.
This year the number is just shy of 70. A good reading year for me. I actually read more this year than last year despite being crazy busy during some months.
Before I give you my list of my top 10 reads for 2016, let me answer the question many of you are thinking–how on earth do you read that many books in one year?
How To Read More Than A Book A Week Despite Being Crazy Busy
1. Always have more than one book going at a time
Here is my 3 book system…
A paperback by the couch–for after dinner and Sunday reading. This is when I read most of my fiction books.
A kindle by my bed–for after I have crawled under the covers. I stick to nonfiction in this time slot so that I don’t get so caught up in the story that I can’t put it down. I have learned the hard way that reading fiction at bedtime leads to a book hangover.
An audio title on my iPhone– I got into audiobooks for the first time this year and they really are helping me read more–or should I say listen. I started listening to audiobooks this year using a free Audible trial, but then discovered that my library offered all its patrons a free membership to Hoopla. I listen to audiobooks while putting away laundry, taking walks, and while decluttering areas of my home.
2. Read More Of Whatever You Are In The Mood For
I know some people love making out a “to read” list for the year and then follow it to the letter. I am somewhat of a moody gal and book lists makes me read less, not more. I will look at the list and decide nothing sounds good and go binge on Netflix instead.
Instead, thanks to my list of thrifty bookworm practices I always have dozens of titles at my fingertips at all times to pick from when I need a new title to read. This way I can pick what I am in the mood for. I can binge on one genre or nonfiction topic for several books in a row or I can pick out a new style of book if I am bored of what I have been reading.
If that collection fails me, the library never does.
3. Take A Book Everywhere
Books go with me to the doctor’s office, on vacation, to children’s practices, and well…pretty much everywhere. If I know for sure I am going to have waiting time I bring along my kindle, but should I have to wait somewhere I wasn’t expecting I have my kindle app on my smartphone ready to go.
4. Set Aside Time In Your Week For Reading
At 7:00 p.m. my laptop gets closed for the night and I either settle in to reading or watching TV. Most nights I pick reading over TV. It helps that my husband is also a bookworm and often we spend evenings curled up side by side on the couch reading our books.
If your spouse isn’t a reader or your children are little and trying to read when they are awake is not a possibility, then perhaps nap time might be a better time for reading. If you work outside the home perhaps your lunch break is a good time to set aside for reading.
Another time I read is after I crawl into bed. First I fill out my gratitude journal, then read a devotional, then I get out my kindle and read until I am so tired I can barely hold the kindle in my hand anymore. Many nights my husband ends up removing my kindle from my sleeping hands. (psst…I have a kindle paperwhite and have been really happy with it)
My last time slot for reading is Sunday afternoons. I don’t work on the blog or do chores around the home Sundays so it is the perfect time for a long stretch of reading.
These four strategies above are how I manage to fit in so many books year after year. If you are wanting to read more, I am sure you could do some brainstorming with this list and adjust it to work with your life so you too could read more than a book a week.
My Favorite Reads Of 2016
I just couldn’t finish a book post about my yearly total for books read without including a list of my favorite books for the year. It was tough to narrow the list down, but here are my top 5 fiction books and my top 5 nonfiction books that I read in 2016.
Top 5 Fiction
Crossing Oceans: You will need tissues if you read this, but it will be 100% worth it.
Every Waking Moment: This was the first book I read by Chris Fabry and I loved it so much I went on to read 2 more of his books.
Wildflowers From Winter: Wow! This book took so many twists and turns I couldn’t stop until the ride was over.
The Alliance: A complete change of genre for me so I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it like I did–now waiting for the second book of the series to come out.
Just 18 Summers: I came away remembering today is precious; grasp it and make memories.
Top 5 Nonfiction
How To Talk To Anyone: 92 Little Tricks For Big Success In Relationships: Warning–the language is a bit outdated in parts and corny in others, but this book made my top 10 list because I came away feeling so much more confident in my ability to make small talk and for this introvert that is saying a lot.
The More Of Less: Finding The Life You Want Under Everything You Own: Suggestions in this book are going to be part of my decluttering challenge for 2017 (you will have to wait and see for more details on that). This book was like having a kind friend at my side as I dealt with clutter.
Hands Free Mama: 9 Habits For Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, & Loving More: My smartphone usage will never be the same after reading this book. I am now spending more time giving my full attention to the people in my life who matter most and less time scrolling through a newsfeed full of people I haven’t seen in years and never really was close to.
Addicted To Busy: Recovery For The Rushed Soul: This book made me take back my day off–without guilt. It is responsible for a renewal in my creative side. I didn’t realize how bad it was suffocating until I put time back into my schedule to let my mind wander.
Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom: This is my latest read and it is soothing my creative mom heart. Each time I sat down to read it I became filled with encouragement and a lot of “me too” moments.
What were your favorite reads of 2016?
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