How to Read More Books and Why You Should Do It

One of my bookshelves

Reading time: 3 minutes

How many books do you usually read in one year? 

Before 2020, I would probably read three or four. So pathetic, especially because I was reading about teaching English only. I felt ashamed every time I walked into a bookstore, so in January 2020 I decided I wanted to read more in order to:

  1. expand my English vocabulary.
  2. learn more about the world, not just my job.
  3. develop as a person.

But I didn’t know how to do it. I was busy during the day and every time I read in bed, I would fall asleep. So I simply googled ‘how to read more books’ and a short documentary came up. Apparently, all it takes to read more books is to read one for thirty minutes every day.

Since January 2020, I’ve been reading for at least half an hour a day and finished a total of fifty-three books. 

It works. 

Did my English vocabulary improve? I’d say so. I encountered some words I didn’t know. Sometimes I just ignored them and kept on reading. Other times I used a dictionary or tried to guess their meaning.  

Did I learn more about the world? Hell yeah! I learned about:

  • the Vietnam War
  • writing
  • storytelling
  • the phycology of happiness
  • business and marketing
  • Covid-19
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • the brain
  • samurai and the Japanese culture
  • sleep
  • the history of humankind
  • how to save money
  • ego
  • productivity and time managment
  • immigration in Italy
  • education in Finland
  • philosophers 
  • digital minimalism
  • cats
  • life in concentration camps
  • prostitution in South East Asia
  • …and other things.

Did I develop as a person? Hmm. There’s no straightforward answer to this question. Learning isn’t enough to grow. To make personal development happen, I think you need to apply what you read and change your actions, not just my mind. 

What actions did I change then? Well, I now take sleep more seriously, I’ve started connecting through stories and I’m closing my Instagram account because I changed my mind about the usefulness of social media.

So, I’d say yes, I’ve grown a bit through reading. And you can do this too. No special skills required. I have none. Just set aside 30 minutes a day and read a book.

But if you want to read in English, how do you know which book is appropriate for your level? I’ll talk about this in the next blog post.

In the meantime, let me know about you. What books do you like reading? Do you ever read books in English? You can leave a comment in the box below. 

And if this post was useful, please share it with a friend 🙂

Fabio Cerpelloni is an easy-going English teacher who helps adult learners speak better English through personal storytelling classes and book discussions. You can join his private email list by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.

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