Sunday, 19 March 2017

How To Be A Better Reader

Do you want to read more? Be a better writer? Or just have a plan?

Then plan your reading!

Develop a reading strategy that will make the most of your time and help you develop as a writer.

Choose 24 Books

I had a 12 writing book goal at the beginning of the year. That is to read 12 books on the subject of writing. I am going to put another 12 on top of that, but fiction. You could choose 24 non-fiction or fiction, or just mash them up at whatever takes your fancy. That works out at roughly 2 per month - if we had started in January. But I am sure it is still doable.


Read some books in your genre, some outside your genre, read old books, read brank new books, read obscure books, read Pulitzer Prize books.

Don't Read

Don't read more than 2 books at a time. Any more than that, and whilst you might retain some info, if you want to check a fact or something, you might forget which book it was in.


Write a list of all the books you want to read. Pick 24 for 2017. Whenever a new book comes that you must read, add it to your long 'master' list, and you can read it in 2018 (or 2019 if your list is as long as mine no doubt will be!)

Imagine - do this every year and in 3 years time you will have read 72 books!! That is a lot of books.

Write down what you liked about a book. What you hated. Could you have written it better? How did it help you?

Then write your own story.

Now, don't think that 24 is the only number you can use. I know some who get through a book in a week. So add to it if you think you can. But remember that reading should be as much a joy as it is about learning.

And one tip I picked up, is to read 10 pages a day. I know, it sounds silly. But if I use the excuse 'I don't have time' (and we all know THAT excuse), I would never read again (well, I would but not as much as I'd like). So if you find yourself muttering those words when it comes to your reading, just read 10 pages. It doensn't take long, even for slow readers like me.

How do you go about reading? Anything to add? I would love to hear from you!


  1. This is an interesting idea Ingrid, I'm going to make a list and do it, although I'm not sure how many books will be on the list at this point. It will also have to include audio books, as they are my best reading method right now.

    Currently I'm reading Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland which I'm enjoying even though I'm a panster and NEVER outline. I'm hoping it will help me as I'm a bit stuck with my novel, but that is probably because I didn't outline!

    Fiction wise I'm listening to City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, when I downloaded it, silly me didn't realise it was a Young Adult title, but I'm quite enjoying it and YA is something I've thought about having a go at myself...perhaps it's a sign.

    Out of interest, where do you record what you've read? In a book, or in a document?

    1. I'm considering buying a special notebook specifically for this purpose. I would like to record as much as I can, especially things like what I thought worked etc.

      I need to write my list. I have so many that I want to read! I think I have Outlining Your Novel on my kindle. I also downloaded a book by Randy Ingermanson about writing using the Snowflake Method. There are so many books that I wish to read, so this strategy will really help, I hope.

  2. This sounds an interesting project, Ingrid!

  3. Good post. And it has set me thinking. I am a bit of a butterfly and if a book doesn't interest me I am apt to drift to another one in the hope that when I come back to it, I'm going to find it grabs me better. I am painfully aware that I am becoming a sloppy reader, reading easier books, not books that stimulate me. I will try a list and noting down my feelings about the book. Good idea to include writing books - maybe some that will research your/my next piece of work:-)

    1. Precisely. I have been feeling rather brain dead of late. I started my list last night, and have got my first book off the shelf. My aim is to read 10 pages of each book each night, plus one short story from a Womag (a market I am trying to break). I have been sloppy in writing as well as reading. Hope it works for you :)


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