Thinking Readers

Guarding Your Time as a Reader

Unless you’re secretly an immortal, chances are that you have limited time.

As readers, that can be particularly frustrating. There are millions of books out there, and so little time to read them. So how do you guard your time and read only worthwhile books?

One of the best tips is to keep a to-read list. Since our time is finite, it makes sense to stay intentional about what you want to read. Sites like Goodreads are great for tracking your to-read list, but a pen and paper works just as well.

Whenever you come across a book that you think is worthy of your time, add it to the list. That way, when you need to find a new read, you don’t need to randomly select a potentially mediocre book.

Another great idea is to check reviews. Goodreads and Amazon are fantastic for seeing reviews from other readers, but there are plenty of sites that offer professional reviews as well.

There’s no point in settling for books that are second-rate, so looking at reviews is a great way to make sure that you’re only reading books that will interest you.

At the same time, it sometimes pays to take chances. I’ve discovered some amazing books by stepping outside of my reading “comfort zone”. While it may still be wise to check that a book gets at least decent ratings, keep an open mind when deciding what to read.

The last tip, as hard as it is to say, is to know when to put a book down. I’ve forced myself to read far too many books that I didn’t enjoy, simply because I didn’t want to say I quit. The truth is, I could have spent that time better.

While you do sometimes need to just power through, your time is far too precious to spend on books that you aren’t enjoying. It’s not a sin to put a book down if there are better books for you to read.

How do you make sure that you’re reading only the best books? I would love to hear about the techniques that you use!

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