How to Read More in 2024

Five ways to read (a lot) more books that work for me

Wang Yip
3 min readJan 18, 2024
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Every year, I read (and complete) on average about 50ish books a year. To be fair, I re-read many books and count my re-read books as part of the 50 — but that’s not to say that I’m skimming through books I’ve already read either.

My friends and coworkers ask how I do it. Here is what I tell them (and where I got the advice from):

Quit more books

Neil says to change your mindset about quitting. If I’m not getting what I want out of the book or if it feels like it’s a slog to get through, I quit and come back to it another time. When I first got into reading, I thought that the way to read books was to force yourself through them even if it was slow to get through.

Think of it this way — quitting books you don’t want to read gives you more time and energy to read books you do want to read (and reading books you do want to read means you read just a bit quicker and with more retention).

Read the books that your favourite authors once read

Kevin Kelly, in his book Excellent Advice for Living recommends reading the books your favourite authors have read and I second that recommendation. I’ve even heard it from Ryan Holiday — one of his favourite things to do is after he has finished a book where he has taken a lot of notes (and thus got a lot out of the book), he goes to the bibliography to see where the author sourced their material from and then he will go directly to those sources to get deeper in the work.

I think all books are generally created from other books and what a great way to discover great books to read.

Do you have 5 minutes? You have time to read

My biology professor at university had just told the class there was a mid-term coming up. The class groaned and complained because we just had a mid-term and that this was too much. Hearing the complaints, my professor said “you know, you’re probably wasting a lot of time you could be using productively. You have a few minutes waiting in line at the bank. You have a few minutes waiting for your meal at the restaurant. Or waiting for the bus. You could be using those minutes study.”

That’s what I try to do if I have a few minutes — I’ll open up a book I’m currently reading and try to read a few pages or a chapter. It doesn’t feel like a lot, but the few minutes add up, especially if you have a few of them throughout your day and week.

Have books readily available

Use this in combination with the above.

Say you have five minutes while waiting in the car for someone. You start to get bored so you pull out your phone to browse social media. That could have been an opportunity for you to read a few pages in a book instead.

The lesson? Have physical books readily available — in the car, in the bathroom, in your jacket. And if you can, don’t bring your phone (not always possible I know).

Quit social media and any news

Here is an experiment — download an app on your phone that monitors your screen time and app usage. Over the week, use your phone as you normally would. At the end of the week, check the app and see what it says about how often you use your phone. What is your average screen time? What apps do you use?

When people say they don’t have time to read, it’s not exactly right — they do have time, but they choose to use it in different ways — social media, news, TV streaming, etc.

There are two benefits to quitting social media and news: 1 — you don’t get caught up in this world where people are doing things to get your attention (because let’s be honest, your attention is what they want) and 2 — you have more time to do other things you say you want to do (like read).



Wang Yip

Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at