12 Tips to Help You Read More in 2021

Maybe you haven’t read much since school. Or life has been too busy to get into a great book. Or, you’re just in a reading rut. Not to worry, here are twelve tips to make reading easier, build reading goals, and find your next favourite read. 

1) Make a list and set a goal

Start your year by making a list of books you’d like to read in 2021 and set a goal. You goal can be personal, like "read more fiction," exploring an author’s previous work, or reading more books than last year. You can build your list by asking friends or family what they recommend, explore classics that you have not read, checking out Halifax Public Libraries' Staff Picks and Reading Lists, or dig into award-winners and bestsellers from 2020. Keep the list and goal somewhere visible––posted on a bulletin board, in a special notebook, in your mobile device, on a social media platform like Goodreads, opens a new window or on your Halifax Public Libraries online dashboard For Later Shelf. Not using your "Shelves" feature? Learn more about using this online feature, opens a new window.

2) Review your book shelves

Your next great read might already be on your shelf. Take inventory of your own collection. Most people have books that they have never read. Pick up that gifted book, that impulse buy, or Book Club book you didn’t get around to reading. Your new favourite book might already be in your collection.

3) Look for celebrated books

There are so many book awards and reviews to help build your reading list. Book reviews, bestseller lists, and awards can signal cultural significance, relevance, and give you a sense of what is popular (but like always, you be the judge!). Here are few places to start:

4) Find “read-alike” resources

If you like To Kill A Mockingbird, you may enjoy Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing. Find your next great read with the NoveList database, opens a new window.

NoveList is chock-full of reading suggestions for all ages. You can find reading suggestions for kids and adults, explore novel "read-a-likes,” or search for your favourite authors, genres, and subject areas. NoveList is like a librarian in your pocket because it offers expert reader's advisory and is accessible anywhere, anytime. You’ll also see NoveList recommendations when you search Halifax Public Libraries’ catalogue. Find instructions on how to use NoveList, opens a new window.  

5) Visit your Library—in person or online

When you visit a library, you’ll see book displays handpicked by amazing Halifax Public Libraries staff. Don’t feel like visiting the branch? Halifax Pubic Libraries’ website regularly features reading lists for all readers. Feel free to judge a book by its cover, and pick up a Library-recommended book!

6) What are your favourite authors reading?

Authors are voracious readers. Often you can find them on social media posting about their current favourite books. Bonus! You can also check out what your favourite celebrities are reading.

7) Find an online community

Did you know, there is an entire community online exclusively talking about books? A few hashtags to follow on Instagram are: #Bookstagram, #TBR (to be read), #BooksofInstagram and #bibliophile. Start following readers, libraries (May we recommend, @hfxpublib, opens a new window?), independent booksellers, publishers and magazines for upcoming releases, reviews and recommendations. 

8) Find the format that works for you

There are many formats to enjoy books right now –– most people enjoy a hybrid approach. You can stick to tradition, and read physical books (hardcover or paperback). You can enjoy the convenience of e-books. 

Or, explore the world of audiobooks, allowing you to listen to a great book on your commute, while making supper or before bed. You can borrow audiobooks from Halifax Public Libraries or pay for a subscription service.

If you’re not using OverDrive/Libby app, opens a new window for digital borrowing, you can learn how to get started, opens a new window with this simple blog post.

9) Make reading a habit

Set time aside where you can concentrate and be uninterrupted. This may be first thing when you wake up, on your lunch break, during your commute or before bed.

10) Be ready to read

Bring your book or e-book reader with you. If you have a book with you, you’ll be more likely to read a few pages while you wait for an appointment, on a break at work, or on transit.

11) Make it social

Book Clubs are a great way to increase your reading and have fun. Either in-person or virtual, you will receive great recommendations, a deadline and a thoughtful conversation. A few popular online Book Clubs include: the Today Show’s #ReadWithJenna, opens a new window Book Club, Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, opens a new window, Oprah’s Book Club, opens a new window and the London Public Library offers a Queer Book Club –– check out a 2020 reading list and monthly events. Halifax Public Libraries often hosts virtual or in-person book chats and clubs, too! Be sure to keep an eye to our current Events Calendar.

12) Finally, track your progress

Keep track of what you've read. You can keep a pen and paper list, a Notes App list on your mobile device, use your Completed Shelf, opens a new window on Halifax Public Libraries' online dashboard or use a reading tracker tool like: Goodreads, opens a new window, Listy, opens a new window, or Candl, opens a new window.


Did we miss anything? How have you made reading a priority? Share your tips or personal goals in the comments or online, tagging us @hfxpublib, using the hashtag #MyLibrary. We wish happy reading to you in the coming year! 

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