How to Read 200 Books a Year

Do you ever just look at how many books someone’s read this month, or what their Goodreads goal is, and just melt into a puddle of despair crying HOOOOW?! Same. I’m that puddle. But instead of wallowing in misery that it’s highly improbable we’ll ever get around to reading all the books on our shelves or finally conquer our TBR, I’m going to give some VERY HELPFUL TIPS about how you can read hundreds of books each year. It’s pretty much foolproof.

My reading habits have remained mysterious to this very day, but NO LONGER ARE THEY A SECRET. I’ve #exposed all those other readers out there who read 200+ books a year, purely for your benefit. Shh… don’t tell them I spilled the tea. So take a seat, grab a notepad, and get ready to learn all about the secret lives of these speed-readers.

Untitled (10)

Read multiple books at once.

You might think I mean flicking between a few different books at once – perhaps one of them is an audiobook for your commutes. Perhaps one is a physical book you only choose to read before bed. But no, I’m talking about reading multiple books AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. How are you meant to read two or more books at once when you only have two eyes, you ask? GET SOME MORE EYES. I recommend at least eight. It’s the only way to ensure you will have maximum retention of the novels and be able to smash through your Goodreads goal.

What, like, growing more eyes is hard? AMATEURS. 

3

Don’t sleep. Just drink more coffee.

Okay but like, sleeping is SO last century. All that time wasted with your eyes shut and your brain making you hallucinate for eight hours a night when you could spend that time doing MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THINGS? I think I’ll pass. Think of what you could be doing in that extra time. Reading. Uh, drinking coffee so you can continue reading. Writing reviews. Reading. I mean, the possibilities are endless.

So get yourself a good coffee machine or a Starbucks rewards card, choose your weapon (latte, cappuccino, espresso, light soy pumpkin spice frappuccino) and get ready to have some serious sleep deprivati— I mean, BE PRODUCTIVE.

notebook3-coffee

Find a job where you can read books at work.

Some people are lucky enough to have jobs where they can read or listen to audiobooks on shift. Some people have JOBS. FULL STOP. Because not all of us are currently studying communications and are told on a daily basis that there are no job prospects for them on the horizon. Haha ha ha. Ha. But even if you don’t have a job where you can read on shift, you can make your own business! Open an online store and listen to audiobooks while you create designs. Pick apples from your orchard with a book in one hand while you do it. I don’t know what you’re into, but YOU CAN MAKE THIS WORK. I BELIEVE IN YOU. As long as your business isn’t harvesting the souls of innocent unicorns.

notebook 5 with writing

Cancel that Netflix subscription and get Audible instead.

Hear me out… I know that you’re probably binging something at the moment and you’ve been watching so much of it that the theme song of your life is the same as that of One Day at a Time, but TRUST ME ON THIS. That corporation is just wasting your time for you. Imagine how many audiobooks you could get through instead of binging a series of Brooklyn 99! Probably half of one, because audiobooks are SUPER LONG! But unless you’re counting watching Shadowhunters as reading The Mortal Instruments and using it to get you closer to your Goodreads goal, it’s probably not helping your productivity.

Typewriter6

Realise that characters are your only REAL friends. Don’t go out with anyone else. The characters will get jealous.

Who’s still going to be there for you, even when you’re grumpy and caffeine-deprived? Who’s going to still love you, no matter how many times you throw the book across the room and scream HOW COULD YOU HURT ME LIKE THIS?! The books will. Maybe not all the characters, because they have a terrible habit of dying right after you’ve fallen completely and helplessly in love with them, but THE BOOKS THEMSELVES. Those glorious stacks of paper and ink, making their way into our hearts with 26 letters and gorgeous covers.

So why would you choose to go out with anyone else when your books are right here, waiting for you? They’ll never go and see Black Panther without you, when you explicitly said you wanted to see it. They’ll never accidentally spill tea on your favourite hardback. They will always, ALWAYS be there for you… until they get sick of you being clingy and hope you bleed to death from paper cuts.

And now for some mini reviews of books I’ve read recently!

37758969

The Astonishing Colour of After

This was such a beautiful, heart-wrenching read that I’ve been dying to read ever since I heard about it last year. The Astonishing Colour of After is a book about grief, love, and learning where you belong when it feels like the world has been ripped from under your feet, and it was just incredible. The exploration of Chinese / Taiwanese culture, the realistic portrayal of family relationships, and the discussions surrounding mental health and suicide were just some of the aspects of this novel that made it one of the most unforgettable books of 2018. The only complaint I had about this novel is that it felt a bit too long and some aspects did drag a little, but I adored the vast majority of this beautiful novel.

The gorgeous, lyrical prose was undoubtedly my favourite aspect of this novel. It was so incredibly well-written, with colour permeating the narrative and a magical-realism element that set this novel apart from a lot of other similar books on the market. What else make this an unforgettable read for me was seeing this biracial protagonist learning more about her cultural heritage with her extended family she wasn’t too familiar with. Seeing their relationship grow, as well as Leigh’s understanding of the Chinese / Taiwanese, was such an important aspect of this novel and I loved being taken on this exploration of herself and her family background with Leigh. If you’re looking for a moving, heartfelt book that blurs the lines of reality and magical realism, The Astonishing Colour of After is simply a must-read.

Rating:

4 Stars

Thanks to Date a Book and Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


36541229

Piecing Me Together

A lot happened in this short novel, but it was quite an enjoyable, quick read that I devoured in one sitting. Piecing Me Together is the story of a young woman of colour who’s trying to find her place in the world, and it discusses issues like family relationships, self-love and the ingrained racism in society without being overwhelming. It would have been so easy for this novel to just be an Issues Book, however it wasn’t. It was the story of Jade and her life, and she was such a well-developed, complex character that drove the story and made it one that I wanted to keep reading. She was also really easy to connect to, which made Piecing Me Together an enjoyable read despite there not being a lot of action.

What I liked most about Piecing Me Together was how it showed the ingrained racism in society, as well as class divisions and white privilege. We desperately need more YA novels by authors of colour, and Piecing Me Together is a necessary contribution. Not every new novel by a writer of colour has to publish the next The Hate U Give. Piecing Me Together was a quiet coming-of-age story that might have gotten overshadowed by some bigger releases, but it’s a necessary and important read nonetheless.

Rating:

4 Stars

Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


23197837

The Belles

WOW. I’m shook. I had high hopes for The Belles, and it definitely didn’t let me down. It was such an intriguing story that kept me captivated from beginning to end, and it’s 100% deserving of all the hype it’s been getting. It was just a phenomenal read. The Belles is a story about beauty and sisterhood, as well as the sinister undercurrents of a seemingly perfect world. It just blew me away. I’m not a big reader of fantasy, but it was so easy to fall into this story and understand the world of the Belles, and I utterly adored it. JUST WOW.

Although some of the characters got on my nerves at times and could appear incredibly self-centred and childish — to the extent that I wanted to slap them — I didn’t feel as though this hindered the story. It did take me a while to feel for the protagonist simply because she was so selfish in the beginning, but the novel wouldn’t have been the same without those annoying traits in her personality. My favourite thing about The Belles was undoubtably the creepier aspects that come in the last third of the story. What started out as a sweet story about beauty contests and powers turned into something dark and twisted and just so delightful to read. I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING. I need the second book in my hands ASAP.

Rating:

4 Stars

Thanks to Date a Book and Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


30971706

Things I Should Have Known

This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read all year! Things I Should Have Known is so underhyped, and it deserves all the love and support in the world. There’s autistic and queer representation, and it was just an adorable contemporary story that made me experience ALL THE FEELS. Although some of it was hard to read because of the ableist language used by the characters (which was called out and used to highlight the issues with speaking in that way, especially about those who are autistic), it was such a gorgeous read that was both touching and heartfelt.

I haven’t read too many novels about autistic characters, and although I can’t speak for the representation, I feel as though it was incredibly well-written and we need more of this rep in YA. Or rather, I need to go out of my way to search out more books with autistic rep. The relationship between the protagonist and her sister was beautiful, I adored the friendship between all the characters, and it was so great to see one of the characters realising their sexuality and AHH JUST LET ME HOLD THIS ADORABLE QUEER MUNCHKIN. This was just such a beautiful novel that I need to fangirl with more people about. So please read it if you haven’t already done so!

Rating:

5-stars


17900792

Not Otherwise Specified

ANOTHER AMAZING QUEER READ RIGHT HERE. I honestly don’t know why I put off reading this novel for so long. Probably because I’m not a MASSIVE fan of the cover… but I finally managed to look past my disliking of people on covers and read this book. AND WOW. Someone hold me. This book is just so wholesome and important, and if you’re looking for more books with bisexual protagonists, you need this book in your life. Honestly, you need this book in your life regardless. It talks openly about sexuality and mental health, and it’s just an incredible novel. I’d be cautious if you’re triggered by anything related to eating disorders though — just a heads up!

What I loved most about this novel was the way it discussed what it’s like to be bisexual when you’re surrounded by people who seem to think you’re either “too gay” or “too straight” to fit in. I know what that feels like, and I found that portrayal incredibly genuine and realistic. And did I mention she’s a woman of colour recovering from an eating disorder? SO MUCH GOOD REP RIGHT THERE. Etta was written like she could walk right off the pages. Her relationship with her family and her friends, her passions and dreams, and her flaws — all of it made her such a complex and three-dimensional person, and I just loved getting to know her. If you’re like me and have been eying off this book for a while, PLEASE PICK IT UP ASAP. It’s just phenomenal.

Rating:

5-stars


34138368

Before I Had the Words

I don’t read many memoirs, so I was excited to pick up Before I Had the Words. This is a book about a young trans person and their documentation of their life on YouTube, and although I wasn’t familiar with Skylar and his story before reading this book, I found this to be a powerful and necessary memoir. I read Finding Nevo last year and utterly adored it, and I was pleased to find that Before I Had the Words was just as phenomenal. It was well-written and informative, and is such an open and candid portrayal of what it means to be trans. If you’re looking for more memoirs to read this year, I couldn’t recommend this one enough.

Rating:

5-stars

Thanks to NewSouth Books Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


38474445

I Have Lost My Way

I was so excited to finally read another Gayle Forman book, but unfortunately, I was supremely underwhelmed by her latest novel. Although I Have Lost My Way was atmospheric and character-driven, it was just very slow and not a lot happened. Usually I’m a fan of quiet novels, like We Are Okay and Untidy Towns, however I Have Lost My Way just didn’t have the same effect on me. Maybe it’s because it followed the lives of three characters and it wasn’t long enough to allow me to connect to each of them on an emotional level. Maybe it’s because the story took place over the course of one day and it felt like it could have been a novella instead of a novel. I didn’t dislike this book, I’m just disappointed by it.

One thing I did enjoy about this book was that it took place in New York City—which would have to be my favourite contemporary setting, closely followed by Melbourne and London. It was incredibly well-written and had a kind of alluring aesthetic that drew me in. I adored the setting, and maybe if I’d had more time to get to know each of the characters I would have enjoyed this book a lot more. I Have Lost My Way wasn’t long enough to allow me to develop a connection to all three of these people, which was its downfall for me. However, if you’re looking for a quick read and are a fan of atmospheric stories with multiple points of view, I recommend giving this novel a go!

Rating:

3-stars

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


Let's Talk

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? How do you find enough time to read each day? Do you have any tips on how to read hundreds of books each year, keeping in mind that some of us have already sold our soul to the devil? Definitely not me. Nope. I wouldn’t do that.

*awkward silence*

Come chat with me!

Signature

41 thoughts on “How to Read 200 Books a Year

  1. I’ve read about 200 books a year for the last three years and I dunno if I can do it this year because uni. However, all the strategies you reccommend make complete sense and won’t lead to a degradation in my quality of life at all. Which is good, because I have…a lot of books to read. I’m not stressed though!(lol lolol lol) And these mini reviews were super fun. I so love the australian cover for The Astonishing Colour of After!

    • I mean, you could read more than 200 books if you take my tips into consideration! Why not 400! Or 600! The more eyes you grow, the more books you can read 😂 And thank you! THE ASTONISHING COLOUR OF AFTER has a gorgeous cover, doesn’t it?! SWOONING 😍

  2. Love this post! ❤ I definitely agree with reading multiple books at a time and listening to audio books, especially since the two tips go great together. Usually I'm listening to one book while walking around the city/doing laundry/cooking, reading one book for classes, and reading one book for pleasure…. although I have WAY to many going at the moment! 🙂

  3. Haha this is a great post! I definitely need to try Audible at some point because I’ve heard a lot of people say that audiobooks changed the way they read. I just finished The Belles a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed it too. Definitely agree that the final third of the story was the best. Before I Had The Words sounds really good, I might have to add that to my TBR. Great post Sarah!

    • Haha thank you, I’m so glad you liked it! AUDIBLE IS LIFE. I definitely recommend listening to SLEEPING GIANTS, ILLUMINAE or THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE first if you haven’t already read them – or even if you have! They’re incredible on audio 😍 And I’m so pleased you loved THE BELLES as well! I was so shook by what happened at the end. And I hope you enjoy BEFORE I HAD THE WORDS once you get around to reading it! 💕

      • My only worry with Audible is that once I subscribe, I’ll love it so much that I’ll never be able to unsubscribe and can kiss my money goodbye forever! I’ve read The Gentleman’s Guide, but I’ve not read the other two you recommended, so I’ll keep them in mind for when I eventually get my trial. 🙂 What speed do you have it on when you listen? I’ve heard a lot of people saying they use x1.5. Yeah, the ending of The Belles was excellent, so dark and intense! 🙂

      • TRUE! I love Audible with all my heart ❤️ I hope you enjoy those other audiobooks! Yes, I usually listen on 1.5, but it changes depending on how fast the person speaks of course. Happy reading (and listening)! 💕

  4. Very funny – realise that characters are your only friends made me smile simply because sometimes if I’m reading a book I resent socialising! So bad.
    Lynn 😀

  5. As someone who (according to Goodreads) read 45 books this year (until March 15th), my secret is short stories, poetry and graphic novels. ^^” This was a great post!

  6. Okay well I am DEFINITELY on track for how to read a lot.😂 Like who needs sleep or friends?! Pfft. Such an easy fix.😂And OMG YES TO THE THINGS I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!! The rep is A+ excellence, maybe one of the best ASD books I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot and most of them are pretty crappy with the rep bleh). I also really want to read Not Otherwise Specified and The Belles someday soon. 😍

    • RIGHT?! Sleep and friends are so unnecessary. Are they going to help you conquer your TBR and continue to take over the world? I DON’T THINK SO 💁🏼 AND YES, HOW AMAZING IS IT?! I’m so glad I picked it up, and I was just a massive puddle of emotions the entire time 😍😭 Both NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED and THE BELLES are phenomenal as well – I can’t wait to hear what you think of them! 💜

  7. Sleep less? I’mma stop you right there. That is where I draw the line. I love my burrito blanket too much to not fall into my dream (to be chased by a shadow for the next few hours).

    I’m more surprised as to how people can crank out a book in a few hours like omg I read like 30-50 pages a hour on a good day 😭😭

    And cancel Netflix? There is a lot of blasphemy here. Do you work for Audible–YOUR TRUE COLOURS ARE SHOWINGGGGG. 😱

    • BUT SLEEPING IS SUCH A WASTE OF TIME. I get that you might need to sleep in order to be a “functional human being”, BUT WE’RE BLOGGERS. WE’RE EXEMPT FROM THIS RULE. Just go out in public wearing your burrito blanket – no one will care 😂

      Okay but… sometimes I fall into a story and I just can’t get out. Then I look up and four hours have passed and I’ve forgotten to feed my cat, and I’ve forgotten to turn off the oven that’s cooking cake, and suddenly EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE. So it’s probably for the best that you don’t do that. You know, for your own safety.

      OH NO I’VE BEEN EXPOSED. NOW EVERYONE WILL KNOW WHERE MY ALLEGIANCES LIE. #notsponsoredbyAudible 🙊 But audiobooks are the best. Don’t @ me, Netflix 😂

  8. I’m one of those who reads 150 and plus books a year and my secret are pretty much what you talked about here except for one key point you missed out on… remove your eyelids altogether that way you can’t blink and you will have more reading time — you might look weird to others but since the book characters are your only friends they won’t mind.. Great post by the way.

  9. Haha I love this. I’m definitely a multi-book reader. And I’m not big on netflix so that’s already swapped. Haha if I could just kick that time-consuming grad school habit. 😉

    • Okay, I guess if you REALLY can’t give up Netflix, just grow some more eyes so you can watch and read at the same time. That would work, right? The best of both worlds? 😂 But yes, reading multiple books in different formats is SO GREAT 🙌🏼

  10. LOL I loved this post! I’ve been tempted to read two books simultaneously before. It wasn’t as fun as I wanted it to be 😛

    I do read a lot of books though in a year (close to 200). The lack of a social life is definitely one factor ;P Just (sorta) kidding. But in all seriousness, I do have an audiobook on the go for my commutes and another novel on the go at the same time so that makes a big difference. The biggest thing though is getting myself into the habit of going to bed 15 minutes early and spending that time reading as opposed to using my phone.

  11. Hahaha loved this. Thought this was a serious post, was so confused at first! I’m reading two books at the same time now (one physical, one Kindle) and it’s already confusing me. The only way I’ll ever read 200 books a year is if they’re all comic books.

  12. I think I’ll get some more eyes or something… I read like 130 books last year but now I’m a uni student I have no time an have only read about 2 things this month *hides*. I’m so pathetic. I should stop sleeping, listen to an audiobook while reading something else, and get a job. 😀 Great post ❤ ❤

    • Yeah, I mean, just get more eyes. It’s not like it’s HARD 😂 Life as a student is honestly so chaotic though, so I can hardly blame you. But maybe try listening to audiobooks when you nap. On triple speed. That works, right?! 😂💕

  13. “ Here Lies Morgane, Crush By All The Books And Worn Out By The Book Worms. ” That’s surely how I die. My circulatory system no longer carrying blood, only tea/ice coffee. I’ll die of sleep deprivati— I mean, productivity. Or paper cuts. ( I’m so clumsy. ) May I say that books can do marvellous deadly weapons? The best bodyguard, really.

    10/10 for your HELPFUL tips! Can you give me the spell to grow more eyes, though? I think it’s not in my spellbook.

  14. Reading 200 books a year would mean slowing down. When I moved to China in 1999, I got out of the TV habit. I’ve been back in the US for seven years, but I still don’t watch TV. (Except when the Carolina Panthers are playing.) I’d rather be reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s