Using My Phone More Helped Me Read 60 Books in 2023. Here’s How.

Boost your reading productivity with these underrated tips.

Using My Phone More Helped Me Read 60 Books in 2023. Here’s How.
Image from the author’s Instagram.

Boost your reading productivity with these underrated tips.

If I had to name the most important habit that helped me become a successful writer today, it’d be reading books.

I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood. 

As a kid, I used to borrow 3–5 books a week from my school library and finish them before the return date. Those were easy times with no smartphones or social media, so I had the luxury to devote attention to my reading.

Today, it’s hard, especially when you’re an online creator who needs to constantly upskill and stay updated with social media trends- which means more digital distractions. The same happened to me after I finished college.

I was working full-time and started building my online writing business on the side.

With increased responsibilities, distractions, and screen time, reading took a backseat. I was losing track of time and mostly doom-scrolling, in the name of staying updated or doing “behind-the-scenes” efforts.

I missed reading, but it was hard for me to get back to it. 

From being someone who used to read 200+ books each year, I became a woman who could barely finish 10.

Realizing this, I decided to find a way out despite my hectic schedule to rediscover my love for books. I devised a plan to restart reading more by leveraging my phone time instead of letting it work against my productivity.

Result- I ended up reading 60 Books in 2023.

If you also want to kickstart your reading journey, this article will help you.

I’ve shared everything you need to start the reading habit and enjoy the magical world that books will open for you despite your busy lifestyle.

Get more reading done in less time with these tried-and-tested tricks

Filling in the background noise

No matter how busy we get in life, there are always pockets of time for recurring passive activities. Like commute, cooking, and other everyday chores. You can dedicate these minutes to books and get closer to your reading goals.

Of course, you can’t always read using a physical book while doing all these activities, but I’ve got a solution for this.

I listen to audiobooks on the go — while preparing meals, doing the dishes, doing my laundry, or any other chore that doesn’t demand active thinking.

Some tricks that helped me stick to audiobooks and gain the most from them-

  • Stop trying to remember everything I read. The mindset shift that helped- “If I gain one new habit or perspective shift from each book I read, I’m satisfied.
  • Rewind and rewind often. If I fail to understand some point, I don’t hesitate to rewind.
  • Read a book and listen to the audio at the same time.

Once you start listening to audiobooks with these strategies, you’ll be surprised to see your growth as a reader.

The best part of filling the background noise with audiobooks is that boring household chores no longer feel as mundane as they once did.

The Audible app on my phone is witness to how many hundreds of hours I’ve spent listening to audiobooks. (Image by the author).

2. Replacing the doom-scrolling

As a creator, I have to research, do competitor analysis, and find opportunities to pitch my services online. It’s hard not to get distracted while doing this on the phone.

Beside work, to kill time or to escape boredom, spending time on social media became my second nature. I found myself using my phone more than it was needed.

My screen time was somewhere around 4–5 hours despite a full-time job and part-time content creation.

I knew I couldn’t suddenly get over this habit of overusing my phone, but I could change my approach to spending time on the phone.

I subscribed to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited plan, and it was a game-changer.

Whenever I had an urge to pick up the phone, I opened the Kindle app and started reading. I’d to be strict with myself initially for not using any other app unnecessarily by applying time restrictions. It took some time but eventually became a habit.

The Amazon Kindle app on my phone saves me from doom scrolling social media. (Image by the author).

I leveraged my tendency to spend more time on the phone to reach my yearly goal rather than letting it work against me.

3. Storing the gems for later

Reading books more consistently helped me venture beyond online content. It expanded my horizons, and I started getting more ideas for my content creation.

I started taking notes on the Keep app to make my reading process more fun and creative. Every time I read interesting facts, quotes, or paragraphs, I copy-pasted them to my “content inspiration vault.”

I’ve also created a WhatsApp group with my friend where we keep sharing interesting quotes we came across.

Storing interesting quotes from books and movies in a WhatsApp chat with my friend. (Image by the author).

I use those saved resources in my writing as hooks for social media posts or quotes in my articles to create unique content.

Rather than trying too hard to remember everything I read, I created a system to get maximum value from every book. Start doing this yourself to make the best use of reading books on your phone or other devices.

4. Having multiple ongoing storylines in my head

To maintain my reading habit despite a hectic schedule, I read multiple books simultaneously in different formats: 1 physical, 1 on Kindle, and 1 on audio.

This can get overwhelming if you stick to one category of books. For example, reading 4 self-help books at once isn’t a sustainable goal.

I pick books from different genres and kept switching among them based on what I feel like reading at the moment.

My current reads are:

  1. MAKE: Bootstrapper’s Handbook by Pieter Levels (Business/non-fiction) on my Kindle.
  2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy fiction) as a paperback.
  3. Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney (Thriller) on audio.

You need to mix up your genres, keep the momentum going, and make sure you’re having fun. To read multiple books at once like I did, this has to be your mantra.

Reading more despite using my phone more: Final words

“The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.”― James Clear

I followed exactly this to become the voracious reader I once was, and it helped me rediscover my long-lost passion for books.

At the end of 2023, I finished reading 60 books by using my phone more.

If your phone has taken over your reading interest, my 4-step guide will help you reignite your love for reading.

  1. Leverage audiobook platforms to read during everyday mundane tasks- while commuting, prepping for meals, doing laundry, etc.
  2. Respond to the urge to use your phone by heading straight to the Kindle app. Set daily time restrictions for other apps so you don’t end up wasting time on them
  3. Make it fun and creative by capturing the quotes, interesting facts, or relatable paragraphs you find while reading
  4. Read multiple books at the same time by mixing and matching different formats and genres, like 1 as a physical book, 1 on Kindle, and 1 on audio.

Try these simple tricks if you want to start reading more or rediscover the long-lost reader in you like I did. You’ll be surprised to see your progress by the end of the year.

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