How to read 100 books a year: 7 tips to tackle your TBR

How to read 100 books a year: 7 tips to tackle your TBR

In Expert Tips, For the Love of Reading by Lanie Pemberton

How to read 100 books a year: 7 tips to tackle your TBR

You might be wondering if it’s even possible to read 100 books in a year. Allow me to reassure you: Absolutely.

True, it may sound daunting. After all, that works out to about two books a week. But it is doable, especially if you have a plan in place. Plus, there are many benefits to reading 100 books a year, including learning new skills and gaining insight, reducing stress, and improving focus. Not to mention, it’s fun!

If you’re up for the challenge, start strong by following these tips for reading 100 books a year. Before long, reading will become a habit you just can’t (and shouldn’t) quit.

1. Schedule time to read

Most of us stay busy with work, chores, and social obligations. It’s easy for the “optional” stuff like reading and other hobbies to slip through the cracks. 

To prevent going a whole day (or week) without reading, make sure to schedule time to read each day so it becomes a non-negotiable part of your routine. You may find certain times of day, like morning versus night, work better for you. Lean into that.

Reading 100 books in 2024 — or any year — is only possible when we make it a priority. So add reading to your calendar, set reminders, and stick to your schedule. 

2. Remove distractions (AKA, screens)

Life is full of distractions, but in this digital era, we all know the biggest one: screens. Just think of the hours we spend watching TV or, even more nefarious, scrolling mindlessly on our phones. Hitting an ambitious reading goal hinges on distancing ourselves from these distractions. 

I recommend reading in a space without screens. Get away from the TV and put your phone in a different room. If you can’t do that, try silencing all notifications or putting your phone on Do Not Disturb during your scheduled reading time.

3. Read several books at once

One of the best tips for reading 100 books in a year is to read multiple books at the same time. Switch up your formats, genres, and challenge levels so you’re prepared to read at any moment. 

For example, I love cozying up with a paperback or ebook each night before bed. But when I’m driving, doing chores, or taking a walk, I always have an audiobook within reach. If I’m having an overwhelming day, I crave something light and breezy. But if I'm feeling ambitious, I’ll dive into a thought-provoking literary fiction or historical account.

Reading several titles at once means no matter your mood or situation, you can work toward your 100-books-per-year goal.

4. If you don’t like it, don’t read it

At the end of the day, this challenge should be fun. If you start a book and it just isn’t working for you, put it down. Try something else — a book that will captivate your attention. One hundred books a year is a lofty goal, so slogging through a story you hate will only waste time. 

Focus on books you enjoy and you’ll be shocked at how many titles you cross off your TBR list each month. It may be helpful to narrow down your favorite genre (but don’t be afraid to branch out, either).

5. Have your inventory ready

Two books a week for a whole year? There’s no time to spare hemming and hawing over what to read next. Have plenty of books on-hand so you can start a new one as soon as you finish your latest read.

This strategy can mean buying a bunch of books at once, checking out a big stack from the library, or using the Everand app so fresh titles are always available. Keep a TBR list handy but don’t think too much about the “right” order — just dive into a story. After all, you’re reading 100 books this year, so you’ll get around to each one at some point.

6. Seek out accountability

As with any challenge, reading 100 books in one year is easier if you have some outside accountability. Get a reading buddy who also wants to hit that 100 mark, join a book club, or post your progress online.

Ultimately, reaching this goal is up to you. But it’s going to be a lot easier if you have someone — or several people — asking about your progress, rooting for you, and even sharing the same experience. (It’s also more fun this way.)

7. Track your progress

Is there anything more satisfying than crossing something off a list? That sense of accomplishment is exhilarating. Track your progress as you slowly work toward reading 100 books. 

You can have some fun with this strategy. Buy a scratch-off poster, create a vision board, or even make it a social event with a Goodreads TBR list. However you track your progress, you’ll be proud to look back after the year and reminisce about all of the books you’ve read.


About the Author: Lanie Pemberton

Lanie is a San Diego-based freelance writer who loves reading crime thrillers and nonfiction about animals and the natural world. When not writing and reading (or writing about what to read), Lanie spends as much time as possible at the beach with her husband and pampered pittie, Peach.