Why You Need a Reading Plan

Reading is one of the most essential skills to develop. If you want to become a better reader, you need to make sure that your reading plan includes time for each activity (whether it’s checking out new books or other activities like podcasts).

Learning to read is often considered foundational, but it can take years of practice. This guide has suggestions on how you might find success in the long run.

The “reading plan template” is a tool that can be used to create a reading plan. The tool provides information on what to read, how long it will take, and where you should start.

You may have a weekly plan, an exercise plan, a financial plan, and even a leisure time plan. These strategies can help you make the most of your time and resources — and ultimately, your life.

But have you considered making a reading schedule?

You should: it can help you optimize the value, happiness, and satisfaction you receive from your reading, just like any other strategy.

Today, we’ll discuss why, as well as some tips for creating your personal reading schedule.

What Exactly Is a Reading Strategy?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a reading plan. You have a strategy — generally a list — for selecting what you’ll read next, rather than bouncing from random book to random book. A reading strategy directs your reading efforts and protects you from stagnating or always selecting the route of least resistance, whether it’s particular titles (all of Dickens’ works) or broad topics/genres (Civil War history) (whatever is right in front of you, easiest, or most entertaining).

Of course, this does not imply that you are exclusively reading such novels. I’m usually reading 2-4 books at a time, one of which is part of a broader plan (right now, it’s biographies of US presidents in chronological order; before that, it was a deep dive into the Western genre). If you only read one book at a time, it’s possible that every other book is simply for enjoyment and the rest is part of your strategy.

The Advantages of a Reading Strategy

Keeps you in the mentality of a perpetual learner. Everyone should make an effort to learn new things throughout their lives. Your education does not finish when you have your graduation. Reading may be used to advance your knowledge as well as for amusement, and making a strategy for it can help you make this “curriculum” more serious and meaningful.   

Keeps you on track with your reading. This isn’t to imply that you shouldn’t have fun with your reading. It very certainly should be. This is more in the sense that having a strategy keeps you reading on a regular basis. When you see a list of books you want to read, you’ll be more inspired to complete your 50 pages or 30 minutes per day goal. A to-read list keeps you focused on finishing books, much as a to-do list keeps you focused on completing job responsibilities and housework. It might assist you in prioritizing reading.

While I recognize that I am in a unique position because I work from home and reading is frequently part of that work, I try to read about 100 pages at the start of each day before tackling anything else (100 pages of anything; it may be all of a single book, but it is frequently split between a couple of books).

My to-do list motivates me to get up early and remain on track before the kids take up all of my time and attention. Because I know this is my objective, I know I have around 3,000 pages each month to work with, and I periodically plan out the reading I want to do each week. When you take your reading seriously, you’ll get a lot of reading done in a short period of time. That’s all there is to it.


Encourages you to complete novels you would not otherwise have the courage to finish. While reading should be a pleasurable experience (I can’t stress this enough; loathing what you’re reading will make you want to stop), it’s occasionally worthwhile to complete a book you don’t really like.

Every now and then, I stumble across a book that I’d want to read (past tense). To get there, I’ll need to read it (present tense). And such novels can be a drag at times, even if the writing is wonderful and I’m loving the plot. It’s a strange occurrence, but I’m sure you can relate. Anna Karenina has been that for me lately. I can declare categorically that the writing is outstanding. Tolstoy can compose a sentence as well as any other author I’ve read. However, I became stuck around halfway through and haven’t been able to complete it. It just takes a lot of mental effort to persevere with difficult novels that you aren’t naturally attracted to. I’d want to be known as someone who has read Anna Karenina, but it’s not in my immediate plans, so it lies on my shelf, half-read.

Let’s have a look at a book that was likewise challenging but that I finished: Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life. I purchased it in college and got about a third of the way through before giving up. I tried again approximately 6 months ago and got stuck about 50 pages in. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Chernow is a fantastic writer, and the tale was fantastic as well. It was simply difficult to get through; the typography was tiny (which meant there were a lot of words each page), plus it was all new knowledge (I hadn’t read anything about the Revolution before), so my brain was exhausted after each page. It wasn’t until I made a commitment to read a book on each president that I was able to sit down with it every morning and complete it in just a few weeks.

When you have a list and curriculum to go through, something occurs in the brain that adds an additional dosage of incentive.

It lubricates the reading wheels a little. This is a small thing, but it is worth mentioning. Have you ever found that just choose which book to read next saps some of your reading motivation? You’re in the library, or the bookshop, or simply staring at your own shelves, and the options are overwhelming. You want to read every single book. But you can’t make up your mind which one to choose, and by the time you do, you’re exhausted from merely making the decision. This “paradox of choice” has been shown to be paralyzing, stymieing our capacity to make decisions or do anything at all. When you work from a plan, on the other hand, you don’t have to choose; you just go on to the next book in your list, full of willpower and new energy. Having a reading plan greases the wheels and makes it much simpler to get into a rhythm.


Allows for the mastery of a topic. This is perhaps my favorite aspect of keeping a reading schedule. On Art of Manliness, we’ve argued that everyone should seek to be “T-shaped,” meaning that they should have a broad range of general knowledge as well as mastery of a specific topic, subject, or talent. Such control brings a lot of happiness and self-assurance.

So, how do you master something? One method is to delve thoroughly into a specific topic. Having a reading plan, whether motivated by your profession or personal interests, is a certain method to broaden your knowledge base.

As previously said, as part of my study for an article last year, I went out to locate the finest Western books. I read about 50 for the assignment and now feel confident in my ability to converse about Western literature with just about any other specialist on the subject. Prior to joining the Art of Manliness, I worked for a “green” IT services firm. Because I didn’t know much about this industry, one of the first things I did was compile a list of every book I could find on data centers, green IT efforts, the “cloud,” and other topics.

You may read extensively not just about your professional sector, but also about your hobbies and interests. If you’re a hunter, read about the history of the sport, biographies of renowned hunters, practical field guides on the sport, and anything else you can get your hands on on hunting.

Make a list and explore the depths of your knowledge’s vertical axis. Master a topic completely.

It gives you a feeling of achievement. Your brain feels successful when you push through a list of books you’ve been working through for a long time, much as your body feels accomplished after pushing through a lifting plan and attaining your target on your deadlift. You’ll get the impression that your reading meant a lot to you. If nothing else, having a strategy will almost certainly encourage you to read more, which will boost your feeling of achievement.

Following are some reading plans to consider.  

Make it a contest. Try to push yourself a little harder. Don’t just go with the New York Times Best Sellers list, which is not only easily manipulated but nearly always contains a mix of mystery fiction and celebrity memoir. Those novels have a place in certain reading plans, but not in a reading plan in which you seek to push yourself.

Having said that, you do you. If you want to read James Patterson’s whole canon, go for it. Again, you’ll almost certainly read more, which is usually a good thing. (You could also learn that all of his works are the same, and you’ll desire something a bit more difficult.) Zing!)

Here are some reading plans to consider:

Lists of the Art of Manliness Here on AoM, we have a lot of book lists. The most popular is our list of 100 novels a guy should read, but any of them will suffice:


  • Every Man Should Read These 21 Western Novels
  • 13 Books on Masculinity and Manhood
  • Jeremiah’s 16 Most Important Proverbs
  • There are 43 books about war.
  • Men’s Fiction (As Suggested by AoM Readers)
  • 50 Adventure Books That Aren’t Fiction
  • 50 Adventure Books in Fiction
  • Lists of Famous Men’s Libraries 

The Great Books are a collection of works by famous authors. Reading the Great Books may be done in a variety of ways. Online Great Books is a paid service that allows you to read and debate books with others who are on the same path as you. In the back of his book How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler offers a lengthy list. Susan Wise Bauer’s book, The Well-Educated Mind, offers a little more accessible list in the back.

Recipients of awards Look through a list of award recipients. It is common to compile a list of Pulitzer Prize winners in any category. Another is the National Book Award. Read at least one book by each Nobel Laureate in Literature. There are a lot of alternatives here.

A single author’s whole canon. Do you like Hemingway, Steinbeck, or Dickens? If you’re feeling very brave, read everything they’ve ever written in chronological sequence.

Take a look at some of the past categories. Biographies and history are popular with men, therefore go more into that topic. Every president’s biography should be read (or leader of the nation you live in). Bestpresidentialbios.com’s developer has spent 5 years doing just that. Make a list of books on the Civil War. Read as many books as you can on the state or area where you reside (including novels set there). You get my drift.

There are several book lists available on the internet. Choose one, make a commitment, and stick to it. Plans help you get to where you want to go faster — and this is true for reading as well as everything else.

Sign up for my weekly email, “What I’m Reading,” to keep up with my progress through the presidential biographies, as well as my other non-plan reading. 



The “book reading plan” is a tool that can help people develop their own personal reading plans. It helps them to set goals, track progress, and motivate themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it helpful to make a plan for your reading?

A: Sometimes, when you have a lot on your plate, it can be difficult to focus and read at the same time. However, with practice being able to create a plan will help you stay focused while also ensuring that there is more of what you need in the book. Its also helpful for organizing how much work needs to get done before class tomorrow!

What is planned reading?

A: Planned reading is the act of asking your child to read, usually in response to a prompt. This will be done at home or school and there are many benefits for doing this!

Why you should have a reading list?

A: Having a reading list allows you to be updated with what is happening in the world. It also gives you an idea of what types of books are popular these days for your education and personal life.

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