My Routine: Book Reading

I am perpetually topping myself when it comes to being a nerd. Y’all should know how much I love books. Today I’m sharing what my book reading routine looks like! 🙈

I truly feel like there is so much value in reading good books BUT it can also be a giant waste of time if:

  1. We read worthless books
  2. We don’t retain what we learned. 

This is kind of the whole message behind The Finishing School. Books are powerful for training us up if we let them be.

My Reading Routine | Val Marie PaperI spend a good deal of my free time reading. It’s my favorite way to relax while at the same time feel like I’m exercising my mind. So here is my system for maximizing it’s effects in my life. 


  • Add interesting books to Amazon. I have several categories or lists (i.e. spiritual, health, family, business). Having it divided is helpful especially if I know I’m in the mood for a particular type of book.
  • Check out the related books below books I’m interested in. This is how I have found Awe by Paul David Tripp. 
  • Look up books that are quoted from in books you like. 
  • If you liked one book by an author, see what else they have.
  • Read reviews. Don’t take them as fact, but consider what they are saying. You can usually tell whether it’s an opinion you’d agree with.  
  • Download samples before buying. 
  • Instagram! I have found some amazing books from people I respect that share about what they are reading on Instagram. This is one reason I share a lot of books as well. Keep in mind, there is a difference between a review and saying they are starting a book. 


  • Write notes in the book. I just started this recently. In the past I have printed out Kindle highlights and even wrote out favorite quotes but honestly, it adds a lot of work and with two kids now, I’d probably finish just a few books a year. I love just jotting some thoughts in the margins to remember why I liked a quote. 
  • Keep really impactful ones for your kids. Y’all are probably sick of hearing me talk about legacy, but I love being able to pass down books that have changed my life to my girls.
  • Reread highlights once after reading. This is a quick way to really let it soak in.
  • Each month I’ll read highlights from a past book. If it was worth reading, it’s worth remembering. I feel like there is always some topic I want a refresher on whether it’s flipping through a business book when I need clarity and focus, or a book on motherhood when I’m particularly struggling with my role. It’s way to easy to read really good stuff and forget it. 

Books or Kindle?? I will read a few books on my Kindle, but I mostly read hard copies. I love have books to let friends borrow and like I mentioned above, being able to reference later and pass on to my kids!! 🙂

I would LOVE to hear how you read and retain knowledge! 

Leave a Comment!!

  • Love these tips! Because I don’t have the space (or money) to buy all the books I want to read, I usually stick to the library or Kindle books. I LOVE being able highlight and make notes in the Kindle app and then search for them later – this is a huge help for books I’m reading for grad school and for paper writing. However, if it’s a book I just know I’m going to love or, like you, will want to share it with others, then I’ll buy the hard copy. I also love the flash cards in books suggestion – may begin implementing that!

    – Amanda

  • I just started a common place notebook where I write out quotes that I love from books that I am reading.