Conquering War & Peace



My book nook



Mission accomplished. How did I achieve this feat? Discipline, bro. I’m not the world’s slowest reader, but I do zone out/fall asleep/drink a ton of water & then require 12 bathroom breaks  a lottt when I read books. So here are my secrets to getting through it.

Tips for reading read War & Peace

  1. Have ample free time ( like recovering from foot surgery ). Or if you’re a normal person who works, just choose a chunk of time before, after, during work (lunch break) to read.

  2. Commit to a min # of pages (per sitting, per day, per week – you decide) and stick to it.  & always finish the chapter you’re in even if its over that page # you’ve set. This just gives you that small extra jump forward, which helps with such a long book like War & Peace.

  3. Time yourself – smartphones have timers. Give yourself 1 hr. Put yourself on airplane mode if you have to. Then toss the phone far (out of sight, out of mind is a saying for a reason). Don’t touch it until it goes off. When it does, celebrate  & make some tea. Do some pushups while the water’s boiling, then do another hour.

  4. Don’t even try it during the holidays. Way too many distractions/excuses/tv marathons to miss. Unless you have a calm, quiet, docile family that reads together, then do it to it, I guess.

  5. Don’t panic over the number of characters & confusing names. It’s mildly overwhelming in the beginning. It’s a long book- you have a looott of time to get acquainted with everyone.  I made a character list at first, but I really didn’t need it. Don’t waste your time. DO read the character section at the beginning. It explains the Russian name system/tradition & it’s helpful.

  6. Commit. To. It.   The whole thing. Don’t bail after 200 pages, that’s just lame. It’s 100% worthwhile.

  7. Don’t be discouraged if you time yourself & realize that the # of pages you read per hour is tragically low and makes you feel like you’re reading at a glacial pace. You probably are.  It’s fine.

  8. Allow skimming. Only during some of the war scenes. Keep it to a minimum, but know that it’s certainly no crime. I honestly skimmed hard core at one chunk of a battle scene. And I feel good about it. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  9. Don’t let it go on too long. If you procrastinate too much, you’re going to forget everything you’ve read, which could be like 600 pages. I wouldn’t want to start all over after having come so far. Give yourself a deadline from the start & set a schedule. Even if you know you’ll break it, it will be there motivating you.

  10. Delete your insta, snapchat, vine, whatever your app cup of tea may be. Just re-install them when you’re done.  Shouldn’t you be reading the book instead of instagramming it?

  11. Enjoy it. Tolstoy’s writing is immaculate. Witty. All around delicious. Really sink your teeth into it. Realize how privileged you are to have the opportunity to read some of the world’s greatest literature.

  12. Endnotes….  take em or leave em. A lot of them are interesting but some are just pointless. I was very diligent about them at first, but by the end it was only if it sounded intriguing that i would read it.

Bonus tips

    1. Make note of the parts you love/hate/find interesting for whatever reason. I took pictures of the text…. with the phone that was supposed to be far from me. I started doing this near the end, but I wish I had done it throughout, because there are just so many great quotes/parts that you want to remember and go back to.

    2. Get interested in France. And Russia. & History.

    3. Acquaint yourself with tea. I highly recommend peppermint.



I loved this story. I highly recommend it to everyone, however I’m not deluded. I know that most of my 23 year old peers are not interested in reading this – at least not right now. But, if you like reading the classics, this seriously is a must read.