Finding more time to read

I’m always trying to find more time to read. Here are ten of my suggestions for how I make the time.

1. Read during meals. Probably not nice dinners, or first dates (unless you’re lucky and find another crazy bibliophile), but I usually get some reading time in every morning at breakfast and pretty much any other meal I enjoy by myself.

2. Read during your break at work. Currently I’m using my break time to go on walks in order to get more exercise, but when I’m desperate for more reading time, especially in the summer when I can go outside, it’s easy to fit in a few pages during a regular fifteen minute work break.

3. Read before bed. This one seems so easy, but it always surprises me how many people go-go-go during the day and then climb straight into bed. Not only can forming the habit of twenty or so minutes of pleasure (not work or school) reading before bed quickly add up, but it can also help form a buffer between a long day and a relaxing night of sleep.

4. Read while traveling. I’ve been blessed with the ability to read in the car, but even if directing your eyes toward print while in a vehicle makes you sick, there are plenty of other ways to fit in reading while traveling. I’ve been known to read on airplanes, buses, and trains. I read in airport terminals and even while waiting in line to board or to go through security. I think I’ve even pulled out a book while eating alone in an airport restaurant, which is sort of numbers one and four combined.

5. Read while waiting. If you have a book with you at all times you can pull it out whenever an unexpected delay arises. A ride is late? The line at the pharmacy is super long? Your doctor’s office is behind schedule? You can read!

6. Read during commercials. The mute button exists for a reason, and besides, do you really need to watch another beer or car commercial? Sure it’s just five minutes here and there, but if the book is good, sometimes you might find yourself letting the DVR pick up the TV show, or just turning it off altogether.

7. Read as a reward. “I’ll let myself read two chapters after I vacuum the stairs.” “I’ll start that new book after I do that writing I need to do.” The trick here is making sure you actually allow yourself the reward rather than continuing to pile on tasks.

8. Read first thing in the morning. This works best on days you don’t work, obviously, but I find I get lots of reading done on the days when I do it first, even before getting out of bed or eating breakfast, before I have the time to put it off.

9. Set goals. Even if your goal is only one book per month, set it and stick to it. Having something attainable to shoot for inspires you, and you’ll find that you start finding the time to read. I find that this is especially true in January and February, when I’m especially inspired with a new year’s goal, and again in November and December, when I’m desperately trying to meet that goal.

10. Pick the right books. Don’t read the books that other people think you need to read, read the books you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new, but don’t struggle through a book unless you want to finish it. If you’re reading a book you don’t enjoy, you’re less likely to make time to read it, and if you’re a one-book-at-a-time person (not like me), you’ll soon find that you’re hardly reading at all.

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