I have always loved books. When I was a girl I always found a way to make time to read. With few responsibilities, I could while away the hours reading book after book.
Really, what’s not to love about books? Visiting far off places, gaining knowledge, experiencing new things, and getting to know new people all from the comfort of your own home are some of the reasons I love to read.
Over the years life kind of got in the way of my favorite pastime. Kids, work, managing a home, etc. made me think I didn’t have time to read.
Sure, I read a few non-fiction books and articles about all sorts of topics ranging from home management, food allergies, parenting, and more to help me be a better homemaker and mother.
However, I wasn’t reading those books because I particularly wanted to, nor was I reading with any regularity.
In August 2015, I decided I wanted to make a concerted effort to read more. I wanted to get back the love of reading for pleasure that I had as a girl.
I started reading some classic novels I had always wanted to read, and I finished 11 books by the end of 2015.
Since I was enjoying reading so much, I set a goal of reading 52 books in 2016.
Would you believe I have already read 63?
You may be thinking, that’s nice Jackie, but I just don’t have time to read.
I hear you. I am a busy mom of 5 kids and wife to a husband who has a very demanding job. Here are 6 ways I am able to make more time to read. Maybe these strategies will help you, too.
1. Read Books You Enjoy
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but many times we think we “should” read a certain book because it is either popular, a best seller, or recommended to us by a good friend.
For example, I love romance novels (classics, Christian, historical, etc.). That means that if a friend highly recommended a book on quantum physics I would probably have to pass because that isn’t going to be something I would enjoy. BTW, I don’t know of any of my friends who sit around reading physics books for the fun of it, but you get my point. 🙂
Along those same lines, don’t discount a book just because it isn’t the type of book you normally read. I have learned many things from non-fiction books over the years even though they aren’t my favorite genre. My friend Cherie’s book has a great blend of humor, personal stories, and practical information on the topic of finances (something I normally wouldn’t enjoy reading about).
You will make time to read if you read something you enjoy.
2. Make Reading a Priority
How many times a day do you scroll through your Facebook feed and end up down the rabbit hole of memes and click-bait articles filled with so many ads you can barely make sense of the article you are trying to read?
I’m preaching to the choir here, so don’t think I’m trying to step on your toes. 😉
If you feel like you don’t have enough time to read a book, it may be time to give up something else in order to make reading a priority.
You may even want to consider turning off social media and email notifications on your phone so that you aren’t constantly being alerted to the fact that someone liked a picture you posted last week.
The activities you spend the most time on become a priority. By giving up some of my social media time, I have been able to devote more time to reading. I feel like I have lost nothing, but gained so much as a result.
3. Schedule Time to Read
I personally like to read whenever I can, but that isn’t always feasible. So, I have some set times when I specifically make time to read.
Reading before bed has been a great way to not only make more time to read, but it also is very relaxing for me.
I also read when I eat my breakfast most mornings because I am often eating when no one else is.
When I am waiting to pick up my kids after school I can usually squeeze in 5-10 minutes of reading as well.
A few years ago I found that setting a timer for 10-15 minutes can be a good way to fit reading into a busy day.
By making reading part of my daily routine I have been able to read so many more books than if I didn’t have a plan.
4. Set Reading Goals
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I set a goal of reading 52 books this year, and I have already surpassed my goal.
I find that having a goal, or a personal challenge, if you will, keeps me striving to read more.
A few months ago I set up a GoodReads account. It has been a great way to keep track of the books I have read, and I find it is motivating as well.
If setting a goal of a certain number of books seems too daunting when you are first starting out, you could a plan to read a specific number of pages.
Having a goal has really helped me find more time to read.
5. Be Willing to Try Reading Books in a Different Format
I used to be one of those people who said I would never give up reading paper books. I just couldn’t see how I could like reading on a device.
However, I have found that, while I still prefer the feel of a book in my hand, I wouldn’t have been able to read as many books if I didn’t have the Kindle App on my iPad.
When everyone is asleep and I still want to read, reading on my iPad allows me to read without having to turn on a light.
Not only that, but I have been able to read several books that weren’t available in paper format. Many of the classic books I read last fall were available for free through Amazon.
Another format for “reading” is audiobooks. While I personally haven’t jumped on the audiobook bandwagon, I know who many people love them.
Audiobooks really are great for being able to listen to a book while driving or working around the house. While there are audiobook services available, I would recommend finding audiobooks at your local library first.
6. Always Have a Book to Read
One way to make more time to read is to always have something available to read when you have unexpected pockets of time.
If you are waiting at the doctor’s office, in the school pick up line, or waiting for your child’s practice to be over having a book on hand or on your mobile device will allow you to find more time to read instead of just wasting time.
You could keep a book in your car, you purse, or on your mobile device through the Kindle App.
Another thing to do is always keep a few books waiting in the wings so when you finish a book you can start another right away.
These are some ways that I have been able to make more time to read. I hope they will help you, too.
How do you make time to read? What genre of book is your favorite?
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