As the title suggests, this post is going to be all about how to read more! Last year I read 105 books. I also worked full time and have two littles at home. I never once felt like I was sacrificing something in my life for books, but I still managed to read a lot of books!
Here’s how I did it:
- Prioritize reading. If reading is important to you, make it a priority, and treat it like a priority. If something is important to you, you’re more likely to make it happen. Reading is important to me, so I read every day–even on busy days when I can only manage 10 minutes before bedtime. My family comes first, but when I can, I read.
- Audiobooks. I always have an audiobook going in addition to an e-book. While I mostly listen to my audiobook during my workday commute and lunch breaks, you can also listen while cleaning the house, cooking, or even while working out. Audiobooks let you “read” while multitasking. I usually listen to my audiobook for an hour each day, which yields around 2-4 books audiobooks read each month. Yes, audiobooks count as reading, in my opinion, though I know there are those that disagree. If you’re in North America, check to see if your library has an e-lending option. I check out all of my audiobooks through my library.
- Limit televison. Obviously, this is a personal choice. I never watch television and instead choose to spend my time reading. It’s so easy to get sucked into Netflix, and before you know it, several hours have passed (been there, done there).
- Be conscious of time spent on social media. Like television, social media is another time trap. I know I’ve found myself getting sucked into the Twitter hole. Have you? I usually surf social media during times I can’t read–like when the kids are running around playing. When the kids are in bed, that’s my dedicated reading time, so I try to focus solely on that. It’s not always easy, and I do give into the temptation of checking my notifications on occasion, but seriously, I read so much more when I just put the phone away.
- Read everywhere. Whenever I’m waiting for anything, I read. Long line? Read. Waiting in a doctor’s office? Read. Bring your book with you wherever you go, and you’ll be surprised at how often you’re able to pull it out to sneak in a few minutes of reading.
- Read books you’re excited about. This probably goes without saying, right? If you’re not reading books you’re excited about, it’s really hard to read more. Reading shouldn’t be a chore. Reading should be your favorite adventure. If you’re not excited with your current book, it’s okay to put it down and start something else. Come back to it later (or never–your choice).
- Surround yourself with bookish friends. I have very few friends in real life that enjoy reading, but I do have a couple, and I really cherish those friendships. Talking about books gets me excited to read. When I’m excited to read, I read more. Funny how that works out, right?
- Get up early, or stay up late. As someone with a full-time job and kiddos, sometimes I do my best reading first thing in the morning, when everyone else is still in bed. Other times, I stay up well past the time everyone else has danced with the Sandman. I think the important thing with this one is to know your body. Reading is great, but it’s not worth running your body down. Sleep is also important (but “one more chapter” is so tempting).
How do you fit reading into your busy schedule?