Do you want to read more books? But you just don’t have enough time? Between working, life and bingeing on Netflix, there’s just not enough hours in the day left for reading.
As a busy bookworm, I understand where you are coming from. But I think it is possible to fit more reading time into your daily schedule. It’s just a matter of prioritising reading in your life. You might be surprised by how many extra minutes of reading you can squeeze into your day.
Last year I managed to read 105 books. Below are some of the ways I clawed back some reading time in my day.
1. Read books that you like
It sounds simple doesn’t it? But how many times have you gotten stuck on a slow, boring book and kept persevering, even when reading it felt like an unpleasant chore. If it feels like work then there’s no way you are going to burn through those pages. So, don’t waste time on books you aren’t enjoying and instead go to the next book on your to be read pile.
2. Catch public transport
This tip worked in my favour in the past because I used to have a two-hour commute to and from work. But now that I work from home as a freelancer, it’s not a method I can use as much. I know not everyone can catch public transport around but, if you do, use this as your reading time. And try not to fall asleep!
3. Read during meal times
I must admit that this is not the most social option on this list, but it’s a good way of finding more time to read. Breakfast time is great for a quick read while you munch on some toast. During your lunch break, you can leave the office and go and read in a pleasant park. Or ignore your colleagues and read in the lunchroom (but be prepared to be asked “What are you reading?” many times). If you have an understanding family, you can even read at the dinner table! (Note: this method works well if you can convince your significant other to read as well.)
4. Buy a book series and binge read it
Firstly, do your research and read reviews about the book series to make sure it’s something you’re likely to enjoy. It’s a bit of a risk buying a whole series at the same time, so I recommend that you borrow the first couple of books from the library. Or lend them from a friend.
The beauty of having a whole book series waiting for you is that once you read and devour book one, you can immediately move onto book two and then book three etc. You won’t waste reading time by trying to track down the next book in a series if you already own it. I often speed read through a whole bunch of books in this way. We binge watch a good TV series, so why not binge read a good book series?
5. Read while you exercise
Okay, this depends on what kind of exercise you’re doing. It won’t work if you’re running on a treadmill. I have an exercise bike at home which can be a bit tedious. But when I add my new read and some upbeat music, times flies by. I often overdo my training session because I’m enjoying reading so much.
6. Skip watching TV and read
These days there are so many good TV series to watch, but unfortunately this can take up a lot of your reading time. So instead of watching TV every night, why don’t you skip a couple of nights and read instead? The TV series will still be waiting for you to watch it another day.
7. Do the Goodreads reading challenge with a friend
Last year I did the Goodreads reading challenge with my husband. We’re doing it again this year. The competition between us has been fierce. We both enjoy updating our tally as we finish a book and checking out how many books the other person has read. A bit of healthy competition can have you blazing through your book stack. Just don’t cheat by reading a lot of novellas (I’m looking at you hubby)!
8. Always carry a book with you for those times when you have to wait
Have you ever been stuck waiting for ages with nothing to amuse you? I have to say that this rarely happens to me as I always carry a book or my kindle. It’s perfect for those times when the doctor is running an hour late or my train is delayed. Waiting is still the worst, but at least I have a book to keep me company.
9. Find a hobby that will distract your family so you can read
This one works well in my house. My husband loves playing Xbox and I love reading. If I want some uninterrupted reading time, I simply tell my husband to do some gaming while I retreat to another part of the house with a book. It’s a win/win situation.
10. Go on holiday
If only we could spend every day on holiday… Unfortunately, this option is not one that pops up too often. But when it does, it’s great to squeeze in some lovely, relaxing reading time. Reading on the beach, or by the pool, is my favourite. I can also get a lot of reading done while I wait for my flight or during an airport stopover.
11. Join bookstagram and read a new release book quickly before the spoilers find you
Plot spoilers are the bane of every reader’s existence. If you are part of the bookstagram community–or a fellow book blogger–you find that it’s absolutely necessary to jump on a popular book and read it as soon as it’s released. Otherwise you’re at risk of those dreaded spoilers.
12. Make a set time to read each day
When I was in primary school there was a reading initiative called DEAR (drop everything and read). Each morning we would get out a book and read for fifteen minutes. Adopt this initiative and find twenty to thirty minutes per day to clear your schedule and read a book. It can become part of your daily routine.
13. Join a book club
Nothing gets you reading more books like peer pressure! If you join a book club , you have to read a book before a specific book club deadline. No one wants to be that person who shows up without having read the assigned book (unless you’re the one bringing the wine). Therefore a book club is a good motivator to get you reading.
14. Limit your social media use
Put down your phone! If you’re anything like me, especially if you’re into bookstagram and book blogs, you probably spend a lot of your spare time on social media. While I love chatting with my bookish friends about books, it really eats into my reading time. So I’m trying to stay off my phone when I’m reading. In fact, I should probably finish this post now and get back to my book.
What about you? How do you make time to read?