Books are an integral part of my life. I use them to escape the everyday, learn new skills, and grow as a writer. I’m one of those people that could easily give up TV, but take away my books (and music as a close 2nd) and I won’t even recognize myself in a few days.
I post pictures and thoughts on my social media feeds about what I’m reading, and inevitably someone will ask – how do you make the time to read? It’s not really something I think too much about, I just do it. I read a little first thing in the morning while having a cup of tea. I carry a book with me whenever I have to wait somewhere or travel, and I often read while my family watches TV in the evenings.
If you want to read more (because everybody could read a little more), but are struggling to find the time, here are my top tips for fitting in more reading time.
TURN OFF THE TV (OR NETFLIX)
Let’s just get the obvious one out of the way. Many of my friends are surprised to hear that I regularly read 1-2 books per week, but it makes sense when you consider that I only watch 3-5 hours of TV/Netflix in a week. Try it for a few days; switch the TV off for 30 minutes and read – if you find the right book there is no way the TV will lure you back!
Things that get scheduled get done. Find a half hour block somewhere in your schedule each week and create a re-occurring reading date in your calendar. And before you try to tell me you don’t have half an hour a week – refer to point #1.
ABANDON THE AWFUL
Repeat after me – I will never force myself to finish an awful book. Trust me, you don’t get any reading points, and there is no prize for getting to the last page of an awful book. Cut your losses and move onto to something else.
READ ARTICLES AND SHORT STORIES
Seriously don’t have time to read a book, try a short story or an in-depth article. I love reading the features and op-eds on the NY Times site whenever I can. They are longer than your average blog post and get me into deep thinking mode, but they require much less of a time commitment than a whole book.
MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR
My kids have also inherited my love for reading so we can make it a family affair some nights. We also visit the library together and stock up on new reads – it’s like a weekend ritual for us.
Need a new book suggestion? Check out my review of A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi below: