How to Make Time for Reading

13 Tips to Make Time for Reading

One of the complaints I hear a lot, both online and in my life, are that people feel they just don’t have time to read. And then I have to laugh a little, shake it off, then walk back to my ever-expanding TBR pile and shudder. But the truth of it is, most of us really can find the time to read. It’s actually more about making it a priority, and filling up those idle moments of our days with books. So read on to learn about 13 tips to make time for reading.

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Take a book with you everywhere

Having a book on hand, or a book in unlikely places in the home (*cough* the bathroom) will leave you without an excuse to read during down-time. Think about how much time you spend just sitting during your commute, in check-in areas or lines, during breaks at work or school. Keeping a book with you will allow you to fill that time more valuably.

Read what interests you

You’re never going to get any reading done if you aren’t interested in your book. Forget about trends or classic stories if they don’t spark your imagination. Pick out the books that you’re dying to read. Don’t be a peer-pressured reader.

Read shorter books

When you physically hold a shorter book in your hands, reading it suddenly doesn’t feel like much of a chore. You’ll turn those pages quickly, and make it to the halfway mark in no time. This will encourage you to keep reading, stay immersed in the story, and eventually read faster. You’ll end up reading more books, as well.

Set a goal

Sit down to read for exactly thirty minutes, or until you hit the 50-page mark. Setting a small, attainable goal for yourself will allow you to have the proper motivation to continue reading. If you’re reading to a certain page number, stick a bookmark or sticky-tab on the page you want to read until so you can track your progress as you turn the pages.

Read right before bed, or right after you wake up

If you have the luxury of reading right when you wake up, you should. It’s a great way to awaken the mind. Otherwise, reading right before bed is also a great time to sneak in some reading. If you’re worried about not getting enough sleep, set a small goal for yourself. Thirty minutes of reading won’t amount to very much sleep lost. Most nights, anyone can afford an extra thirty minutes.

Read instead of napping

If you’re a regular nap-taker like myself, try swapping out your napping hour for a reading hour. Often times, I will think I need to take a nap when really I just need to lie down. During that time, I could read for a solid hour, and get many pages deeper in my story! So unless you’re really sleep-deprived, try reading during that time instead.

Hold yourself accountable

Join a book club. Buddy-read a book with a friend or your spouse. Sign yourself up for a reading challenge. Find external sources to motivate your reading habits.

Stop watching TV

Or any other time-wasting hobby you may have. Browsing Facebook/social media endlessly, watching TV shows and movies. There’s hidden time in everyone’s day when we give up these menial habits. Often, reading a good book is more rewarding than unwinding with a new episode of your favorite drama.

Schedule it in

If you schedule out your days to the hour, try penciling in some reading time. If you build the rest of your day around that, you might find that you can accomplish your tasks for the day and find time to read.

Listen to the audiobook

If you’re a true busy bee and never have a minute of downtime, I would suggest listening to audiobooks. They’re great for multitasking. Cleaning the house? Turn on an audiobook. Going to the gym? Turn on an audiobook. Driving to work? Walking to class? Turn on an audiobook. The minutes add up during these idle times of our days, so take advantage of them!

Take your book to the gym

This isn’t something I have personally attempted, but I have seen many people do. If you use mostly cardio machines, bringing a book with you to the gym might be a great solution. Bike machines are best since your hands are the most free, but ellipticals and treadmills are fine as well. Plus, reading a book is a great way to distract you from the fact that you’re working up a sweat!

Practice reading more

The truth of it is, the more you read, the faster you read. I can vouch for this in my own experience. I’m now a fairly solid speed-reader, when I don’t have the luxury of sitting down and immersing myself in a tale for hours. But it’s only because I read so frequently that I have had the proper practice of learning how to read faster.

Learn to speed-read

There are actually ways in which you can train yourself to read more quickly. I would suggest looking this up online, as there are many resources that can help you.

Let’s talk about it

Do you feel like you have trouble making time for reading? Do you incorporate any of these tips in your own life to get in a little extra reading here and there? Leave your experiences in the comments!

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