Over the last few years, I’ve been able to read over 100 books a year even while going to school and/or working full-time and/or making time for my husband. I don’t say this to brag, but just to say that I’m pretty good at finding the time to read. I just wanted to share a few tips that I’ve found help me to find the time and motivation to read despite my busy schedule.
1) Always have a book with you
This one seems kind of obvious–right? If you don’t have a book with you, then you can’t read. This is one of the main reasons why I love my Kindle Paperwhite. It’s slim and light and easily fits in my purse. I’ve almost always got a book that I’m reading on my Kindle whether it’s one I’ve purchased, an ARC, or a library book. If you don’t have a Kindle, though, I would highly recommend the Kindle Reading app for your phone. I don’t like it quite as much since the screen is so small, but it’s better than nothing! Whenever I’m waiting in line for my lunch or for a meeting/presentation/class to start, I pull out my Kindle and read for a few minutes. If you’re doing this a few times a day, that easily adds up!
2) Prioritize reading over other activities
Since my husband’s family lives close by, we spend a lot of time with them. We often have family dinners followed by hanging out/playing games/watching sports. When I was first getting to know the family, I felt like I needed to participate in everything and show that I was a team player, etc. However, now, I think we all know each other well enough that I don’t feel that need to “impress” so much anymore. Obviously, I don’t seclude myself in another room all night, but if I don’t feel like playing a game, I’ll sit it out and read instead. Or if the boys are all watching a basketball/football/baseball/insert sport game, then I’ll sit back and crack open my book. It’s okay to choose reading over other activities! Don’t let other people make you feel bad for enjoying reading more than other things.
3) But don’t force it
I have been known to add reading a certain number of pages to my weekend “To Do” list (especially if I’ve got an ARC or blog tour book that I need to finish). But sometimes…I just don’t feel like reading! I feel like watching Netflix or working on one of my other hobbies, and that’s okay! I think that if you force yourself to read, it will just take you longer to get out of your reading slump. So calm down, take a minute, allow yourself to do other things, and then maybe you’ll feel like reading again in a few days–but don’t stress about it.
4) It’s okay to DNF/mood read/reread
I think sometimes DNFing or mood reading or rereading books are considered “bad etiquette” in the blogging world, but I don’t think they should be! If I’m not enjoying a book, I’ve learned to DNF because I don’t want to waste my time anymore. Even if it’s a book I’ve been asked to review, I’ll just say at what point I DNF’ed, explain why, and then move on. For mood reading, I find that I read books a lot faster if I’m in the mood to read them. If I’m forcing a mood on myself, it will take FOREVER to finish a book. Lastly, I think rereads are great–especially for getting myself out of a reading slump. Some of my favorite rereads have just become comfort items to me and are so easy to sink into.
5) Read more than one book at a time
I’ve usually got a couple of books going at a time. Usually I’m reading one on my Kindle and at least one hard cover or paperback. It’s just easier to read physical books when I’m at home and my Kindle everywhere else. But I think reading more than one book at a time is a great idea because if you get tired of one, you can just switch to the other. Of course, if you’re just plain tired of reading that doesn’t help…but if you’re just tired of the story, then pick something else up for a bit!