Or more accurately: How to MAKE Time for Reading.
I’m sure we’ve all felt the pain of feeling behind with reading- it’s not a slump, you’ve just been so busy and before you know it days, weeks, months have gone by before picking up a book. How can we avoid this? Is it even possible? Trust me, it totally is, and here are a few ways you can find time to read consistently:
Carve out time to read
Just like with writing, (or working, exercising, basically anything that is important to you) you have to make the time for reading if you want it to become a habit. It can be really helpful to read at a similar time each day (I like to read before bed for 30 minutes to wind down) and also a similar place (that could be a comfy chair, your bed, or even the garden).
It’s really important that you feel comfortable whilst reading– if you don’t, it’s much more likely that you will lose interest or find something else to do.
We all lead super busy lives and sometimes certain things do have to come above reading- that’s just life (but really sad, because we all love reading). This is where audiobooks come in– if you don’t have time to sit down and spend time on a physical book or e-book, you definitely have time to listen to an audiobook. How?? Well, audiobooks are perfect for background whilst doing chores, tidying, driving, just about anything.
Finding these easy ways to work in a bit of reading (well, listening) into your daily routine will help you to get through a lot more books (and whoever says audiobooks don’t really count is just being silly- they absolutely do!).
Participate in readalongs
If you aren’t familiar, readalongs basically involve doing just that- reading… along, usually with a group of friends, bloggers, bookstagrammers, you name it. Readalongs are so helpful because they mean you HAVE to find time to read, otherwise you let down your reading buddies. Chatting about books is also super fun and takes off a lot of the pressure that reading can sometimes have.
Take books wherever you go
Seriously, anywhere (unless it’s not appropriate- but I mean, when are books ever inappropriate??). A good example of this is on your commute- maybe you have 30 minutes on the train where you could read a bit of your current ebook. If you drive to and from work, this is where audiobooks come in handy again (see, I told you they were super useful!).
Track your reading
This may sound like an added pressure, but just entering your books and reading goals into a reading app like Goodreads is actually a great way to stay accountable. Not to mention, it’s loads of fun to try to hit reading targets and compete with friends to read the most.
And if this seems like a lot, you don’t have to share your reading goals with anyone– I keep a reading journal just for me where I jot down the books I read each month and make a note of the books I’m planning to read next.
Read at your own pace
Sometimes reading can start to become a race– personally, I find it really enjoyable to try to smash my own reading targets and personal bests. BUT, I always make sure I don’t do this at the expense of enjoying and savouring a good book. If you feel like you’re just flying through book after book without properly appreciating them, take a moment to remember that everyone reads at different paces– you don’t have to read a book a day, or even a book a week. Work at your own pace.
Read what sets your soul on fire
I am definitely guilty of this, but, have no shame. In fact, forget shame at all when it comes to reading. The bookish community is so open and you will be able to find people who read the same books as you, no matter what. Don’t worry about what other people might think about your reading choices- if you enjoy them, that’s enough.
Also, don’t worry if you haven’t read what you think you ‘should’ be reading- I’m sure you know what I mean: the classics that everyone seems to have read but you. If you want to read them, do; if not, don’t. it’s that simple. Trust me, no one is judging your reading choices.
Don’t lose the joy of reading
The main theme throughout this post is that the very reason to find more time to read is because we all love doing it! If carving out time for it becomes a chore and you’re just trying to ‘get through’ each book, take a step back, do something else you enjoy for a bit, and come back to reading when it feels right.
Taking a break every once in a while, is not bad or shameful– if you don’t feel like reading, you don’t need to push it. When I feel overwhelmed by the books I need to read, review, etc, I remind myself that for me, reading is a fun hobby, and that is all it has to be.
Do you want to find more time to read? Let me know if you try out any of these tips in the comments or getting in touch via any of my social media platforms.