Making Time to Read

I read. A lot. In fact, according to my librarian, I read more than any person she’s ever met. How is THAT for a compliment!?!? In actuality, I probably check out more books than anyone she’s ever met, but I don’t always get to read them all. Either way, compared to most people, I do read a lot.

I question I get asked ALL the time is “When do you find time to read?!” I work full time plus some. I have a husband, pets, and a nearly four year old son. Just reading those sentences, I too can see how it’s hard to believe I find time to read!

But, I want to let you in on a little secret….

I find time to read because I make it a priority. It’s important to me, so I make time for it.

Make Reading a Priority

Just like some people make time to knit or write or paint, I make time to read.

Here’s is how I managed to read 90+ books last year (plus blogs and Mason books)

#1 I don’t watch (much) TV. In fact, I watch very very little TV. Right now, the only shows I’m watching are Parenthood and Raising Hope. That’s about 75 minutes of TV a week when you factoring fast forwarding through the commercials (we have a Tivo) Studies show the average person watches 3-4 hours of TV a day. I’m betting this is where most people’s “reading time” goes.

#2 I read while others ARE watching TV. I read while Mason is watching his two TV shows every night. I read if SuperDad is watching a show that doesn’t interest me. This way, I’m in arms reach for a cuddle or a hug, but I’m not sucked into some show I have no interest in.

#3 I make reading accessible. I always have several books checked out from the library. I have several books waiting on my kindle. I have books I want to read on a shelf by my bed. I even keep a book in my car in case something comes up! I never have the excuse of “I’d like to read but I don’t have anything TO read!”

#4 Along the same lines, I recognize that I’m not always in the mood to read certain things. Sometimes I like light fluffy chick lit, sometimes I want to read a good biography. Having different books around gives me the option to read according to what I’m in the mood for.

BookPile

#5 I read while Mason is engrossed in activities nearby. If he’s playing with his monster trucks or engrossed in ABC Mouse, I’m often reading. I also read when it’s not my turn to put Mason to bed. We take turns and I’m often in his room “hanging out” when it’s not my turn, but I’m also reading my book.

#6 I read in waiting rooms. If I’m going to the doctor or am getting my hair dyed or doing something else where I know I’ll be sitting and waiting for a while, a book or my Kindle comes with.

#7 Before my favorite little cafe closed down, I would read on my lunch break once a week. Me, a savory crepe, and a good book were often the highlight of my week. “Taking myself on a date” is what I would call it – pure bliss.

#8 I read after Mason goes to sleep / before I go to sleep. Sometimes I blog or fart around on the computer, sometimes I read. If I’m reading a particularly good book, I often take it to bed with me and read for another 10-30 minutes before falling asleep. And sometimes I only make it 5 minutes.

#9 I pay attention to how I feel about the book I’m reading. If I’m “into” a book, I pick it up every chance I get. If I’m feeling meh about a book, I let it sit there and sit there and find lots of other things to do instead. Hence why if I read several good books in a row, I can read three books in one week, but if I’m reading a book I’m not really into, it might take me three weeks to get through just that one.

Life is Too Short to Read a Bad Book

#10 I give myself permission to quit a book. I use to slog through a book FOREVER if that’s what it took, but now, if I’m not enjoying it by page 50, I can quit. Usually by then, you can just TELL if the book is going to be one for you or not. This really helps my reading numbers go up because I’d much rather read several books I enjoy than spend the entire month reading just one out of guilt/obligation/hope it will get better.

#11 I only read what interests me. I don’t necessarily read something just because it’s popular or on the best seller list. For example, I’ve never read The Harry Potter Series or the Twilight books. They just don’t sound appealing to me and THAT’S OKAY! I have friends who read only anime or only sci-fi or paranormal or history. Those genres just aren’t my thing and I won’t enjoy the same books they do. I resist the urge to read something that’s popular (or, at times, recommended) unless it’s something that interests me. Because let’s face it, if I’m reading something I don’t like, I might as well be doing something else I don’t enjoy, like scrubbing the shower or vacuuming the stairs. Reading should be pleasurable!

So, as you can see, all of these things are pretty basic, but when put together, they all add up. Ten minutes here, forty minutes there, and pretty soon, you’ve got a book read!

How do you find time to read? Or, if reading isn’t your thing, how do you find time to partake in your hobbies?

11 thoughts on “Making Time to Read

  1. Angie Agerter

    I too am a HUGE reader. Though I don’t read as many books as you did in the last year. I am always reading – I have a book on my kindle that I am currently reading & a regular paperback/hardback book as well. Reading to me is so important too, I always read before I go to sleep, always. Sometimes I read in the morning before I start in on my work on the computer. I love variety too, which is why I as well have a million books downloaded for my kindle and books and books of things yet to read on my shelves. Love this btw 🙂

  2. Bonnie a.k.a. LadyBlogger

    I love your page 50 rule. I have a hard time giving myself permission to quit anything (not the way I was raised) and this is a very sensible approach! I pinned this to my “parenting” and “reading” boards on Pinterest! P.S. Debbie Macomber books are almost as comforting as eating mac n cheese!

    1. Mason's Mom Post author

      It took me forever to give my permission to quit as well, up until I finally came to that conclusion, I think I had quit like two books in my life! But I realized slogging through one book and having it take me over a month just wasn’t worth my time!!

      Thanks so much for the pins! I appreciate it!

  3. Jessica R

    I read lots! I read 142 books last year, the most ever. In Jan of this year I read 19 books. I read ALOT at night, when everyone else is sleeping. I never sleep well. OR I read while the kids play, or while my hubby watches TV. I LOVE my kindle! LOL

  4. Barb

    I love your “Shelfie” of all your current reading. Great point about giving yourself permission to quit a book. I’m not very good at that. I seem to feel some twisted sense of obligation to finish. Visiting via “Good Tips Tuesday” link up.

    1. Mason's Mom Post author

      I totally know what you mean about the obligation – ESPECIALLY if it’s a book that someone else recommended or that everyone seems to love. I keep hoping if I read just ten more pages, it might get better….

  5. Melanie

    I used to read constantly. I’d start a book and wouldn’t put it down until I was finished. I’d breeze through 4-5 books a week during the summers when school was out. I had a huge collection of paperbacks. Over the years I’ve gotten rid of most of them because they just take up space. I read MUCH less these days. Part of the problem is I don’t know WHAT to read. A lot of the wildly popular stuff doesn’t appeal to me at all. My girls got Kindles for Christmas, so I was secretly excited to be able to check out library books with out trekking to the library! I’ve been sneaking some of the free Amazon books onto them when I can. I take it with me to the gym and read on the treadmill. If I can have a turn on the Kindle at night, I read before bed. It takes me forever to finish a book now, but I still enjoy reading a good book!

    1. Mason's Mom Post author

      I miss those days, don’t you – where you could read the afternoon away and it was no big deal?!? LOL

      I have a love/hate relationship with my Kindle. I LOVE using it like a tablet, but I don’t really like our library Kindle selection and I don’t like buying books, so I barely use it for actual reading! I do have some “back up” books on it, but nothing I’m too excited to read….

  6. Colleen @ Mommy Panda

    I’m going to try waking up at 6 every morning and making crafting/blogging time for myself. I don’t know how it will work, since I hate mornings, but I’m going to try once I’m done unpacking.

    1. Mason's Mom Post author

      I’ve learned over the years that no matter how great of an idea it sounds like, I will never ever be a “wake up earlier to do x” person unless it’s a one day ever thing. I go to bed with good intentions and then hit snooze or reset my alarm over and over. SO not a morning person!

      On that note, good luck with that!

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