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.
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.
#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.
#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?