Friday, April 27, 2012

Six Tips on Making Time to Read

We’re all busy. We commute to work where we spend at least eight hours a day. We chauffer our children to school and their various activities, or we change diapers and attend to baby’s needs. We prepare our meals and those of our family – even picking up fast food takes time. We travel for work or pleasure. Then there’s the cleaning, clothes-washing, food shopping, dry cleaning – whew.

When do we ever have time to read?

Well, the answer lies in making time to read, not finding time!  Here are a few suggestions:

1    Set a reasonable goal for reading. Plan which book you want to read next and by when. Don’t make it hard on yourself. Allow plenty of time. 

2    Schedule reading time

Share some of your TV-watching or other entertaining time. By recording TV shows, you can schedule when you watch your favorite shows and work reading into that schedule.

Check how much time you are spending on housecleaning – could you break up your dusting into different sections each week—I mean, do we really need to dust the entire house EVERY week?—and use the extra time for reading a chapter or two.  I heartily encourage you not to take the time from your family. I have always been willing to do less housecleaning, however! 

What’s important is that to consciously set aside time to read – even put it on your calendar. And you’ll need to take it from somewhere.

3    Alert your family when you are starting your reading time. Ask them not to disturb you. Oh, sure, I know that sounds tough, but it might work—especially if you suggest they join you and read their books at the same time. Arrange for family reading time.

4    Discuss your book with your family. That might make them more willing to give you the time to read, especially if you keep them updated.

5    If you have a long commute, you might consider “books on tape”.  In today’s digital world, you can easily download them to your iPhone (or other device) and play them through your car speaker. Or, you can listen to a book with ear buds while commuting on a train or subway.

6    Try an e-reader, e.g., Kindle, Nook, or iPad. You can carry it with you. I keep mine in my purse, and when I have to wait at the dentist or doctor’s office or in a long line, I pull it out and read my newspaper or whatever novel I have underway. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project indicates that e-book readers are reading one-third more than print-only readers.

Regardless of which means you choose, take some time to figure out how to make time for reading.  You will be rewarded with engrossing characters, mysterious circumstances, and maybe even a little romance.

Other articles for additional ideas on making time for reading:
Dave Astor, “Finding Time to Read More Novels,” The Huffington Post, 4/20/2012

Blogher Original Post, “How do You Find time to Read? My top ten answers,” October 25, 2008

MichaelHyatt: Intentional Leadership, “5 Ways to Make More Time to Read,” Guest post by Robert Bruce,

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