(This post will take you about 90 seconds to read.)
As a book blogger I make it my business to read, but I know how hard it can be to squeeze it into your busy week. When my kids were little it would take me weeks to get through a book. I’d read in bed, but then fall asleep after a few pages, losing my place and forgetting what had happened earlier in the chapter. Those days do pass, of course, but it’s very easy to get out of the reading habit.
When I publish a book review on this blog, I try to indicate how it is best enjoyed; so for example a book with lots of short chapters often lends itself to reading in 10 minute slots, whereas a vast meandering epic is maybe best left for your holiday.
If you love reading, but find it hard to squeeze it in, here are a few ideas to up your reading quota:
- Never be without a book – I always have something to read in the car or in my handbag, for when I find myself with a bit of spare time, having arrived somewhere earlier than expected, waiting for an appointment, etc.
- Get an e-reader – I don’t have one myself (though I blogged here about whether to get one a couple weeks ago). Often smaller and lighter than a book to slip into your bag.
- Read about books – having been involved with books or reading all my life, I was frustrated when I felt disconnected from what was happening in the literary world. I found it satisfying to read book reviews in the weekend papers or, indeed, on book blogs…just like this one! I would tear pages out of magazines or the papers because they were easier to carry around.
- Think outside your reading box – when we say we love reading most people are thinking about novels. These are usually long. Have you thought about short stories? Or poetry?
- Go to bed earlier – watching the news is quite depressing now the Paralympics are over, and is not great for settling the mind, so listen to the news on the radio instead whilst doing something else, and go to bed with your book. You may well have a more restful sleep too.
- Think about where and when you read – are there reading-time opportunities you are missing? While the kids are at their swimming/dance/karate lessons? During your lunch-break? Waiting for a bus?
- Have a family reading time – most of us have family meal time or telly time, so why not reading time? Imagine the calm – the whole family sitting down to read for 15 mins! It’s widely known that modelling desirable behaviours to your kids increases the likelihood they’ll do the same so make sure they see you reading.
- MAKE TIME FOR YOU – reading has positive mental health benefits. It can help to relieve stress and improve your mind. If it’s something you love, commit a small amount of time each day/week for YOU.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – how do you squeeze reading into your schedule?