I read. A lot. I tend to go through two to five books a week. Reading is not my full-time job; I’m a fiction writer by trade as well as a college instructor. But I’m here to tell you that you could be reading more, if you want. Here’s how:
- Bring a book: I take a book with me everywhere I go because I find I’m always waiting: in line at the supermarket at the car mechanic, at the doctor’s office, in the carpool line. The waiting is intolerable. Reading makes waiting better.
- Read more than one book at a time: This strategy can feel a bit frenetic to some, but here’s my reasoning: reading multiple books lets you read what you feel like reading in a given moment. If you start a serious historical tomb, later in the day, you may be in the mood for a romance novel. This way, you can pick up the book that you feel like reading, not the one that you feel obligated to read.
- Listen to your books: I recently learned about Overdrive and boy has it changed my life. With Overdrive you can check out audiobooks for free using your library card. I can listen to a book I am currently reading so that when I’m in the car (and I log a lot of hours in the car in Los Angeles) I can pick up where I left off. Or, I can be listening to a completely different book in the car (see rule number 2.)
- Keep to-be read lists: I currently have 238 books on my to-be-read list on Goodreads and I’m always ordering books from the library that are at the top of this list. By having something exciting in my reading future, I am motivated to get to that next book.
- Skip the television: Just think of all the hours you can devote to reading if you cut out television watching! If you have to watch, then use the commercials as a timed reading break.
- Read in the bathroom: There are many places to read in a bathroom: relaxing in the tub (it’s a great place for an audio book as well!) or sitting on the commode, depending on how efficient you are.
- Have kids? Have a kindle: The kindle paperwhite has added at least thirty minutes to my reading repertoire each night. Why? Because my kids like me to lie with them at night to help them fall asleep. I read in the dark as they drift off to sleep. Everybody wins.
- Reading while eating: Zen foodies say this is a no-no, but if I’m home alone for a meal, I read. A book makes a wonderful date.
So there you have it. How do you make time for more reading in your life?