Readers' Favorite

February 21, 2013

Finding Time to Read

Everyone has heard the saying "there's either too many books or not enough time." Even the most avid of readers (you know the ones that devour a book a day) have had this thought cross their mind. And it is true. There are way more books than any one person can possibly read through in a life time.

As book bloggers, we have made it our business to read books. Yet, many of us are blogging on the side. Unlike other blog topics, a book blog has the added pressure of finding the time to read so there is new content.

As many of you know I have a VERY busy life. January and February are perhaps my busiest as there aren't many breaks from the day job (my last holiday is MLK Day until Memorial Day) and I coordinate Upward Cheerleading at my church. That alone has me out until 8 pm two nights a week and 5 hours are spent at the gym on Saturdays. This is all in addition to the freelance work I do for authors through GWR Publicity. How do I find time to read?

  1. Always have a book with you. Since getting my eReader I've actually read more because it is light weight and fits in almost any bag I'm carrying, so I always have it with me. I have read while waiting in line for a dressing room at a clothing store. Of course, whenever I'm on the bus I'm reading. As the person who is always 15 minutes early, I usually have a few minutes while waiting for others. You will be surprised to find how many minutes you can squeeze reading into by being prepared with a book in hand. This tip I picked up from Mom who always had a book with her when running be around to swimming, diving, gymnastic, and softball practice (sometimes all in the same day!).
  2. Set a goal of 30 minutes. I aim to read 30 minutes every day. My niece and nephew were required to read for 20 - 30 minutes every day for homework. It is actually pretty attainable (yet, I don't always get it in). A couple of times a week I usually eat lunch by myself so I read then. The other days I try to read before bed. It helps me to unwind.
  3. Listen to audio books. Listening to audio books is a life saver for the busy reader. I load the book to my phone so if I'm in the car or walking around campus, I can just insert my earbuds and get some "reading" in. Depending on the audio book I can usually listen while I work as well.
  4. Move on. If a book isn't capturing your attention, it is okay not to finish it right then. I'm very much a mood reader, so if I'm not in a chick lit mood it will take forever to get through the book. I keep a list of Did Not Finish so I can come back to them later if I want. I usually have 2 books I'm reading through at any given time. So I can switch back and forth depending on what I want to read.
  5. Know what you will read next. There's nothing worst than finishing a book and not knowing what to read next. When I get close to finishing a book I start thinking about what I might want to read next. I usually skim my TBR pile for books that have been there the longest, have an upcoming release date, or tie in to something coming up (blog hop, holiday, new release, etc.). This time of year it is often the shortest book that gets chosen! 
  6. During time crunches, choose short/fast books. Following on the last tip. When I know I'm not going to have a lot of time to read, I lean more towards young adult or short stories/novellas. They are usually fast reads and I feel more accomplished, which in turn keeps me motivated to keep reading.
  7. Shut out the outside world. I live a lone so this may be easier for me (except dogs and cats are pretty persistent housemates when it comes to attention). Turn off the social media, television/music, etc and focus on the book you are reading. You will read much faster without the distractions.

What tips do you have to fit reading into your busy schedule?


  1. Great tips, Donna!

    I'd add two of my own:

    1) Have multiple books going. Just like I dress for weather, I read according to my mood/time constraints. Sometimes I want to read light fiction, others, thought-provoking non-fiction. I'm always reading three or four books at the same time.

    2) Watch less TV. How often do you find yourself flipping through the stations aimlessly searching for something "good" to watch? Or how many times have you found yourself watching a Friends episode....for the FOURTH time?

    1. My dad won a Roku box and when I upgraded my internet he let me have it. I haven't had access to tv since we switched to digital. It is a HUGE time sink.

  2. Great post. Good common sense tips! Thanks Donna!