Between work, school, and all the other responsibilities that come along with adulthood, I can attest to the fact that it can be really hard to find time in each day to curl up with a good book. But, by the same token, nobody wants to feel like they have to force themselves to read a book they’re supposed to be reading for fun. In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite tips on how to keep yourself reading, but in a way that makes it not feel like work!
Read a Little at a Time
This is one of my favorite tricks in the book (no pun intended) because even if you can only get through a chapter or so at a time, you’re still taking the time to read something! They do say slow and steady wins the race, and a little at a time is better than nothing at all. And, this effort racks up. Think of it this way: if you read two chapters a day for a week, you’ll have made it through a good chunk of your current read, and a month into this process, you may have finished two or three whole books!
I know there have been whole debates on whether or not listening to audiobooks constitutes true “reading,” but I am Team Audiobook all the way and totally think they count! The best part? You can literally listen to them almost anywhere! All you have to do is download your favorite audiobook app, pop in your earbuds, and press play, and you’re reading, just through the ears rather than through the eyes! This is the perfect option to keep folks with long commutes to work or school reading when physical books aren’t an option, and a great use of the time you would normally spend (if you’re like me) pondering world affairs or twiddling your thumbs!
Always Carry a Book
I know so many of you all are probably thinking, “What? Why would you ever leave the house without a book?” More often that I’d like to admit, I leave my current read at home because I think I won’t have time during the day to read any of it. But, sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out and you’re thrown a curveball, leaving you with a broken down car on the side of the interstate on your commute home (yes, this happened to me) and this new-found time is perfect for a little light reading to keep you company. Learn from my experience and just keep a book handy when you go out. That way, you have an activity to fall back on when you hit an unexpected snag.
Join a Book Club
This method reminds me a lot of working out — you’ll find more time in the day to sweat it out (or, in this case, read it out) when you interact with other people who are doing the same thing! While I’m not a part of any formal book clubs, so many of my book-loving friends have told me that reading and talking books with others motivates them to find the time to read themselves. Plus, a book club also puts you on a relatively structured schedule, as you’ll be reading to a certain chapter before your meetings, and you’ll definitely want to keep up with the group so you aren’t spoiled by your fellow book clubbers!
Make a Reading Goal
As someone who is SUPER achievement-oriented and hates ending a day without feeling some sense of accomplishment, setting a reading goal for myself is an absolute must! With my varying schedule, I stick with making a yearly goal where I challenge myself to read a certain number of books by the end of the year, but you can totally customize this tip to your own needs. Maybe making weekly or monthly goals is more your style, or basing your reading goal success on a certain number of pages read better suits your lifestyle. Regardless of what your goal ends up being, just having one to actively strive towards will likely be just the incentive you need to keep you reading on a more routine basis.
Reallocate Your Free Time
We’re all guilty of sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through our news feeds for what feels like five minutes, but when we finally look up at the clock, a huge chunk of time has passed us by! If you’re looking for more time in the day to read, consider being more aware of how much time you spend each day on these mindless activities, and reallocating some of that time to reading. While I certainly don’t suggest eliminating these hobbies completely (I’m totally a Food Network and HGTV addict, myself), I think you’ll be shocked to see how many pages you can get through if you dedicate just a small portion of this time to your current read.
Rise and Shine with a Little B&B
Why not swap out your morning news watching with a little book reading while you eat breakfast in the morning? Even if you aren’t a morning person, reading a little bit of a book you’ve been enjoying first thing is sure to help you start your day off on the right foot! And, if you’re really digging this tip, consider setting your alarm for 30 minutes of so earlier than normal. That way if the chapter you end on is a total cliffhanger, you can use this extra time to find out what happens next instead of worrying/obsessing about it all day like I would be!
It’s Okay to Take Breaks
It’s totally possible to have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to reading! Forcing yourself to read when you really just aren’t in the mood will not only make the experience less enjoyable, but you could end up setting a book aside unfinished that ordinarily, you would have loved. If you’re anything like me, then it’s unlikely you’d ever pick that book again and could be missing out on how good it really is. This being said, make sure you aren’t pushing yourself too hard! Sometimes our schedules are freer than others, so take advantage of the free time when you have it, but don’t panic when you don’t.