Do you wish you had more time to read? I know I do. Whatever you goal, be it 50 books or 5, if you want to make more time for reading, these tips with definitely help you! I’m sharing my top tips on how to make more time to read.
This was a particularly busy year for me. I had my 6th child in 8 years, I homeschool and I decided to start a blog (way more complex than I realized!). But I still managed to reach my goal of reading 50 books this year. I don’t burn the midnight oil either, I need my sleep. If I can do it, you can do it!
12 Tips to help you make more time to read
1. Spend less time on social media/internet.
Social media and surfing the net can really suck you in. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who goes on Pinterest to look for a recipe, then realizes twenty minutes later I’m looking at pictures of grumpy cat and have completely forgotten why I got on in the first place.
Evaluate how much you are actually getting in return from your time on the internet vs. time spent reading a quality book. If you struggle with losing track of time while searching the net or catching up on Facebook, set an alarm on your device and close up the window when your allotted time has passed.
2. Limit TV time.
Ok I know I’m probably really dodging some tomatoes here, but same thing. There are some interesting shows, but by and large TV is a big waste of time especially if your goal is to read and learn more in the coming year. Most movies fall in the same category. Little House on the Prairie is exempt haha 🙂
3. Reach for your book instead of your phone.
Noticing a theme here? Instead of pulling out your phone, when you have a free minute, pull out your current book. It will be way more refreshing and you’d be amazed at how much you can get read that way.
You could get a section of a chapter or even a whole chapter read while you sit down to have a real rest. Drink a cup of tea and feed your mind with something real to think over while you wash the dishes, push a child on the swing, or sweep the floor. I enjoy those tasks so much more when I have something to chew on mentally.
4. Always keep a book with you.
Keep a book or kindle in your bag with you wherever you go so you can always pull it out when an unexpected delay or wait occurs. Bonus: You wont’ be *as* annoyed when you have to stand in line a really long time, there’s a traffic jam or the doctor is inevitably running behind.
5. Keep a list.
Keep a running list of things you want to read. When you come across a book that sounds interesting write it down. That way you don’t get to the end of the one you are currently reading and then waste time thinking on what you want to read next. Or even worse stop reading altogether. Some people really enjoy Good Reads . I haven’t been super consistent with that and kind of just prefer a running list on my phone. A reading journal is another great place to keep a list.
Start thinking when you are about 1/2 way to 3/4 the way through (depending on how fast you read) what you want next so you can check it out at the library, order from thriftbooks.com or amazon.
I even like to order in bulk then I can keep books throughout the house to pick up and look at my stack on the night stand to keep me exited and motivated about reading.
6. Set a goal.
Set a goal at the beginning of the year, or even the beginning of the month of how many books you would like to read. Having a goal you want to meet will help remind you and spur you on towards reading more.
7. Read more than one book at a time.
I like to have several books going at the same time. Having a variety of reading material in the process is helpful to be able to read no matter my mood or energy level.
Sometimes you are in the mood to learn, be encouraged, or maybe you just want to relax because it’s been a long day and your brain is shot. Some books lend themselves to reading in little chunks throughout the day, while others really require some solid concentration. Having 2-3 books going let’s you always have something you are in the mood to read.
8. Make it a habit to read before you go to bed.
Reading before you go to bed is a wonderful habit to build into your life. It’s relaxing so you fall asleep faster. Staring into a bluelight screen at night has been shown to disrupt your sleep, so turning off devices and picking up a book before bed healthier. You can easily get 30 minutes in a night this way and that really adds up and adds to your reading time.
9. Schedule reading slots into your daily routine.
Don’t just make reading before bed a daily ritual, but schedule other daily dedicated reading times. Look for other opportunities during your day where you can fit more reading time into your regular schedule. Then just make it a habit.
During your lunch break, in the bathroom, during kids nap time or when you sit down for a mid morning tea break. Find reoccuring markers during your day that you have a few minutes to pick up your current read.
11. Get free or cheap books.
Use the library, get free or cheap ebooks, or buy used books so that you can read more within your budget. Borrow as many as you can from the library. Then stretch your budget for what isn’t available there then you have access to more that you are really interested in. You will be able to read more for a lot less. Read more about building your home library for less for more tips.
12. Don’t read on your phone.
The kindle app is great in a pinch, like if you forgot your book at home and you find yourself out with a few spare moments. But avoid reading regularly on our phone.
Here’s why. You settle down in a preciously carved out moment in the day, maybe with a nice hot cup of tea, the kids are playing outside and you have some time to yourself to get some wonderful reading done…
Then, ding! You have a message, so you take a minute to reply. Buzz! You have an email. Ding, Ding, Ding. Next thing you know half an hour or longer has passed by you are mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and you have no idea why, weren’t you supposed to be reading?!?!
Reading on your phone leads to too many distractions.
If you enjoy reading digitally like I do chose a regular kindle or kindle paperwhite to avoid all the distractions and make more time to read.
Join a book Club. Spend time talking with fellow book loving friends. Sign up to be a part of an online book challenge. These are all great ways to get into community with others readers. A reading community can help encourage your reading habit, hobby and lifestyle. Here’s a great book challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy.
A word on audio books:
Okay, so I’m a purist and and say that audio books don’t count when you are talking about the books that you read. Not everyone agrees, it’s a personal opinion. But that doesn’t mean I don’t use them or highly recommend them.
As much as I would love to sit on the couch all day reading, the dishes have to be done, am I right? Listening to audio books is a great way to get to ingest more of the books you just don’t have time to sit down and read. You can listen as you clean the house, drive or exercise. I love using audio books with my kids. Audio books are awesome!
So there are my top tips on how to make more time to read. I hope they are helpful and you are able to read a lot more this upcoming year.