Upon finding out that I read on average three books per month, others usually ask how I possibly find the time to do so, knowing the constraints on my time. After all, I am a husband, a father of two young children, I have a demanding job, and I write my own books as well. Not to mention that I maintain four blogs (two strenuously and the other two sporadically), and I try to fit some time in every once in a while for what might pass in mixed circles as a social life. So what do I tell them?
You find time for the things that are important to you. I’ve always been a firm believer in that. No matter what drains your time that you have to do, if you really want to do something it can happen. It’s just important to be really good with your scheduling, and to fit it in when you can get it in. Here are some tips:
- Always carry a book with you. You never know when you might get a moment here or there during the course of your day to fit in even a page or two. Every little bit means you’re making progress, and it cuts out the excuses of not having a book when you have the time.
- Map out some reading time at the beginning/end of your day. It doesn’t have to be much time either. Set your alarm for fifteen or twenty minutes earlier. Get into bed fifteen minutes sooner than you normally would. In addition, have a “bedtime book” that you only read during those time periods. It will help make those special times.
- Variety, variety, variety. Switch up your reading material. Perhaps you need to focus more on different genres than others. Find some books that require less focus to read, like books from Sophie Kinsella or Janet Evanovich. You know the type I mean. Or maybe you’ve been reading too much non-fiction. Fit in a fiction book on occasion, or even a collection of short stories. Rediscover poetry. Make it fresh again. It will make you want to find that time to read.
- Different formats. My wife listens to audiobooks on CD in her car, but you can also get audiobooks downloaded to your phone, iPad, or iPod, and various other devices that can hook into your car system. This way if you have a commute to work you can listen to your books then. Two birds with one stone. There are also eBooks you can read on your devices as well that save your place, so if you’ve forgotten a physical book at home, you have access to an entire library on your phone or other device.
- Join a book club. Honestly, if you have a network of readers who are also invested in the same book you are, it makes things so much easier. It really is true, the saying that people can push each other to succeed. It also deals with the social aspect of getting to discuss the books after you’ve read them. I started a book club myself where we read a variety of books in a myriad of genres, and we help each other get through and find time.
If it’s truly important to you, you will find the time to read. Just remember that books aren’t the only options you have. I’ve discovered lately just how much reading blogs can enhance the experience, in addition to magazines, and articles your friends drop into your newsfeed on Facebook, etc. The list really does go on and on. And before you know it, people will be asking you how you find the time to read.