Crystal, I am intrigued about how you manage to read so many books and still do all you do with your blog, homeschooling, etc. Do you have any tips on finding time to fit in all the reading that you do? — Becky
Great question! I learn so much through reading: it challenges me, inspires me and educates me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today were it not for the myriad of meaningful and challenging books I’ve read over the past 29 years of my life.
I especially enjoy reading “non-fluff” books. There’s nothing wrong with reading for entertainment, but if you want to improve yourself as a person, I highly encourage you to choose books that will help you get closer to your goals and shape the way you think and live your life.
Here are some ways I’ve found to find time to read:
1. Make Reading a Priority
In most every case, you can make time for what you truly want to have time for. I read this quote in Honey for a Child’s Heart yesterday and thought it was so good:
“A busy schedule is the enemy of reading. Agreeing in principle with all the benefits of books, you may at this point simply sigh and say, ‘I wish we had more time for reading.’ But the fact remains that we arrange time for what we think is truly important.”
2. Always Have a Book Handy
I keep a few books I’m working on reading through different parts of the house. That way, if I have a few minutes of extra time, I have a book handy to pick up and read.
When I’m headed out the door for an appointment, when I’ll be riding in the passenger seat instead of driving or when I’m going anywhere that there’s a potential I might have some “dead” time, I bring a book along. Sometimes, I don’t even get to crack it open. Other times, I end up having unexpected waiting time and finish the entire book!
3. Read First Thing in the Morning
In the past six months, I’ve made reading a higher priority in my life as I feel like reading good books is one of best ways I can improve as a writer and blogger. One way I’ve carved out more time for reading is by doing it first thing in the morning.
On a usual morning, I get up early, take my shower and get dressed and then I spend 20 minutes in Bible reading and prayer. As soon as I’m finished with that, instead of opening up my laptop, I set the timer for ten minutes and read from whatever book I’m currently reading through.
I can usually read at least a chapter in that 10 minutes and I’ve found it’s a great way to start my day off. Plus, if the day ends up being very full and there’s no extra time for reading at any other time of the day, at least I’ve read one chapter of a book!
4. Turn Off the TV
I know this might not be a popular opinion, but I think you’ll get a lot more out of a good book than you ever will out of the majority of television programs. If you usually spend 30 minutes watching television every day, challenge yourself to devote half of that time to reading instead.
Since I watch very little television (most weeks go by without me watching any), that may be one of the reasons I have more time to read than many people. I’d choose a good book over television any day!
5. Turn Off the Computer
There are so many amazing blogs and sites and articles to read online, but sometimes it can become noisy overload. I prefer to just follow a few blogs and read books instead. I seem to focus better and get more out of books I can hold in my hand rather than reading articles on a computer screen.
6. Listen to Audiobooks
There are many of you who don’t have the luxury of a fairly relaxed schedule like me. You work full-time, you have a gaggle of children and your days are packed from sun-up to sundown and beyond. If snatching a few minutes of reading time seems beyond comprehension, consider audiobooks instead.
You can listen in the car, while you’re folding laundry, while you’re exercising… any time your hands are busy but your mind is free. I’ve only just begun listening to audiobooks at the encouragement of my husband and I’ve truly enjoyed this extra way to fit in more “reading”.
7. Read Aloud to Your Children
If you have children, reading aloud to them is one of the greatest ways to get reading in. Sure, you don’t necessarily read aloud books to them that you’d have on your personal book list, but it’s still so enjoyable to all share a book together.
We typically read aloud for 30 minutes to an hour every week day and it’s truly one of our favorite parts of each day. The girls almost always beg for “another chapter” when I’m finished — and I usually oblige because I’m enjoying the book so much myself!
How do you find time to read (if you do!)? I’d love to hear your ideas!