Change Your Life and Challenge Your Mind By Making Time for Reading Good Books

As long-time blog readers know, I love to read. And this past year, I’ve been seeking to make reading more of a priority. In fact, I set a personal goal to read at least 125 books by the end of the year. (I’ve read 75 books so far, not counting the books I’ve read aloud to the children or my daily Bible reading!)

Reading 125 books in a year might seem extremely ambitious and utterly impossible to some of you — and that’s totally understandable as I’m a quick reader and reading is something that I do instead of many other hobbies. I’m also at a season of life where I have more time to read than I did a few years ago when I was doing good to read 2-3 books per month, if that!

Others of you, like Martha, couldn’t imagine only reading 125 books in one year. She’s a huge inspiration to me when it comes to reading voraciously. Get this, she’s already read 208 books in 2012 alone!

For those of you who don’t read much at all right now, can I encourage you to make reading more of a priority — even if it’s just a few pages of a book each week? Here are two reasons I think everyone should make reading a priority in their lives:

1) Good Books Challenge Your Mind

While I think it’s wonderful to let yourself relax on a regular basis, if all you ever feed your brain is entertainment, it can turn somewhat “mush-y”. Now if you’re in law school or med school or have some sort of mentally intensive job, you probably don’t have any issue with this. But if you don’t have very regular opportunities to sharpen your thinking skills, reading good books is a great way to do so.

I’m an analytical person by nature and am always questioning the reason behind why something is right or true. I never take anything at face value, as my friends well know. :)

So that’s why I love good books. They make me step back and reconsider long-held positions, they make me examine things in a different light, and they help me further solidify what I believe and why I believe it.

2) Good Books Change Your Perspective

You might not be an analytical person and you might think that my number one reason for reading good books above is a little on the whack-o side. If that’s the case, that’s okay, I accept that I might just be a bit eccentric in some areas ;). Hang with me here, though, because reading good books isn’t just for the mental exercise.

One of the other excellent reasons to become a reader is because good books open up worlds to you that you might never experience yourself. Reading biographies about single moms and parents of children with disabilities or long-term illnesses helps me to have a deeper understanding of their struggles and trials so I can better reach out to them. Reading books on different cultures and time periods has helped me get a better grasp on history and has made me appreciate so much of the modern conveniences and freedoms we have that many others never experienced.

Books have changed me, challenged me, and shaped me as a person. And they are constantly motivating me as a wife, mother, friend, business woman, writer, and thinker.

The books I’ve read have encouraged me to deepen my relationship with the Lord, helped me learn new concepts, spurred me on to develop more character and leadership skills, exemplified to me creative ways of presenting concepts and communicating points, and have pushed me to think “outside the box”.

Now, you might be thinking, “Of course, I know that it’s good to read books, but I can’t seem to find the time! I’m just trying to figure out how to get food on the table and the dishes washed.” Well, here are five ideas that may or may not work for you:

5 Ways to Fit Some Extra Reading Into Your Everyday Life

1) Read First Thing in the Morning — Before you turn on the TV or the computer, challenge yourself to read a chapter from a book. I’m amazed at how quickly I go through books just by making reading a part of my morning routine.

Note: I recommend reading non-fiction books in the morning. If you’re like me and quickly get sucked into a great biography or fiction book, you might want to save those until after dinner. Otherwise, you might start with a chapter and then end up realizing it’s lunchtime and you’re two chapters away from finishing your book! :)

2) Read While You’re Exercising — I run on the treadmill almost every day, so I use my 5-minute walking warm-up to read. You can also read while stair-climbing or doing the elliptical, ask me how I know! ;)

Note: If you typically work out at the gym or walk outside, you might want to skip this tip as you may get some weird looks at the gym or might run into something if you usually walk outdoors! :)

3) Read During Commercial Breaks — If you aren’t ready to ditch the TV habit and you don’t have TiVo, consider making a habit to pick up a book during every commercial break. I did this some while we were watching the Olympics and got through a number of chapters just by reading a few pages at a time during commercial breaks.

4) Always Have a Book Going on Your Phone or iPod or E-reader — With the abundance of free book downloads available, there’s no excuse for not having a book handy in your purse at all times — provided you have the technology! I download quite a few of the free ebooks and slowly work my way through them during those unexpected wait times that pop up during the course of the week.

5) Listen to Audiobooks — You can’t talk about creative ways to fit reading in without mentioning audiobooks! I’ve grown to really appreciate audiobooks over the past year.

I usually download 1-2 audiobooks per month onto my phone and try to listen to 10 minutes or so per day — usually while I’m cooking, cleaning, driving, or running. There are hundreds of free audiobooks available in public domain or you can also check your library to see what audiobooks they offer online for free. While not as handy as downloads, many libraries also offer books on CD that work great for traveling or those of you who have regular commutes.

For more ideas of ways I find time to read, be sure to check out my post on How I Find Time to Read. You might also want to check out my post on How I Choose the Books I Read and Recommended Chapter Books for Children.

What creative ways have you found to fit extra reading into your everyday life?

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Comments

  1. says

    I can’t imagine reading that many books in 8 months! WOW!

    I’ve read 11 books in 2012, and I’m pretty proud of myself! Anyhow, I’ve done it by getting up every morning at 7am. I read a chapter from my Bible, write a page in my journal, and then I read a little from my book of choice. Since I began this routine on July 15, I’ve finished 8 books in 2 months. I’m delighted, because I don’t even think I finished 8 books in all of 2011.

    Thanks for speaking to the importance of reading!

  2. Krysten says

    I read while I nurse my baby. That is, until my toddler comes along, “Mom! Read my Big Tractor book?” :)

    • says

      The first time I me my SIL we were touring a small town on foot. He lagged behind us with his face stuck in a book and not a peep out of him. I would not recomment this. First impressions and all!!!

  3. Lee says

    I am at that season of my life where any reading sounds grand to me! With the year I have had I have only read 3 books so far. Usually I read 2-3 a month. Not that I am complaining, we finally got our own house and I have 3 kids…2 I homeschool (1 with special needs) and 1 who is your typical 2 year old! I have never been a very great reader, but I miss it! We have started books on tape in the car and the boys love it. We are working on our 3rd right now!

  4. Susan M says

    I do some of these things also like reading on commercial breaks and having an e-reader. One other thing I do is read in the car if my husband is driving.

  5. Casey says

    I LOVE to read. I’m addicted to books and learning. I especially enjoy non-fiction books, but have a couple fiction authors I enjoy too. I was inspired by a previous post of yours where you listed tips and I have since added reading material to each of our 2 bathrooms (not sure if this was a suggestion or in the comments!) Although, I must admit sometimes I go in for what should be a quick minute and end up reading 5 pages! (Oops!) Anywho… :) Regardless of where you slash your reading material, I think its wise to have it in more than 1 place. I used to only read 1 book at a time, now i’m usually reading 2 or 3 at a time. Usually 1 fiction and 1 non-fiction.

    The other big tip I love is AUDIOBOOKS!! Can’t believe it took me this long to catch on, but I love audiobooks! I can listen while cooking (though I occasionally have to hit pause to focus on a tricky step or read the recipe) but if i’m just chopping veggies it’s a mindless task I can do H

    • Casey says

      (Oops phone cut me off)

      I can chop veggies while listening to a book. You mentioned exercising while reading, if i’m walking on a treadmill or if i’m riding a stationary bike, I will read an actual book or magazine, but if i’m running I listen to audiobooks. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, so first time I tried I loaded 2 playlists to my iPod, 1 was the first few chapters of a book and the other was all music. Turns out I didn’t need the music at all! This has been helpful as I am training for my first half marathon. My training run this past weekend was 10 miles and since i’m not a fast runner it took me just under 2 hours. I listened to a book the whole time! It’s almost like watching a movie. And I often listen to books about running, healthy lifestyles, etc. which are motivational to help me keep running.

  6. Jen says

    I read while brushing my teeth and blow drying my hair. I’m constantly amazed by how much reading I can get done while doing those two things!

  7. says

    For me, reading is what I do when the little one’s down for his nap and the big kids are resting. It makes me happy. If I can get that 20-30 minutes in, I’m good to go until bed time. Two favorites lately: My Life in France by Julia Child, and Paris in Love by Eloisa James (apparently I’m on a French kick).
    For the kids, on the couch, in the car, and audio books. I mention some more things we do in my post on What Summer Reading Looks Like at Our House. http://www.thehomeschoolexperiment.com/2012/07/what-summer-reading-looks-like-at-our-house/

  8. Susan E. says

    I read while I’m drying my hair before I go to bed. It’s only about 10 minutes, but until we get into a kindergarten routine, it works for me.

  9. Michelle says

    I 100% agree! My goal is smaller – with 50 books this year. I try to average at least one a week. Good Luck with your goal and please be sure post your favorite books along the way!

  10. says

    I think reading in the bathroom should have been first on your list:)

    I don’t have a cell phone, or ipod, or cable tv, nor do I exercise besides gardening, but having a great book in the bathroom makes it easy to get some reading in.

    Also, reading before bed works well, too!

    • says

      I never seem to find enough time to read so reading on the treadmill is always such a special treat for me! While I could never read a regular book while jogging on the treadmill, I can read on my iPad which has made the time go so much faster. I love being able to get something I want to do and something I need to do both done at the same time!

  11. Abigail says

    I’ve been taking a book along to the gym for months now and reading while I use the treadmill. Since I’m pregnant I don’t go over a fast walk, anyway, and it’s easy to read for the full 45-55 minute walk. Haven’t gotten any weird looks yet (not that I’ve noticed, at least!), and it’s definitely helped the time pass a lot more quickly. I’ve been able to get through a bunch of pregnancy and childbirth books that I wouldn’t have had time for otherwise, and I really like the multi-tasking aspect. :D

    • says

      Way to go — both for exercising while pregnant and for reading while exercising at the gym! By the way, congratulations!! When are you due?

      • Abigail says

        Thanks, Crystal! We’re very excited, and SO thankful for this little one God has given after months of waiting and praying. Due date is December 8, and we found out last week that it’s a little boy! :)

    • says

      I’ve been devouring those pregnancy books, too! Just today, I was able to get back on the treadmill (morning sickness made that impossible for the first 3 months!). Hopefully I can add some reading to the walking!

      • Abigail says

        Yes, I didn’t do much walking during the first trimester, either – too nauseous and exhausted most of the time! I did get in several slow walks on better days, but that was about it. SO thankful to be feeling better now in the second trimester…even better than I felt before the pregnancy, actually!

  12. A Mom says

    It is great that you have set a high goal and are making progress towards your goal. I love to read, but I like to focus reading less so that I can really absorb what I am reading and learning. I find if I try to read too many books (even on similar topics) then I am spending more time reading about these things than actually putting the information into practice.

  13. Jody says

    I love this post! I was an avid reader prior to becoming the mom of a child with a rare syndrome. The first couple years were unbelievably busy and extremely shaky and reading was set aside. Things have slowed a bit however I don’t have large pockets of time for reading like i used to but I am going to implement some of your suggestions especially trying to read a chapter a day. That will probably actually be better for me as I will be able to digest what I am reading rather then being so wrapped up in it and plowing ahead and missing some key points. Thank you to for reading about what it is like to be a mom to a child with special needs for the purpose of reaching out! I love that! When I saw “Without a Word” by Jill Kelly on
    your reading list this year I was so excited and have curious of what you thought of it and the impact it had…

    • Jody says

      Yay! So I started my one chapter last night instead of waiting till I have alarger amounts of time to get a large chunk done at once! I think this is going to help me get more read! So glad you did this post!

    • says

      Without a Word was pretty good. I loved reading about their love for their son and how they sacrificed so much for him! Inspiring and touching!

  14. Nicole says

    128 books?!?! Wow. Just wow. Well I am inspired but will definitely start with a smaller goal. :)

    • says

      I shot for 50 last year and was surprised that I made that. I’ve been amazed at how much reading I’m getting done in those little “pockets of time” as I’m being intentional about it.

      But yes, shoot for something realistic to begin with — and maybe you’ll find, like me, that you find more time to read as you do it more!

  15. WilliamB says

    About reading/not reading while exercising at the gym:
    1) Plenty of people read while using aerobic machines at the gym.
    2) Even if they didn’t, so what if you get funny looks?

    About reading/not reading while outside:
    It’s commonly said amongst a certain subclass of readers that if you’ve never apologized to a lamppost for bumping into ti (while reading whilst walking), you’re wasting reading time. ;->

  16. Katy says

    When I was a kid and curled my hair before school every morning, I would hold each curl on the iron for the length of a page. That must have made my parents crazy hogging the bathroom like that!

  17. Meredith M says

    I’m an avid reader, as well. I can never understand how people don’t like it:) I’m up to 36 books so far this year. This is the first time I’ve ever kept a log. One time when I was reading a particularly good book, my 6 year old told me I was going to turn into a book, since I couldn’t put it down.

  18. Jessica says

    When I worked full-time outside the home, I was using the lactation room to pump milk. I read while I pumped. It was a great 15-20 minutes of quiet relaxation.

  19. Diane says

    When I gave up Facebook for a month I was surprised how many books I could read. Not because I spend that much time on FB but because I was spending a lot less time on the computer total. Now I have time restrictions on the computer (I’m just on 15 minutes at a time 3x/day) and that helps, too.

  20. Lana says

    I used to love to read but for the last few years I have had a difficult time finding fiction worth reading. Clean fiction tends to be poorly written and popular fiction often involves lifestyles that I do not want to fill my mind with. I would love some suggestions! Anyone??

    • says

      Do you like classics? I love Jane Austin…great content, wonderfully written, and even applicable to modern day life! I also have gotten into the Lord Peter Whimsey series by Dorothy Sayers. They are british detective novels set in the 20s and 30s.

      • Lana says

        I love the classics but at my 50 something age I have read most all of the ones that would interest me. Rereading books is not something I enjoy. Thanks for the reply!

    • Becky says

      Letters From A Martyred Christian is a fictional series of letters sent from a man in Heaven to people on Earth about various aspects of Christian living and faith. It is very encouraging, challenging, and inspiring, and I constantly recommend it to everyone and anyone. It’s available on Amazon in both physical form and Kindle. H.L. Hussmann is the author.

    • says

      Maybe you could tell us some of your favorite authors/books and some here would have some suggestions that would be along those lines?

      I have the opposite problem: entirely too many books that I can’t wait to delve into! I find that one book tends to lead me to three other books — either because I add more books from the author to my to-read list or because I see them quote or mention other interesting books throughout the book (this is typically only the case for non-fiction).

      Also, InspiredReads.com lists the free Christian books available from Amazon.com each day. Some of them look to be in the “poorly written” camp, but I’ve stumbled on a number of gems from it — that you can either add to your library list or download to read on your computer or device.

  21. Megan says

    I had to laugh at your comment about being in law or med school. My husband is a third year medical student and has faithfully kept up his reading habit. He makes a beeline for the classics shelf at the library and has read many Dickens books over the past few years (his favorite). I’m a professor – and think I read plenty on the job! – but he’s inspired me to read more for myself and I’m thankful for that.

  22. says

    Reading while nursing has got to be the greatest reading move I’ve made. I watched late-night re-runs while nursing my first and I regret it so much. How much sweeter it’s been to have memories of reading and nursing! Baby #4 is due soon and I’m excited about bumping up the reading time again.

    I just teach my others to let me sit quietly in the nursery during that time. It worked when I had a 3 & 5 yo, and it will be even easier to do that now that they’re older.

    I normally don’t allow myself to read fiction because I read way too long and neglect my work, but…it’s perfect for those late night nursings! When you’re totally exhausted and it’s hard to climb out of bed and nurse, it helps so much to have a fiction book treat, too!

    I don’t recommend something too challenging or technical until the baby is older-I tried reading Charlotte Mason when I was still exhausted and all I was doing was re-reading pages over and over.

    So that’s my biggest advice to new moms – turn off that t.v. and read some beautiful books while you nurse!

  23. Carrie says

    I’m a single mom and work full-time, but people are amazed at how much I read. I really need this down time. I read at least 3 books in a week. I also have about 8 magazine subscriptions a month (all free). I download a lot of books for my Nook that are free…you just type in 0.0 in the search (beware there are a lot of explicit books with revealing covers in with the free books, so you may want to do 0.0 Christian books or something else specific). I just had a garage sale this weekend and read 2 books in between customers. I can’t imagine not reading.

  24. Marie says

    I have just started trying to read again this past year. I find it a real challenge because in order for me to retain what I’m reading I have to concentrate. I can’t have other distractions going on. I took Crystal’s advice for audiobooks but found I wasn’t able to really listen and catch what was being read. I’d love this idea if I could find how to make it work. I’m thinking maybe when the kids go to school in Sept. and I have one at home I might be able to listen to audio books.
    I’d also encourage you if you start a book and it’s not working to abandone it. I was trying to read a parenting book and found that it was “overly spiritual” in regards to how to handle everyday things. Not really sure how to describe it. I tried several times and couldn’t make it to chapter two. So I realized it was not the book for me and finished reading The New Strong Willed Child. I got way more out of it.
    I need to figure out how to fit reading in more because I keep getting books on request from the library and not able to finish them because of the wait list! and then you can’t renew.

  25. Emma K says

    I haven’t kept track of how many books that I’ve read this year but it’s been alot. We recently were stationed overseas and I’m pretty sure that first month I read a book each night after the kids were asleep. I almost overdid my love for reading :)

    I have decided to branch out and read books besides fiction. There are several books that are in our Bible Study group that I want to read. I just joined a book club and read a great book called “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea”. It was very eye opening to me because North Korea is a place that I knew nothing about and we are living in South Korea. It’s a great read and I can’t wait to discuss it with my book club.

  26. says

    Add me to the list of “reading while nursing.” I review books for Thomas Nelson and Bethany House so it is important that I find the time. I have an almost 5 month old who thinks she is a much bigger baby (ie. very, very active) and we live in a fixer-upper. So if I didn’t read while nursing, I probably never would. I also read while eating. My goal this year is 60. I use Goodreads to help keep track. I normally read way more than that but impossible with the baby and our busy summer/fall.

  27. says

    Wow- that is ambitious reading! I love to read, but I also have a lot of other hobbies, which is probably why I don’t read as much as I’d like too.

    I’m keeping track of how many books I read this year, so I can up the ante next year – 50 is my goal. (Almost one a week.) Maybe that seems small to some, but if I actually made it, I would be thrilled!

    • says

      You can do it! I’m cheering you on! {50 books was my goal last year and I was so excited when I pulled it off — and I think that success is what inspired me to up the ante even more this year!}

  28. melissa says

    My problem is finding books that I know are good. What happens if you start one and then realize it’s not something that does any of the above (inspires you, challenges you, etc.)? I’m curious if you go on with it anyway, hoping to get something out of it? Or do you ditch it?

      • melissa says

        Do you have a comprehensive list of books (or somewhat comprehensive) that you’ve read and recommend? Not like you need more to do, I’m sure, but I’d love to see a list of fiction and non-fiction (and maybe even kids’ books) with a simple rating (like out of five stars or something) telling how much you enjoyed it. Or maybe something like this already exists on your blog? Thanks for inspiring all of us with all you do!

  29. Tracy says

    I also keep an “emergency book” in the car for those times I find myself waiting for someone or something.

  30. Rachael says

    If you’re having a hard time getting going on reading, try joining a book club. This has helped me tremendously to stay motivated. We meet once a month at Barnes and Noble. This makes it so convenient and we browse together to pick out our new book for the month.

  31. R says

    Wow that is a lot of reading! That is great. I am no longer much of a book reader as I am of the Word of God. I have been convicted to read the bible more often and throughout the day not just in the mornings. Spending time with HIM is helping me to know Him. As believers I feel we all should spend quality time learning, studying and memorizing the Scriptures throughout the day. I do squeeze in a biography of a missionary every now and then. It helps encourage me through the valleys I may experience. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Isn’t the word of God such a comfort? I’ve been reading Jesus Calling along with my daily Bible reading in the mornings and it’s been such a rich time of soaking up encouragement for the day. I’ve also found that working on my Scripture memory while running has been helpful to have His words running through my mind all day long.

  32. says

    I thought my 17 books so far this year was impressive, lol. Just curious, but how many of the 75 you have read were audiobooks?

    I am a reader who can’t multitask, lol. It has to be quiet (no tv, music, etc) or I just end up rereading the same paragraph over and over! I usually make a cup of tea, find a comfy spot on the couch and read an hour or so at a time.

    • says

      I think about 8-10 of them were audiobooks. I typically do about 1-2 audiobooks per month as I only listen in little snippets here and there throughout the week.

  33. says

    Have you ever looked into the website http://www.goodreads.com? It is where I catalog all of my books. I can put different books on different shelves like:
    To-read
    Currently-Reading
    Read
    That way I can send other people recommendations and I can always have a running list of books I want to read. I tend to write them on a sticky note and then lose the sticky note. It was extremely frustrating. Goodreads has changed all of that. It is my most favorite website now. I am on it all the time. You might want to look into it.
    Camille

    • says

      I’ve heard rave reviews of GoodReads. Since I’m trying not to join any new sites, I’ve found that Pinterest works great for me for keeping track of books I’ve read and also those I want to read.

  34. Kayla H says

    Thank you for this post Crystal! I really need to be more intentional about reading good books. I have several here that I need to read, as well as a Kindle full of them. A very good friend of ours was killed in action earlier this year, and one of the things that I take away from the short time that I knew him was reading good books. He was one of the most genuine, most encouraging, most enthusiastic people I have ever met, and I believe that was largely impacted by the fact that he was constantly filling his mind with great books.

  35. Lee says

    I love to read and I have loved having books on my phone so I can read anytime. If you are looking for some great Christian books for your kindle (or phone w kindle app) try inspired reads. You can google the blog or look on Facebook. They regularly post 2-4 free books a day. Some that I’ve gotten weren’t great at all, but a lot of them have been wonderful. They introduced me to authors I never would have tried otherwise :)

  36. Jiya says

    Oh, how I love to read. It’s like going on vacation in my head every single day. I find I tend to stay up too late squeezing in just a few more pages. This summer my son has caught the reading bug, and it’s great to see him really diving into a story! Our local library has a kids and a grown-ups summer reading program — I won the prize for the adults reading program for highest number of pages read. The prize, of course, was more books. Just feeding the addiction.

    • says

      I love that! Reading is “like going on a vacation in my head every single day.” I couldn’t have said it better!

      And congrats on your prize!!

  37. Stephanie says

    What phone do you use that allows you to listen to audiobooks? do you put it on speaker or have earbuds or what? I’m looking to buy a new phone and would love a recommendation. What app do you use on your phone for downloadable books?

  38. says

    Well said! You didn’t mention, understandably, the bathroom. Even with three little ones I’m usually able to sneak in a few minutes of reading in the bathroom a couple of times a day. ;)

    Right now, I do my reading from the one-year chronological Bible in the AM while my 12-month old nurses. She’s nursing less and less, though, so that routine needs a fix-up (and thus I’m glad for your morning routine series!).

    I love to read while the kids nap, on the go with the Kindle I keep in my purse, or in the car while waiting somewhere with the book I’ve kept in the car for months now to read in snatches at a time.

    I think an important tip for non-readers is to realize that it’s okay to have more than one book going at a time – maybe one by the bed, one in the bathroom, one in the car – and it’s also okay to decide not to finish a book if you discover it won’t be worth your time.

  39. says

    I workout at the gym and believe me I see plenty of people reading books on the bike or the treadmill, people even have special page clips, and treadmill stands for doing such things! So I am guessing they don’t feel weird. I love reading on my kindle app for my i-touch, when I am in line or waiting for an appointment or stuck some where I wasn’t expected! I love nonfiction best too but I must say when I was going through a tough time grieving the loss of my mom, fiction was a great escape for me.

  40. says

    Has someone mentioned the GoodReads website?

    It’s so fun-sort of like Facebook for books!

    You rate books you’ve read, and then you get suggestions based on what you liked! You can store lists of the titles you’re looking forward to reading, and you’ll get still More suggestions based on that list. I’ve had so much fun with this site, and it never fails to suggest books I end up loving.

  41. says

    My goal this year is 100 books. As it’s been for the last few years, closest I have come has been 87. I am at 58 so far this year. Maybe this will be the year I make it!

  42. Misha says

    An e-reader has changed me world (and mine is just a basic one)! It fits in my purse and is always loaded with new books. I have been amazed at the amount of reading I can squeak on waiting at the doctors office, waiting in line to pick up kids or even waiting in line at the bank drive-thru!

  43. says

    I can’t believe I missed this post?! (I must’ve been reading.) *smile*

    I’m a single mother of 6 and read 12 books last year. I increased my goal to 15 this year. What I hadn’t planned was to receive so many Stephen King books as gifts! If you’re not familiar with his books…they’re lengthy. Nevertheless, I’m up to 10 books this year. How do I do it?

    1. I don’t watch television
    2. I limit my social networking time.
    3. I always have a book on hand (i.e. grocery store line, waiting on a child after school, at doctor’s offices, etc.)
    4. I set a goal and use Goodreads.com to track my progress and report updates. It’s nice having a status bar and there’s something about having friends watch your progress that helps with the accountability.
    5. I read what I want to read and not what others expect me to read. (I did enough of that growing up and through my college years.)
    6. I’m on a very tight budget. Entertainment is VERY limited.

    You can see what I’m reading at my blog: http://www.onemomsguide.com/p/2012-reading-challenge.html

  44. Robin in New Jersey says

    I mostly read at night, in bed instead of watching tv. Just finished “Empty Promises” by Pete Wilson. Have you all read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp? It will change your life.

    I started keeping a book log about 7 years ago of all the books I’ve read, complete with a brief description, and if I would recommend it to anyone.

    Question? Do you finish every book you start? If you find something you don’t like at the beginning, do you say forget it and put it aside? I used to finish every book I started.
    Recently I picked up 7 books from my library, some fiction, some non, brought them home and read the first chapter of each one to see which one I wanted to read first. A couple will go back, unread.

    Happy reading everyone!

    • says

      As I mentioned in my followup post, if you start a book and don’t find that it’s helpful, I totally recommend just setting it aside and moving on. There are way too many other good books out there to spend time reading a book that you aren’t enjoying or finding helpful!

      • Peggy Walsh says

        I have always loved to read and have many fond memories of The Bobbsey Twins, Little House on the Prairie series, Nancy Drew, The 5 Little Peppers and How they Grew, etc.

        My parents loved to read and passed this on to their children. My father used to tease us and say we had to move since he read all the books in the library!

        Now, the only time I have to read is during my long commute to and from work. I discovered books on cd many years ago and it has changed my life! I no longer dread the long commute or the traffic snarls. I often forgot I’m even driving as I’m so engrossed in the book.

        I go to the library regularly and reserve the bestsellers or any books I want to read. Sometimes I will just take some off the shelf, and this has lead to my discovering authors I might not normally read.

        I also still like to actually sit down and rea

  45. says

    I read while running on the treadmill at the gym. I use my ereader and make the font really big, so it’s easy to read and run at the same time. I do get some strange looks, but I don’t care. Reading has made exercise extremely enjoyable part of my day.