If you’re an avid (or voracious, even) reader like myself, you might have heard the phrase, “I wish I had time to read,” or “I wish I could read as much as you do.”
Perhaps, like myself, you want to slap people with a book when they say this to you, and shake them, and yell, “You can!” No? Well, er…
I know people mean well, truly. I think that most people who say this to me mean it in a complimentary manner. They admire how often I read and how many books I’m able to read in a year. They might also be curious, as to how someone could spend so much time reading when there are other “important” and “adult” things to be done.
These people likely mean well too, but the sometimes condescending tone I get when people declare they wish they had the time to read like I do irks me. As though they don’t really wish they had the time to read and maybe think I’m silly for spending so much time doing so.
But those types are few and far between and this post isn’t for them anyway!
Who is this article for then? Well, anyone who reads my blog, really. More importantly, it’s for readers who like to read about other readers reading habits (say that five times fast!) and those who truly wish they read more but can’t seem to find the time.
Life gets busy, I know. Hell, there are even days (few and far between, thankfully) where I don’t read a single page! -gasp!- So here are two simple rules (The Two Habits of Highly Effective Readers, if you want) to help you out:
- Don’t find time to read; make time to read!
- Never leave home without a book – ever!
There, now you can stop reading this. I mean, I would rather you read this whole post since I spent time writing it. But if you suddenly find yourself inspired by my advice (advice that I’m sure countless other bloggers have written about) and want to go read right now, by all means, do so!
If you’re still here, I’ll expand a little on my advice.
First, making time to read: I don’t often stumble upon free time where I can just sit down and read (despite being a hermit), so I create time to read. Basically every day. Sometimes I sacrifice doing other things, like, adult responsibilities. I don’t watch much tv, nor do I often find myself bingeing shows on Netflix, so that gives me more time to read.
If you do like to watch tv, that’s fine too. But that three hour marathon of Stranger Things (is this still popular? I don’t know…) you were planning, could be cut down to two in order to give you an hour of reading time. Those thirty minutes you spend on social media on your phone before bed? Try reading instead! Do you like to work out or jog? Listen to audiobooks!
Sadly, books don’t have the ability to throw themselves in our faces and beg to be read, so we have to carve out the time for them. I know they appreicate it. What…your TBR isn’t sentient? Oh, just mine? Cool, well…hopefully he’ll make friends someday…
Second, never leaving home without a book: I realize this might be easier for those of us who carry bags and purses, but it’s still possible without much hassle. Depending on the size of your bag, you should pretty much be able to fit a book or even an e-reader in there. Have the kindle app? Your phone counts too! Audiobooks are even easier to take with you.
Long commute on public transit? Read a book! Long commute in your car? Listen to a book! Are you going to the doctors, getting an oil change, waiting in line at the DMV or to check out at a store during Christmastime, flying on a plane, sailing on your yacht (I wouldn’t know what this is like, but I assume it’s fabulous and I’d make time to read), sitting at the mall outside Forever21 while your girlfriend tries on endless variants of $8.00 crop tops? READ A BOOK.
Leave a book in your car – I have three in mine! Leave a book at your desk, or bring one to work, so you can read on your lunch break. Buy small ones and carry them in your back pocket! Ok, that one is mostly for guys (or ladies who wear guypants) because ladypants come with pockets that are actually just jokes and not meant to hold anything more than a folded up dollar bill.
You’re getting my point, right? There are lots of little opportunities to read throughout the day if you keep your eyes open and have a book handy. I know it’s not always fun to read in little starts and snatches, but it can be a good start to get yourself into (or back into) the habit of reading.
If you enjoy reading, I think that it doesn’t matter when or where you do it, just that you’re doing it. If you really want to read, I encourage you to do so! Especially if you’re one of those people whose always remarking that you wish you had time to read like I did – now you can be like me and stop friggen saying that!
Let’s chat! How do you make time to read when life gets busy? Do you wish you read more often? I know you don’t wish you read less because that’s simply not possible. Are you the type (like me) to bring a book everywhere, even if most times you don’t get the time to pick it up?