Ways to read more books when you’re too busy
Life is busy, and reading a whole book can sometimes feel like a nice, but un-achievable dream. Who has time to sit down and read books anymore, right? As an English major, I have always loved reading, and practically devoured books during the first half of my life. Then I became a mom, and had a full time job, a long commute, and Master’s classes. I didn’t have time to buy groceries, much less curl up with a good book! The only reading I could do was my online textbooks, and even those I could barely finish!
After a year or 2 of going into book withdrawal, I realized that I truly missed reading–the relaxation, the escape into other worlds, and the mind-opening growth that occurs from encountering new people and ideas. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, reading is good for the mind and the soul. I realized that if I wanted to make reading part of my busy adult life, then I would have to be very creative and intentional to make it happen. Today I want to talk about a SMART deployment goal: read more. Could you resolve to read one new book each month? Or even one book per week?
If you wish you had time to read more books, try these ideas:
● eBooks. Carrying a book around with you can be inconvenient. But an ebook can be read anytime, in a reading app like Nook or Kindle. And the biggest benefit–you can hold it in just one hand! This was a huge benefit when I was nursing babies. During those quiet nighttime feedings, I would finger-swipe my way through a chapter or more. I got through the entire Game of Thrones book series this way during the deployment when I was nursing baby #3!
● Go to the library. Sounds obvious, but when is the last time you visited the library and checked something out for yourself? Libraries aren’t just for paper books, but audio books on CDs, too. Some libraries even have individual books saved on a small device you can plug your own headphones into and listen to on the go. If you don’t know what you are looking for, then get a best sellers list from the check-out desk and see if you like any of those titles. There is bound to be something you recognize–maybe one was recently made into a movie, or you heard a friend talking about it recently. Ask a librarian for recommendations, too!
● Keep a book beside your bed. We all check our phones and Instagram before going to bed, right? And check them again in the morning? What if you replaced those 10/ 20/ 30 minutes with a quick read? Something uplifting like a devotional or ‘Chicken Soup’ book is a better way to start the day than sorting through junk email. Reading something you enjoy before going to sleep can help you get a better night’s sleep too.
● Keep a book in the car. If there is something I am working through slowly, and don’t mind reading for short snatches of time, I keep it in the front seat of my car. If I have a few minutes before school pick-up or after school drop-off, it’s nice to enjoy a quiet moment of reading. Also, during those years when the babies would unexpectedly fall asleep in the car on the way home from an errand, I always kept something to read in case I got ‘trapped’ in the car and didn’t want to wake the babies when we got home!
● Join a book club. Nothing like a deadline to force you to read, right? I am much more likely to make time for a book if I am looking forward to discussing it with friends. There are tons of different book club possibilities– popular women’s fiction, books that led to major movies, religious texts, couples books, mom topics, Bible studies, etc. Find (or start!) a club that suits your interest. Plus, there is always delicious food to look forward to, haha!
● Goodreads. If you haven’t done much reading for fun lately, and aren’t sure where to start with new releases and modern fiction, then the Goodreads website lets you rate books you have read before, then makes suggestions based on your preferences. They will also email you when there are new releases from authors you like. You can then look for those titles at your local library.
● Read instead of watching TV. Want to actually finish a good, long book? Or a series? Then you are going to need to set aside more than a few minutes at a time. Probably the only time you have a free hour is in the evening. So try reading a book instead of watching tv, at least one night per week. You may find that you enjoy the book story more than your favorite TV series!
● Audiobooks. You probably have music saved on your phone. Any time you listen to music, you can listen to Audiobooks instead. You can even listen to them in the car or while washing dishes! Try out an app like Audible. It is an amazing collection of audiobooks from every genre. You can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial, then after that it is $15 per month (and you can cancel anytime). Your membership gets you one download per month, of any value. I used just one of our monthly credits for a collection of stories worth $65. Score! I have the Audible app on my iPad and on my Android phone. I can listen to it on the phone when I am working out, or when I am driving. I can sign in for the kids on the iPad, and let them listen to a children’s story while I am making dinner. Listening forces children to use their imaginations much more than when they watch TV, so this is electronic time that I feel good about. Audible was a lifesaver when we drove cross country last summer. We completed several audiobooks during our week of driving! Use the link below to start your free trial. This is an affiliate link, so if you choose to sign up or download any books, I receive a small fee, at no cost to you. It’s a product I have actually used, enjoyed, and really recommend to anyone.
So there you go. Now you have plenty of ideas for where, when, and how to get into the habit of reading (or listening to) more books. What reading goals will you set for yourself? Which book will you choose to read or listen to first?