Since I’ve been blogging a little more about the books I am reading I’ve had a lot of people say to me that they’d love to read more but they struggle to either find the time or to get back into it after having kids. I thought I’d share a few of the ways that I make time to read; last year I managed to read 50 books which was a huge leap from the year before. To be fair I think most of that is to do with my boys growing up, I’m not quite as exhausted come the evening and I do have brief periods of time during the day when I get a few minutes to myself. However, I’ve also made a few changes to my reading habits which have helped me too:
Swap phone time for reading time
I realise this is easier said than done, as most of the time if you have a spare few minutes you can reply to messages or emails on your phone. However, if you’re just picking it up out of habit then try putting it down and pick up a book instead. How often you do pick up your phone, intending to just have a quick look and before you know if 20 minutes have passed and you’ve no idea how! That could be twenty minutes of reading time and you’ll feel much better for it.
Mix It Up
I realise this doesn’t work for everyone but I usually have a few books on the go so I can choose something to fit in with my mood. Sometimes I’ll want to read something inspiring or challenging which is great but other times all I really want is a bit of escapism, a chance to get lost in another world and read solely for entertainment. If I’m finding a book too hard going I always have something lighter to hand to keep me reading.
Keep a book on you at all times
You never know when you’re going to get a few minutes to yourself whether you are out and about or in the house. I always take a book with me if I’m going on the train, I read in the bath and waiting for appointments. There are ways to squeeze in even more reading time into your day. I’ll often bring a book or my kindle downstairs with me in the morning so it’s there is I happen to get chance to pick it up. If the twins are playing nicely, I’ll make myself a brew and have a few minutes reading, even if it’s just in the kitchen while the kettle boils. If you’re reading a really good book you’d be surprised how easy it is to get lost in it.
Read WHATEVER you want to
This is maybe the most important thing to get you back into reading; don’t be taken in by any kind of book snobbery. Don’t choose a book just because you feel like you should, it’s a classic, it’s a bestseller, everyone is reading it, it’s been on your book shelf for years. We all love different types of novels and we all have differing opinions about what is good. You need to pick a book that you just genuinely want to read, whether it’s one you’d want to tell people about or not. If you don’t enjoy what you’re reading then you’re never going to pick up that book.
Books at Bedtime
This is something I’ve had to work really hard on and another one that ties in with putting the phone down! Pretty much every night I’ll read before bed, now it’s become a habit I don’t know why I wasn’t always doing it. Sometimes I’ll only manage a few pages and other times I’ll read for an hour. It’s such a good way to wind down and makes me much happier than seeing people’s facebook updates right before I go to sleep.
How do you make time for reading or is it something you’d like to do more often?