4 realistic ways to find time to read

Over the last year or more, I have been listening to podcasts that have filled my mind with so many ideas, so many possibilities.  But what I have found, is that without my fiction books, I can’t relax.  The nonfiction books get me so would up, so excited.  I need something else to calm me and help me rest at night.

I used to be a one-book-at-a-time person.  Then, for a while, I felt I had no time to read.  With work, kids, dog, exercising, there just didn’t seem to be any time.  But I’ll share with you how I manage to have time for multiple books at one time.  Currently, I tend to have a nonfiction audio book to motivate me to try new things and improve my life.  I also have a fiction book that I read at night or when I’m trying to unwind.  I sometimes have an audio fiction book as well.  These work especially well on family road trips and for family members who get car sick and can’t read while the car is moving.

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The following 4 suggestions give you the tips you need to squeeze in that extra reading time.

  1. Try to go to bed at least 15 minutes earlier than normal.  I read for the last hour of my night (or less if I fall asleep reading!).  This helps me unwind and helps me fall to sleep easier (bonus!).
  2. Listen to audio books or podcasts while commuting, doing chores or exercising.  I do not recommend nonfiction for exercising.  I find that there are often things I want to write down and it distracts me from my exercise (but apparently not from my driving?  Hmmmm……
  3. Once you get used to listening to audiobooks or podcasts, try listening to them at a faster speed.  This gets through some of the dry material at a better pace.  Increased speed is usually a pace where you kinda have to listen closely so, at least for me, I’m more likely to pay attention.  It also gets you through more books.
  4. I read on my phone.  This has increased my read time dramatically in many ways.  First, I can read when I’m waiting in line, or when I’m walking or at the doctor’s office.  I don’t have to remember to bring my book with me.  Also, I can read any type of book, anywhere.  People don’t need to know I’m broke or reading a romance novel or getting a divorce or having major health issues.  I don’t have to wait until I’m at home, hiding those books, to read them!  Second, I can read as I’m falling asleep, in bed, at night.  I know this is not recommended.  Bad on eyes, supposedly viewing electronics at night keeps you awake.  But after years of trying to find good ways to read in bed (head lamps, lighted bookmarks, etc.), I can tell you, this is the answer to my prayers.

Still think you have no time?  I find the hardest part, is starting.  Just start a book.  If it’s a topic you like or need, you will suddenly find the time to read it.  Despite being used to my system, I find that I still sometimes struggle to start the next book.  But once I start, I’m off and running.  Sometimes I’ll download a few books just to keep things moving.  It really is easier the more you do it.  You find you don’t want to watch TV or waste so much time on Facebook when you have a good book to read.

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Next week I will be discussing places to get free books to enable this reading habit!

So my challenge to you is to see how many books you can read next month.  All you have to do is just get started!

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