I teach high school, so as you can imagine, I hear all the excuses. Here are some of the most common ones for why they didn’t do the assigned reading:
- I forgot.
- It was boring so I gave up.
- I fell asleep.
- I had practice.
- I forgot my book at school/home/my dad’s/in the car/on the bus.
- I don’t have time.
The last one is probably the most common excuse I get. Who has time to read, anyway? And while I completely get what you’re saying, I do want to say this: If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way.
I need books like I need food, water, and sunshine. It’s important to me that I read not only for my profession, but for my soul.
But maybe you’re not like me and you just want to read more but just can’t seem to find the time. Here are five tips on how to find more time to read.
- Try audiobooks.
Yes, technically, if you’re listening to audiobooks you’re not reading. But, if you’re someone who struggles to find time to get into a good book, an audiobook is better than nothing. This is one of my favorite ways to pass the time on my long commutes and I also listen to them while I’m on the treadmill. I find that focusing on the audiobook makes time go faster and keeps my mind off the unpleasant business of driving in rush hour traffic, running, and cooking/cleaning. Often it helps me get immersed in a book and I end up buying a copy of it as well. There are tons of ways to get cheap or free audiobooks. I use Audible (you get one book for free!), and my public library allows me to check out audiobooks online for free. Also there are many to be found on Youtube, which is where I point my students if they are struggling to find time to read.
Ebooks are another secret weapon of mine. Amazon has a great Netflix-like ebooks subscription service called Kindle Unlimited. Don’t want to carry a Kindle around? There’s a Kindle App for your smartphone, and I know you carry that thing everywhere you go. I often read my ebooks in bed, set my phone to “night” mode to minimize the ultraviolet light, and fall asleep reading. It’s nice because it doesn’t disturb my husband as much as turning on a light would, and there’s no inconvenience of a reading light. Public libraries also have ebooks you can check out, too!
3. Set a goal
Set a goal for yourself and write it down. Want to read one book a month? Make a reading schedule. Don’t want to get that involved? Commit to reading for 15 minutes a day. Maybe you’ll do it as soon as you get home from work. Maybe it’s better to do it right before bed. Perhaps you can read during the commercial breaks of your favorite television show. Goals help. Keep it posted somewhere and set a reminder on your phone that it’s time for you to read.
4. Read under the right conditions.
If you try to make the experience of reading the most relaxing as possible, then you’ll be more likely to do it. Make it “me time” when you read. Turn off the distractions, like the TV and the phone. Get to a quiet place. Draw a warm bubble bath or pour a glass of wine. Reading is an excellent way to relax and recharge after a long day. If you’re comfortable and relaxed while you read, you’ll look forward to settling down for it.
5. Join a book club.
There’s nothing like a little peer pressure to help you persevere in your goal of reading more. Joining a book club, even if it’s online, will help you stay accountable for your reading. Plus it’s a really exciting and fun way to meet new people and discuss the books you’re reading. Most book clubs do one book a month and meet at the beginning or the end of the month. You can find a list of them here.
How do YOU find time to read? Leave a comment below and tell us!