September 4, 2013

8 Ways To Read More

"I wish I had that much time to read!" This is probably one of the most annoying comments people make when they see how much I read. I don't really think I read that much because there are so many times I could be reading but do something else, like watching a movie, listening to music, or just sitting on the porch watching all the birdies. What people don't realize is that they have plenty of time to devour books, they just don't think about the time that way. Here are some tips to get you reading more.

1. Always Carry A Book With You
This is super important. It's really hard to read a book when you don't have one with you. There are tons of opportunities throughout the day/week that you can take advantage of and get some reading time in.

Instead of being impatient in the check-out line or becoming frustrated at the penny pincher in front of you, whip out your book! You'll totally forget about the crazy person in front of you and have a more enjoyable time.

Who hasn't waited at a doctor's office for the doctor or while someone you're with is being checked by the doctor? I have. Twice this week even. That gave me two hours this week that I could read a book instead of staring at the ceiling with drool dripping from my mouth.

If you are a commuter, then lucky you. You have a lot of time to read while waiting for and on the bus/train, but I would pay attention to who is around you before starting. Safety first! If there are any shady looking people, maybe listen to an audiobook instead, so you can watch what's going on around you.

The car is another great place to read a book. Especially if you're the passenger, but if you happen to be the driver, you can read while waiting for an especially long train or if you are waiting to meet up with someone.

2. Mix It Up With Audiobooks
A lot of people turn up their noses at audiobooks. I used to be one of them. Then I switched to an audiobook instead of music while I was cleaning. The day ended up going by much faster than I thought, and I got way more accomplished. I was so focused on what was happening in the book that cleaning the toilet didn't bother me quite as much. Anne of Green Gables (librevox version) and The Sandcastle Girls are two of the best audiobooks I've listened to.

Audiobooks are so great because you can listen to them anywhere--at work, in the car, at home, on a plain, in a train...Just load 'em up on your ipod, and you're ready to go. The one thing I hate about the ipod though is that you don't have many options with playback speed. I think fast is only 1.25x faster, and I usually listen to audiobooks between 1.4x and 1.6x faster. When I'm at home, I usually open them up on Windows Media Player. It seems to adjust the speed better than QuickTime and doesn't have QuickTime's tendency to crash. Another great tool when you're at home, is wireless headphones. Menard's has a pretty good pair for around $12 or cheaper when on sale with a pretty long range.

3. Cut Down On Addictive Games, Social Media, etc.
Cut out the time wasters during your day and read a book instead. Recover from your Candy Crush addiction, limit the time you play Castleville or spend checking Facebook and Twitter feeds, don't spend hours planning a Pinterest wedding that isn't going to happen for another 5 or 10 years, etc. Sometimes it's good to connect with family and friends on social media, but set a timer for say 30 minutes, and then go read a book for 30 minutes. (This is so much easier for me since I don't have a smartphone.)

Instead of coming home and plopping on the couch and watching TV, grab a book and limit the amount of TV you watch. I watch maybe an hour or 2 of TV a week if that. I feel like less of a couch potato and more awake if I read a book rather than watch hours of TV.

Get up and move! Take your ipod and go for a walk or a bike ride and listen to a book on the way. You can get some exercise in and a book. And since you are listening, you aren't paying minute attention to what you are doing and think you're tired before you actually are. Make sure to take plenty of water with you though!

Funny thing, I've been doing this type of stuff all my life. My mom only let us watch half an hour of TV on weekdays and 1 hour on weekends. As children, we read and played outside a lot. Now people are amazed at how smart we are, at how large of a vocabulary we have, and at how un-addicted we are to technology. It especially impresses the older generations. So maybe you should think about implementing some of these ideas not only for yourself, but for any children you might happen to have. (I include husbands in with children. :D )

4. Take A Break And Read
Take a break from your busy day and read a bit. Rushing around all day isn't healthy. During the week this might not be possible if you work a 40 hour week, but otherwise, pick a time during the day and set a timer for 15-45 minutes and just sit down and read. You'll be calmed and refreshed and can get back to work not feeling so tired. Watching a movie can just make you more tired with all the bright lights flashing before your eyes.

5. Participate In A Group Or Club
Having people with whom you can talk about the book makes the experience much more fun. Join GoodReads and find a group that shares your interests and is reading/has read books you enjoyed. For me, this group was Ladies & Literature. You can see what we're currently reading in my left sidebar.

See if your library has a group. Most libraries do. If they don't, it doesn't take much to get together with a librarian and start one.

Make goals. If you commit to a group or club, make a goal that you will read all the books and participate in the discussions or Goodreads has a personal challenge where you can set how many books you want to try to read during the year.

6. Bed Time Reading
Read a little before going to bed. Don't read too much because it can create bad habits and lead to insomnia, but if you read 20-45 minutes before going to sleep, it calms you down and distracts you from all the day's worries making it easier for you to fall asleep as well as getting some reading time in. Try not to pick something exciting and action packed to read, which will just cause the reverse of calm. One of my favorite bedtime reads is Pride and Prejudice.

7. Buy An eReader
They are getting cheaper and cheaper every year. If you already have a tablet or smartphone, then you're ahead of the game! There are a lot of great ereaders and programs out there making reading more convenient. If you are carrying a whole library around with you, then it makes it easier to find books you want to read and easier to start another one when you finish your first one.

8. Get A Library Card
This is one of the easiest things you can do. Libraries have a ton of books and audiobooks that you can borrow free of charge saving you tons of money. Your library may also be part of an elibrary that provides digital content for your at home convenience making a trip to the library unnecessary. If your library doesn't offer the services and content you want, check out area libraries. Some libraries let you join even if you don't live in that town.

The idea for this post was taken from Good Books and Good Wine.


  1. I love this post and I completely agree with your points :) I always have a book with me!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree with everything and do almost everything on your list too! Yay!