When I’m talking with people and they tell me “I’d read more, but I just don’t have time,” I struggle to understand why it isn’t a higher priority for them. It’s a rare day when I don’t find time to read. Actually, I may be a reading addict — if I didn’t find time to read my book for a whole day I find myself avidly reading cereal boxes at breakfast or body wash labels in the shower.
Sometimes, when conversation allows, I ask for more details and often learn they won’t read unless they can sit down uninterrupted for several hours. Let me tell you, I didn’t read 53 books last year and 24 so far this year by finding hour-long chunks to read. While I know I have more time on my hands than some people (especially those of you with young kids), most of the time when I’m reading it’s not because I have a free hour to curl up with a good book. I snatch my reading time where I can get it.
You can read …
- When cooking. Everyone has to eat, right? next time you cook, make something you can stir with one hand while holding a book in the other. Or read while you’re waiting for it to cook.
- While brushing your teeth. You only need on hand for that. Reading while flossing is more tricky, but I have been known to balance a particularly entertaining book on an open drawer and hold it with my toes.
- In the bath. Opt for a bath instead of a shower, even if you only have 10 or 15 minutes to spare. That’s enough time for a chapter or two in some books. Just don’t nod-off and drop it in the water (apologies to The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin).
- On road trips as long as you’re not driving (and if you don’t get car-sick). Back-seat reading is ideal, but some drivers won’t mind if you read in the passenger seat, especially if you can find an interesting book to read aloud and provide entertainment.
- Whenever you’re waiting. Take a book to any sort of appointment where there’s a waiting room. Keep one with you at the computer in case something takes a while to load. Bring a book when you’re meeting people just in case they’re running late.
- With a meal. This is rude when other people are around, but any time you’re eating alone is a great time to read. Depending on your meal, this requires a slightly higher skill level than toothbrush-reading, but not quite as high as cooking-reading.
- Instead of watching TV or haunting social media. I love a good TV show and I’m as guilty of wasting time on Facebook and Pinterest as the next person, but that’s an area where many of us could cut back to make more time for books.
For me, this sort of reading in shorts bursts works best for fiction, and sometimes in a really intense part of the book time does get away from me and I’ll read longer than I should. Non-fiction takes me about 3 to 4 times as long to read because I need to read it in longer chunks for it to make sense and I’m less likely to get carried away and forget to stop reading.
What about you? How do you make time in your busy days for reading?