My goal to read more books this year is already off to a great start! I’ve averaged two books per month, plus I always listen to audiobooks while I walk Mozzie, so I’m getting in a lot of reading in.
This goal nicely coincides with my desire to spend less mindless time on social media. I’m scrolling through Facebook less and reading more. Win-Win!
It’s actually not as hard as I thought it might be to find time to read. I’ve got a whole bunch of tips on how to read more if you feel like you don’t have the time.
How to Find Time to Read More
Set a Goal
I’m a huge fan of goal setting! For a few years I’ve set a goal to read a certain number of books per year. Then I break that down into a smaller monthly goal so that I can stay on track.
Setting a goal makes your desire to read more somewhat official.
Be specific. Write your goal down. Then, record each book your read. I’m recording all of the books I read in 2018 here so that I can keep track.
Don’t forget to be realistic. If you’ve got a lot going on and don’t read at all right now, one book per week might be tough to accomplish. One book per month is probably quite manageable, though. If you’re already reading quite a bit but want to ramp things up, maybe one book per week is a great stretching goal.
You could also set a goal to read a certain number of chapters or pages each day or week instead of counting books.
Put a Reading App on Your Phone
Are you ever anywhere without your phone? Nope.
Buy or rent ebooks and put a reading app on your phone. This way whenever you’re out and about, you’ve got something you can read. Waiting in the car to pick up your kid? Sitting in a waiting room at the doctor’s office? These are all great chances to get some reading in.
You can get the Kindle app and easily read books you buy off Amazon or rent from Overdrive.
Austin and I listen to a ton of audiobooks! I listen to the entire Harry Potter series about once per year. I always listen to books while I walk Mozzie every day. Austin listens to audiobooks through most of his workday.
You can probably “read” a whole lot more books if you start using audiobooks. Think of the time you spend driving or doing chores around the house. That’s all perfect listening time.
You can get a free audiobook from Audible if you sign up for a free trial (I highly recommend Harry Potter 🙂 ). Check with your local library. Our library card gets us access to the Overdrive and Hoopla apps, where we can rent audiobooks and download them to our phones. We hardly ever set foot in the library, but we use this service daily.
Always Keep a Book with You
If you’re reading a physical book (not an ebook or audiobook) take it with you everywhere you go.
Sometimes a quick trip somewhere involves unexpected wait times that you could use for reading.
I try to remember to put my books next to the couch after dinner each night so that I can easily reach for it. Then it travels with me to bed so I can read a little more before bedtime. Even in the house, I try to keep my book with me! Seeing the book sitting next to me is a helpful visual cue that reminds me of how I want to be spending my time.
I read most books on my Kindle Paperwhite, which I love because it has a built in light and weights very little. It’s easy to throw it in my purse when we’re going somewhere. I highly recommend one if you are thinking of getting an ereader.
Read with Family
Maybe you would feel more accountable if you were reading with others.
Start reading a chapter book aloud to your kids. I bet they won’t let you forget about it.
Or read a book with your spouse.
Austin and I often have a book we’re reading together. Usually it’s an audiobook so that neither of us gets tired of reading aloud. We’ll go to bed a little early and listen to the book together. The hardest part is finding a book we’ll both like!
Keep a TBR List
Always keep a TBR — To Be Read list. This way, you always have ideas on what you want to read next. Sometimes it’s hard to find something that sounds interesting. A TBR list solves that problem!
Whenever I hear someone talking about a book I might like (or I read a blog post about a great book), I look it up on Amazon and add it to my Amazon wish list immediately. Then when I’m ready for a new book, I’ve got a bunch of ideas in one place.
Of course, being the frugal person I am, I check the library app before I buy the book on Amazon.
If you want some ideas, check out the list of books I’ve read so far in 2018!
Ditch Bad Books
I’m working on this, because I feel like it’s a bad thing to not finish a book, even if I’m just not getting into it.
The truth is though, if I’m not loving a book I won’t be motivated to keep reading. Then I’ll get stuck on one book for months and not read anything else.
Give yourself permission to ditch books that aren’t working for you so that you can move on and keep reading. This isn’t for a school book report. You don’t have to finish the book. Don’t let stalling on a “meh” book keep you from reading other books.
Try scheduling time to read. If you’ve got an evening without activities going on, write down in your planner that it’s reading night. It’ll remind you of your goal and help you use that free time in a way that you want to.
Scheduling time to read shows you and others that it’s important to you and reminds you to make time for it.
You know I have to mention this: We don’t find time for things that are important to us. We make time for things that are important to us.
Mindfulness is huge. This year I’ve realized that I have plenty of time to read, I’m just not using my time wisely.
I literally will sit on the couch scrolling through social media for an hour without realizing it. Or I’ll watch the same episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine for the third time. If I’m not mindful of my time, I waste it.
Pay attention to how you spend your time. In the moment, think about if you’re doing what you want to be doing with that moment.
I want to read more and I enjoy it, so why am I sitting here like a vegetable? Mindfulness is probably what has made the biggest difference in my reading habits this year.
I’m thrilled to be reading more books this year! I’ve enjoyed some fabulous novels and gotten some helpful tips from nonfiction books that I’ve applied to my life already.
I’m also much more relaxed when I spend more time reading versus spending that same time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.
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