There are a myriad of benefits for reading more, such as vocabulary expansion, better writing skills, and increased knowledge. Not only that, but the more you read, the better you are at empathizing with others, so reading helps your social skills too. Is there anything reading can’t do? I highly doubt it. And while all those things are great, reading is also just plain fun. Personally, I’m always trying to read more just for the sake of reading. It’s my favorite hobby of all time, one that I can’t get enough of. Here are a few pretty painless tips for how you can fit in more time to read in your daily life.
1. Watch Less TV
I know, I know. You get home at the end of the day and the last thing you want to do with your tired eyes is open a book. But for me personally, I always wish I read more and I never feel super thankful I spent the last hour (or two or three) watching Netflix. Try setting your timer for 10 minutes and then read until it goes off. If you’re into the book, keep going! If not, well hey! You got 10 minutes in! Most Americans watch an average of about 5 hours of television per day, which comes to about 35 hours per week. Imagine if, instead of watching tv for that many hours, you read for half that time instead. You’d most likely be able to finish at least one book a week, probably more. Think of all the things you can learn about and the worlds you can experience.
I’m not saying that television is bad and that you can cut it out entirely. Just that, oftentimes, we forget that watching tv is one of many options, and we don’t have to spend all of our free time keeping up with shows. Try picking your very favorite shows and watching only those. Even if all you do is reduce the amount of time that you watch tv by a little bit, that will still give you some extra time for your favorite hobbies. Like reading.
2. Download the Kindle App
It took me YEARS to jump on the Kindle bandwagon. Reading a book on a screen is not the same as reading an actual book. But you know what’s worse than reading an ebook? Not reading a book at all. Try it. It might not bother you as much as you think. Bonus tip: you can often get free ebooks from your library sent to your Kindle. Oftentimes, it takes a few pages for me to get really immersed in an ebook, but once I do, I forget the medium I’m reading from. I really enjoyed reading this series on my Kindle app. Currently I’m reading this book.
3. Read more than one book at a time
The more books you have going, the more you’re going to read. Sometimes you’re in a lighthearted mood and Wuthering Heights is not the book for the moment. Personally, I like to read non-fiction in the morning and fiction at night. I’ve found that if I start with fiction, I get sucked into the story and can’t get anything else done. Right now I’m reading this non-fiction book, as well as a couple books from this list. At night I’m rereading this book from my childhood.
4. Keep a book with you
The Kindle app will help with this, but keep actual physical books with you too. If you keep one in your purse or car, you’ll be ready the next time you have ten minutes to kill in a waiting room, in the carpool line, or in a parking lot. If it’s a book you really enjoy, you might find yourself arriving places ten minutes early just so you can sit in your car and read some more. Not that I’ve ever done this…
5. Keep books in different places in your home
I have a couple books by my bed, one by my couch, and a bunch by my reading chair. You’re probably less lazy than me, but when I have to choose between walking across the room to get a book and scrolling through social media on my phone, I’m probably going to choose the latter. But if you have books neatly stacked in all the areas you might want to read, getting more reading in is that much easier. Bonus: It makes your home look more homey too.
6. Listen to audiobooks
Listening to audiobooks was definitely the only way I was able to read books for fun while I was completing my English degree. I comprehend better when I’m actually reading than when I’m listening, so I usually choose to listen to young adult novels in audio form because they’re easier to take in while I’m multitasking. I enjoyed listening to this series quite a lot. If you enjoy mythology, this would be a good one for you. I also stayed up way too late one night finishing this bittersweet book. Currently, my husband and I are listening to Sherlock Holmes through Audible. This version has fantastic narration. I love to listen to books while I cook, when I’m driving, and when I’m cleaning. Audiobooks were a lifesaver when Charles and I were still long-distance. I listened to audiobooks a lot during the 4 hour drive there and back.
7. Abandon Books
Admittedly, I’m terrible at this. Abandoning books is something I want to do more often this year. If you’re really not enjoying or getting anything out of a book, you don’t have to finish it. Unless, of course, you’re in school and it’s mandatory reading. I think our school years taught many of us that we have to finish a book or it doesn’t count, but in your personal life, you can abandon a book as quickly and as often as you’d like. It’s hard to make more time for reading if you’re not actually enjoying what you’re reading. But there are millions of books out there. I have no doubt that there’s a whole host of books out there that you’d enjoy. The quicker you abandon a boring book, the quicker you can get to reading a book you love.It's hard to make more time for reading if you're not actually enjoying what you're reading. The quicker you abandon a boring book, the quicker you can get to reading a book you love. Click To Tweet
How about you? How do you fit more time to read into your life?