How to Find More Time to Read Even if You’re Very Busy

Find more time to read. That sounds like one of the New Year’s resolutions. When I was younger, I always found time for books. Then, days became jam-packed. There were fewer and fewer opportunities to do the things I liked to do, including reading. How do I get back into reading more – how do I read more books? We’re all busy. Some of us have one or two jobs; others might be studying or taking care of families or kids. So today, I’d like to review some tips on finding more time to read (even if you’re very busy).

Not a Single Book?

According to Pew Research Center study conducted in 2019, 27% of adults in the US haven’t read a single book (in part or in whole) in the past year. That’s more than a quarter of respondents not reading books in print, e-books or audiobooks! This is the unfortunate reality.

I won’t analyse why people stop reading books or try to convince you to read more books. If you’re reading (or skimming through) this blog post, you probably want to read more (at least somewhere deep down there, right?).

27% of adults in the US haven't read a single book in the past year

How to Find Time to Read Books?

Unfortunately, we cannot add more hours in a day, but there are tips for finding/making time for reading books. That said, a lot will depend on your motivation!

Read before going to bed

Very often, the first tip you’ll find is to read before going to bed. Start small, for example, by dedicating 10 minutes to a book that’s waiting for you on your nightstand. You can do that once or twice a week. It doesn’t mean that you need to dedicate all your evenings to reading right away. You can still enjoy a movie before bedtime if that’s your jam. Soon,  you’ll develop a habit of reading a book before going to bed and finding time to read will not be as difficult as it was.

Read what you like, not what you should

I’m glad that gone are the days where I had to follow the school reading program. I’m not saying I didn’t like the books that we had to read. It’s just that if you want to find time to read, you need to have books that you want to read. And even as adults, we technically should read books that help us, let’s say, develop professionally. But to motivate yourself to find the time to actually read, you should read what you want to read. And if that’s professional learning related literature, that’s great!

Don’t read a book that is not your cup of tea; at least, don’t read it yet! It will be hard to motivate yourself to spend your well-deserved free 10 minutes to read a book that isn’t interesting. Find something that you like. Whether that’s a book about backyard farming, like “The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals” by Gail Damerow or a book about our society and various issues that surround it. “The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets” by Phyllis Cole-Dai and James Murray is a good example. As long as you know that you’ll enjoy reading it!

Library membership

Libraries are great. There are lots of resources, programs and, of course, lots of free books! While I love buying and owning my books, I now realise that I won’t have a big library tower with all my favourite books (yeah, my childhood dream). Space is short when you live in an apartment, and you have even less space when you have kids.

So, find a library near you, and register, become a member; it’s definitely worth it. How to find time to read the books you take home from the library? Well, libraries usually lend books for a limited time. So, knowing that, for example, you have only 21 days to read that book and return it might encourage you to actually sit down and read instead of postponing it.

Use your commute time

If you’re looking for advice on how to start reading more books, then my personal tip is to make the most of your commute! If you are using public transport – and are lucky enough to get a seat – use that time to read a book. I remember, when I lived in London, the daily commute to work and back was something else. In the tube with no wifi, it was (almost) perfect for reading. I had around 40 minutes of commute one way, so I tried to always have a book or an e-reader with me.

One thing I can tell you from experience: the commute goes much faster when you’re reading. Just don’t miss your stop.

How to find time to read - try to read on your commute.

Read books in different formats

OK, what can help you find more time to read a book, is to have books in different formats. Carrying a printed book with you might not always be very convenient. So consider installing a reading app in your tablet or buying a kindle. E-readers aren’t very expensive, and they’re usually pretty lightweight.

If you have your e-reader in your bag with you, you can just take it out and read a book when an opportunity arises (whatever that may be!). You might even find that reading electronic books is much more convenient on the go – like in the commute example above.

Keep a book in your bathroom

OK, while that may sound weird when I write this, it’s definitely quite an effective strategy. Keep a book in your bathroom. Unfortunately, nowadays, even “bathroom readying” has to compete with phones for attention. So, try to stop taking your phone to your bathroom and instead read a book!

Remember, Reading is Very Good For You!

Hopefully, you’ll find more time to read. You’re doing something good for yourself by reading a book. And if you have your own tricks that help you find more time for books, let me know!

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