Lately, I feel like I haven’t been spending nearly as much time reading as I am used to. Last year I read quite a bit, and it’s one of my favorite activities. The more I read, the happier and more fulfilled I feel, and the more relaxed I am. I feel very lucky that since a young age, I’ve truly enjoyed reading and have almost always made it a priority in my life.
Because I’ve been pretty busy, and am only getting busier, I am beginning to find that I need to make more time for books. Because it’s important to me and brings me joy, I definitely think it’s worth putting the effort into making time for it. Here are a few ways I’ve found make it easier to squeeze extra pages in throughout the day.
Get up earlier – this one is especially tough for me, but I always love starting the day with a good book (and maybe even some strong coffee). It sets the tone for a stress-free and happy day…for me, at least. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, it’s still worth it. This is definitely a habit I am trying to develop further.
Art by Andrea Musso
Read while commuting – obviously this doesn’t work if you drive yourself to and from work, but if you take public transportation like I do, this is a great way to not only pass the time but to use it in an enjoyable way. I read almost always on my Kindle, so it’s really easy for me to read on-the-go. I even read on the Kindle app on my phone a lot of times on the train (particularly if it’s really packed and I don’t want to dig around in my bag). This gives me about 40 extra minutes a day of reading, which really adds up!
Read during lunch – I have been bringing my laptop with me to work to go to Starbucks and work on writing during lunch lately, but everyday I try to take about 10 minutes of my lunch to read. It’s a great way to decompress in the middle of the day and it makes me feel like I’m getting more out of the day.
Stop scrolling on social media – there are SO many nights where I go to bed with the intention of reading only to end up scrolling on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest for 30+ minutes. No matter how many times I tell myself I’m NOT going to do this, it happens, and then I regret wasting my precious time. Skipping the social media altogether (don’t even open those apps! It’s a rabbit hole!) will not only give you more time to read, but will cut down on screen time – which (in my opinion) is definitely a good thing.
Listen to audiobooks – while I’m not sure if audio books count as reading (maybe they do?), listening to them is another great way to enjoy stories or to learn even if you aren’t physically reading. I’m not a huge “books on tape” person, but I do want to try to get more into them. Especially because I’ll be able to listen to them while walking around the city or while I’m at the gym, I think it’s worth a try!
I am slowly but surely trying to adopt these habits and make them a regular part of my life. Making time to read is definitely not always easy – after all, a lot of priorities, tasks, and goals come before that “leisure” time. However, doing so is important to me and I’m willing to put in the effort to make as much time as I can to delve into a good book day after day.