If you’re reading this article, then this means that you actually want to read books. But wanting to read and having the time to read may be two different things for you, whether you are a working mom, a student on your final year in college, a workaholic, a freelancer juggling three different projects. But the important thing you need to have is the desire to read.
Here are some tips on how you can still incorporate reading books into your routine and make your life richer and more meaningful (and don’t we all want that?)
1. Set a realistic reading goal every month (and commit to it!)
By now, you’ve probably figured out how fast (or slow) you can read. So why not challenge yourself by setting a realistic goal of how many books you can read in one month or one quarter. And you need to commit to it by setting up punishments and rewards for yourself. You can even get an accountability partner, if that works for you.
2. Set a goal per reading session
If committing to x number of books per month is too much for you, then just create goals every time you read. Let yourself finish 50 pages before putting down the book or finish 2-3 chapters every time you have a reading moment. And if you go beyond that, better!
3. Take a reading break (or breaks) during the day
While some have coffee breaks, why not take a reading break? Even 15 minutes during your lunch break can be enough to read 1-2 chapters (or more if you’re a speed reader). Not only will you get to catch up on your book, but you might also get inspiration for your job or that pesky term paper you’re working on.
4. Always bring a book for those long lines
It’s inevitable that you’ll have to wait in line, whether at the bank, the grocery or waiting for your ride home. Instead of stressing out and complaining on social media, bring out that book or ebook reader and start or continue reading.
5. Read while on your commute
Reading in moving vehicles isn’t really bad for your health, unless you have vertigo or eye problems. If you can read in a car or bus or train, it’s a good way of spending time especially if traffic is bad. And remember to look up from your book every once in a while to avoid motion sickness.
6. Schedule reading times during the week (and turn off your cellphone!)
You probably spend a couple of hours at the end of the day just going through your social media feed or playing games. While we don’t want to take that away from you, why don’t you schedule one night a week where you turn off your mobile device and read a few chapters of a book. And if you use your mobile device to read, turn off the WiFi to avoid distractions. You can even put it in your calendar and set reminders so that you won’t forget.
7. Join a book club or reading group
It sometimes helps to be part of a community that is reading the same book so that you are pushed to finish it. A fitness routine uses the same principle—you can exercise better if you have a workout buddy.
8. Create a “reading space”
It may be a quiet corner in your house or a not-so-crowded cafe or a bench with a good view. Wherever it is that can get you in the mood for a little reading, find it and keep it.
9. Don’t force yourself to finish books you don’t like
Don’t give up on the first chapter. Try out a few more, but if it still doesn’t grip you or you don’t find it useful, just put it into your DNF pile (that’s Did Not Finish) and move on to another book. Life is too short to finish bad books or books you don’t like.
10. Read long form articles or blogs
Sometimes, a book may be too much of a commitment for you at this point in your life. But you should not lose the art of reading things that are longer than 140 characters or two paragraphs. So try reading the longer articles or even blog posts you can find online that match your interests. This may even encourage you to go back to reading books!
How about you? Any tips on how busy people can continue reading?