How to make time to read

Want to dive into that novel you've been meaning to read for ages? Struggling to finish the book you started 3 weeks ago? Here's what you need to do.

As Women24's book club ed, the one question I'm always asked is how I manage to find the time to read all the books that I do. The  answer, trite as it sounds, is rather simple.

I make time.

I make time not only because I have to, but because I want to. I have a passion for books and love reading more than I love watching TV.  Chatting to fellow book lovers on twitter, I realise that making time is not as easy as I make it sound.

Many have family responsibilities, jobs that keep them on the go, other commitments and interruptions that leave very little room for reading.  In light of this, I've compiled a list of ways to make time for reading. 

Change your perception of reading.
You need to eat to survive don't you? Think of reading as your daily sustenance. My day certainly doesn't start off properly if I haven't at least managed to slip in a few pages (even if it's 4 pages) worth of reading.  Finished making breakfast for the kids? Read while you're eating your own breakfast.

Carry books around you whenever you can.
When I first applied for my learners, I can still remember the long queue I was forced to stand in. I was bored, frustrated and incredibly grouchy.  Most of all, I realised that the time spent watching other people being equally grumpy was time that I could have spent reading. To this day, I carry a bag of books with me wherever I go.

I'm also fortunate in that I use public transport and get in a good couple of chapters while I’m waiting on the station and while I'm in the train, so the book bag really comes in handy then. Picking up your kids at school? Why not keep that book bag at hand and use the opportunity to read while you're waiting?

Keep more than one book at hand.
What's this got to do with making more time for reading you may ask? Well, I find that sometimes I'm not in the mood for one book – and when I'm not, I usually put the book down. As a result, I lose out on reading time because I'm not carrying another book with me – one that will better suit my mood. This is why I carry a minimum of at least 3 books with me. Book geek? Yes. I know.

Hands too busy and always on the go? Buy an audio book.
If you're tight for time and can't find the time for a paperback, why not go the audio route?  You can still do what you need to do and walk around listening to the soothing voice of a story being narrated to you. Think of it as going back to the days when your parents read stories to you every night.  Just make sure you're not listening to the audio book in the middle of doing something that requires more than your average amount of attention.

Switch all gadgets off. Unless it's an E-reader.

I know the first thing that one tends to do when you get home from work is to either flop down in front of the TV or switch the laptop on and continue working. But if you're really serious about getting some reading done and you're a geek for all things technological, why not just switch everything off and get some e-reading done?

Not only that, why not just switch off and pick up that paperback instead? Work is meant to be left at work and you can always record that programme you've been meaning to watch.

Read what you love.

Finally, and most importantly, my best bit of advice would be to read what you love. You are under no obligation to waste your time by trudging through a book that you're not enjoying, but feel compelled to finish. There's just too little time in the day to waste your time reading books you don't like.  Reading is a getaway experience – if the book doesn't offer you the escapism you're looking for, move on and find one that will.

If all else fails? Just take a book with you to the toilet. 

How do you make time to read? Share your tips and add to our list below.

Want to chat about more things all book related? You can follow me on twitter here. You can also sign up for the Women24/kalahari.com book club here.

- Women24

Read more on: books  |  time  |  reading

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