Tuesday, January 3, 2017

How to "Magically" Find More Reading Time!

Last week, I gave you my list of books I want to read in 2017, with an ultimate goal being to read a book a week, or 52 books, if I can. Maybe some of you are lightning fast when it comes to reading, and that doesn't sound like a lot at all. But even though I consider myself to be a speedy reader, 42-52 books is quite a number considering I'm trying to not rush through and to gain insights from the fiction books such as style, word usage, what works and what doesn't work, etc., and learn from the nonfiction on my list as well. Add to that my writing/work/other life commitments, and you can see why I chose only 42 books to begin with.

If you're like me, and love to read, want to read a lot, but don't seem to have the time, I have some ideas for you to try in order to find more time to read. I'm been using these tricks (except #2, which I've used in the past with great success) since the beginning of the year, and so far they've been working great for me.


1. Watch your T.V. intake.

I used to be really good about this, but lately I've noticed myself watching more and more T.V. The average person watches 5 hours a day, but I wonder if it's really closer to 6 when you count YouTube. Services like DVR and Netflix, which are great to avoid watching commercials, also make it easier to binge watch. I plan on limiting myself to an hour per day, with some leniency on Sundays (in case there's a movie I want to see).


2. Listen to audio books.

I love audio books. I've been using the Overdrive App, and it's great to be able to borrow audio books from my library and download them right onto my iPhone to listen to while I'm driving, doing chores around the house, taking a walk, or even just while I'm laying on my bed and coloring in a coloring book (yes, I'm one of those people). Check your library system and see if they allow you to borrow audio books through an app such as Overdrive, or you can use another audio book service such as Audible (which I've never used but heard good things about).  


3. Stop wasting "waiting" time.

Be honest: last week, how much time did you spend on your cell phone playing games or going on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/etc. or even just staring at the clock while waiting for an appointment/train/bus/class to start/food to arrive? If your cell is powerful enough to do any of the above, chances are you can download a free book reading app (Kindle/Nook/iBooks/etc.) and spend some of that time reading instead. My library allows me to borrow ebooks right online and download them straight to one of my apps, and lots of books are sold with some version of an ebook edition.

Of course, you could give yourself a break from the screen entirely and just carry a physical book with you as well.


4. Avoid being sucked into the social media "black hole."

Don't get me wrong. Social media's great. I love living in an age where we don't have to rely on snail mail letters to talk to friends far away. I love being able to search YouTube for a video on how to do something such as cat eye makeup and vegan recipe ideas and even how to format an ebook. But if I'm not careful, it's easy for me to get sucked into watching cute cat videos or retweeting or sharing memes. 30 minutes should be plenty of time to hang out in the virtual world each day. The other 70 of the 100 minutes we spend on average each day on these sites can be used for reading. 


If you follow these tips, I'd be shocked if you didn't find an extra hour or two of reading time each day. Of course, you'll probably find some work better than others, and some areas might not even be an issue for you. The two I really had to work on were watching less T.V. and making better use of my waiting time (when I'd often go on Twitter or Facebook or play games on my phone).

Do you have any other tips for how to find more reading time?

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