Thursday, March 26, 2015

How to Make Time to Read

So this post is a long time coming, the idea given to me by miss Briana Morgan. As a college student whose time is mostly spent in class and writing papers, what little time I have to read is usually spent reading the required reading for all of my courses (textbooks, novels, short story anthologies, poems, name it, there's a chance I've read it).

And I know I'm not the only one with things taking up my time: ya'll are all students, writers, workers of some sort, so you probably know what I mean when I say that other priorities and business matters and family obligations and friend obligations somehow manage to eat up whatever free time you have.

Which makes you a sad panda. Because books.

Basically, all I've done for today is brainstorm ways to squeeze some much-needed reading time into your hectic life:
  • Read before bed. Just one chapter. And I know that for bibliophiles like us it's really hard: you think just one more chapter, but then one chapter turns into five and then it's morning and you haven't slept. Oops? But really, this is something that calls for being tough on yourself: one chapter (with variances allowable depending on chapter length). Then sleep.
  • Read when you wake up. I've mentioned before that I've carved out my writing time by simply waking up earlier, and the same can go for reading. Set your alarm for thirty minutes earlier than you usually wake up, splash water on your face and/or grab coffee, then jump back into bed with that book sitting in your TBR pile. For thirty minutes, you'll have uninterrupted reading time to start your day off right.
  • Read during your commute. If you're a passenger (train, subway, bus, etc.), then read to your heart's desire until you're at your destination. If you're a driver (car, etc.), it gets trickier, but here's what you do: listen to your book on audio. Admittedly, I'm not an audio-book person, so it doesn't work for me, but my friend Briana Morgan has told me once or twice about how she listens to audio-books when on long drives. It's a way to kill the boredom and monotony, right?
  • Read while waiting for appointments. Doctor, dentist, orthodontist...okay, that's basically just been my week. But you know the pain of waiting for things, and rarely are these offices ever on time. Make sure to pack a book, and there you have it: you can read and keep yourself sane at the same time.
  • Read during your lunch breaks. This is something my sister does when she's on her lunch break: she sits in her break room and munches down on her food while reading Stephen King. By doing this five days a week for half an hour (roughly about 20-25 minutes reading time) she can finish a King book in about a month, and King books are long. Granted, she also eats lunch alone, so she has the added perk of a lack of people trying to talk to her. But hey, solitary time equals reading time, right?
  • Read while working out. Here's a tip for those of you who go to the gym and jump on a machine: take a book. Ellipticals, stationary bikes, and treadmills are great places to read while also doing something healthy (thus: work out your mind and your body at the same time). That half-hour/hour (or however long you like to do cardio) will pass quicker than you know; you'll be so focused on your book that you won't even notice the burn in your muscles (or is that just me?).
  • Read while taking a bath. I admit that this is something I get iffy about, simply because I'm terrified of accidentally dropping my book into the water. At the same time, this is something else my sister does sometimes swears by: grab a good book and jump into the tub to relax.
  • Read anywhere, at any time. You never know when a few spare minutes are going to pop up. Therefore, it's always good to be prepared: take a book with you, always. Crack it open whenever you've got free time, whether you're early to class or a meeting, or you're waiting for your kids' soccer practice to be over (okay, I'm again pulling from my own life, here. No, I don't have kids, but my parents would often read while waiting for me to be done with whatever sport I had on any given day). Pack it into a purse or a backpack (or whatever else you usually have with you), and even if you don't think you'll need it, you'll have it just in case.
Okay, so there's a small brainstorm list of how to add reading time to your day, no matter what occupation you're in or what your hectic life is like; at least, I tried to cover multiple bases. Did I succeed?

More importantly: do you have anything to add?

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Blogger @Rae_Slater brainstorms how to make more time for reading when busy lives sometimes get in the way (Click to Tweet)

How do you make time in a hectic schedule to pull out a book and read? Blogger @Rae_Slater brainstorms (Click to Tweet)

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