Do you have more books in your to-be-read pile than books you have actually read? Does your obsession with books and reading far outweigh the actual time you have available? Find yourself opening a book and rereading the same paragraph 10 times before giving up due to the persistent little voice calling “mooommmeeeeee!”? or even “daaadddeeeee!”?.
If so, welcome to my club and read on to hear how I’m attempting to strike a balance and read more books in 5 easy steps.
Set a daily reading goal
I set myself a small goal to read 20 pages per day and I don’t stress if I can’t do this all in one sitting. I find the time where and when I can. This may not seem like a lot but do the maths. Twenty pages per day is about 15 days to complete an average book of 300 pages which can lead to about 24 books a year. Not bad for a small daily commitment.
Use audio books when you are on the go
For non-fiction books, I like to use Audible if I’m travelling for work, driving in the car or simply too tired to read a physical book in bed at night but still need my literary fix. You don’t have to use a paid subscription service to get access to audio books. Most local libraries or some other sources will offer access to app based audio books for free.
Don’t be afraid to ditch a book
Ok, so this is one where until recently I probably would not have taken my own advice. Something about not finishing a book just didn’t sit right with me. Even if it became a complete chore I just had to finish it. Then my daughter was born and I realised I just didn’t have time for such time snobbery anymore. Reading is meant to be an enjoyable past-time and something to be enjoyed. Now, I take my own advice. If a book doesn’t grab me in the first 100 pages, I ditch it. I may return at some point in future but life is too short to be wasted on things that aren’t enjoyable.
Take a book with you EVERYWHERE
This is a tip I picked up from the wonderful little micro-community known as Bookstagram. If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically Instagram for bookish folk. We basically take pictures of books and exchange thoughts on all sorts of literary delights and some other obsessions (don’t forget to check out my account @mamalovestoread if you do head on over for a little peek). Having a book with you all the time means you can always squeeze in the extra page or two when an impromptu spare few minutes arises. Waiting outside the school to collect the kids, in line at the bus stop or if your car is in for repair. You’d be surprised how these little spare moments can add up to chapters of extra reading time.
Read aloud to your kids
This is a new one for me but has a great little dual benefit. Sometimes when my daughter sees me reading, she is interested in what I’m reading and wants to hear the words. Now, let’s be clear, I love horror books, so choosing what to read can be tricky, but when I find those few little paragraphs and have the chance to read to her and share that experience it is an amazing. And, I get some extra reading done! Win-Win. Time with family and time reading, all in one place. Of course, in most instances, she gets bored after 10 minutes and we move on to “Winnie the Pirate”, but hey, 10 minutes is better than none.
So, there you have it. My own little personal strategy for trying to find more time to read. Hopefully, you will find some tips that help all you busy mums and dads chomp through more books.
Thanks for reading!