Making Time to Read

One of the biggest questions I get a lot when I talk about the books I’ve read or plan to read is, “How do you have time to read?” 

It’s a fair question, I am busy, just as I’m sure you are too. I have two little ones and a family to tend to, as well as a house to manage and other responsibilities. Truth be told my life is busy and I don’t really have a lot of free time.

However I believe that we would all agree that we make time for things that we value and enjoy to do.

For me reading is one of my favorite things to do and when I don’t spent time reading… I feel it. So I make sure that I carve out time each day to spend time enjoying some of my favorite books. I also have several books going at one time so that way I always have a book that fits my current mood.

Love to read but feel like you never have the time? Making time to read is so important but we have to be intentional about it if it's going to happen. These 5 easy ways will help you fit reading into your busy days.

Today I’m sharing my top 5 ways for making time to read every day.

1. Early in the morning

When I get the chance to have a nice long quiet time in the morning before everyone wakes up (it doesn’t happen often unfortunately at this stage!), I read a chapter of two of one of the spiritual growth books I’m reading at the time. I always read my Bible and devotional book first, but if I have a few extra minutes than I open my book and read at least a chapter.

Just by reading a few pages I’m always more motivated and energized to tackle the rest of my day. Just like Bible reading and prayer time gets me prepared for the day, reading also helps to center me and focus my mind.

2. While my kids are playing or watching a T.V. show

Sometimes when my kids are playing independently or are watching an episode of Curious George (I’ve gotten smart and always have an episode recorded on the DVR), I will have to opportunity to pull out my book and read a few pages. I think this is important for a few reasons.

First I want to model reading to my children. I want my kids to see that I enjoy reading, especially as I am trying to foster in them the love for books. Second I also think it’s important to show them they need to learn to play by themselves for a little while each day without me as their constant source of attention. Now I don’t ignore my children and allow myself to get lost in a book, but as a mom sometimes it’s just nice to take a few minutes to do something to recharge myself while they are still awake.

At this stage I’m usually only able to read a few pages here and there, and some days I have to go back and re-read what I just read because it’s hard to concentrate. I make sure to spend plenty of intentional time playing and reading with my kids, so I don’t feel guilty about taking a few minutes to read by myself while my kids are engaged in some independent activity.

I should also add that I also only read a hard back book during this time because just as soon as I pull out my Kindle both kids are wanting to play with it and I think it’s important to model reading an actual book to my kids.

3. While I’m waiting

Thanks to my Kindle app on my phone, I always have a book available. This makes it nice on those outings when I have wait for a period of time (doctor’s appointment, pharmacy pick up, etc.). This came in handy when I got stuck behind a train. Instead of just wasting those minutes I use them for my benefit. I now find that I get annoyed when the doctor is on time! 🙂

4. I don’t watch a lot of T.V.

The few shows that I do watch I almost never watch them live, instead I record them on our DVR so that way I can watch them at my leisure and fast forward through the commercials. So instead of spending an entire hour watching something, I can usually watch it in half the time. This does mean that I usually have to stay away from spoilers on Facebook, and yes somethings are spoiled for me, but I value my time as more important.

I also am able to read a lot during baseball season while my husband watches the games. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a nice way for us to spend time together enjoying each others favorite past time.

5. I shut down around 9:00 every night

I make an intentional effort to shut down the computer or what ever else I’m working on around 9:00 every evening. This gives me time to get things ready for the next day and usually about 30 minutes to an hour to read before bedtime. I have to admit I’m not quite as good on this one as I want, some nights I’m on a role working on something, but I find that when I “log off” and spend the time reading I’m usually able to sleep better and longer (unless I’m reading a page turner!)

Some days I’m able to read more than other days but that just goes along with this season of life. Of course there are also the days when the only thing that I get to read are the board books that I’m reading aloud to my kids!

The important thing for me to remember is that reading is something that I place a priority on over other things. I’m thrilled that I am able to teach my children how to love reading too and it sincerely blesses my heart to see how much time my kids enjoy flipping through the books in their book baskets around the house.

What works for me during this season may not work for you. These are just a few examples of how I find the time to do something that I love and enjoy to do.

If you love to read what are some ways that you fit reading into your busy days?Love to read but feel like you never have the time? Making time to read is so important but we have to be intentional about it if it's going to happen. These 5 easy ways will help you fit reading into your busy days.

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33 Comments

  1. Like you, I really feel it when I don’t get time to read. I definitely use the waiting time to read–I have plenty of it with all my children’s activities. I also try to go to bed a little earlier than I need to so I can get a few chapters in. And sometimes, I don’t even feel guilty when I let the dishes or laundry go for a while so I can finish a book. It’s necessary to my well-being!

    Another thing I’ve been doing lately is audio books. I wasn’t much of an audio book person, but I have so little time, I started listening while I’m in the kitchen cooking/cleaning, and that’s been nice.

    1. Lara I really need to get on the audio books wagon! I keep hearing about how many people listen to them while doing chores and other odds and ends. Listening to books would be another great way to use that time. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Love the DVR for this very reason! I don’t let them watch it for very long, but sometimes you just need 30 minutes! 🙂

  2. My best time for reading right now is while I’m walking on the treadmill. I really need to get better about reading before bed too. It seems like the best time to do it, but I always end up watching shows with my hubby instead! We need to just start reading together. :p

  3. Deauna @ Honesty’s Protégée says:

    Good tips. I read when I’m riding the bus to and from work. I can usually read a book a week if I’m diligent.

    1. What a great use of time! I’m sure that also helps you to unwind a bit too. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  4. Great post. I like your idea of shutting down the computer at 9pm to have some reading time. I’m also in the “board book” stage of life right now and really miss reading! I guess I could be a lot more intentional about finding time to read some of my books. Stopping by from the DBB.

    1. While I’m still not all that great at shutting down at 9pm, on the nights that I am disciplined it is so rewarding and refreshing to have the wind down time of reading. Glad to know I’m not the only one deep into the board books either! 🙂

  5. These are great tips, it’s been hard to find time to read these last couple of months as I’ve been so busy with the blog. I like the idea of winding down at 9:00, I just might have to make myself do that!

    1. It’s so hard some nights, especially when I get on a role, but I’ve found it be a great discipline for me. Hope this tip helps you too! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  6. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    Hi, I found you over at SITS! Reading more is one of those resolutions I seem to have every year and fail miserably. I spend too much time on the computer instead of reading a good book. I love reading and I love your suggestions for making the time. Maybe I’ll try saving a half hour each morning to reading, especially on the weekends!

  7. Your tips work for me as well! Early mornings are best for me. I also put a timer on for 15 mins and read until I hear it go off.

  8. I am a diehard book lover and I always make time to read! Haha. I am extremely busy- my daughter is brain damaged (I am a single mom) so she has therapies in the early morning, so while she is in with her therapists, I read! Hey, it’s 45 blissful reading minutes three times a week and of course, when I am on my breaks at work, I read. I never leave home without a book!

    Visiting from SITS Sharefest!

  9. Ashley Leona says:

    Oh how I wish I could shut down at 9 every night… even 10 would be nice. I’ve been trying and trying to read more because I know it will only improve my writing. Coincidentally, the next book on my list is “On Writing” by Stephen King.

  10. Renae @Launderlife says:

    I think modeling reading is so important, too. The tip about shutting down is what usually helps me squeeze in some reading time. Great post! Found you on SITS (I’m #2 and #119).

  11. No mamas really have easy time to read, you just make time if you enjoy it I think. I read in the bath and before bed. And if my boyfriend is looking after our daughter I often curl up with a good book for a bit. Couldn’t imagine a life without reading.

  12. Thanks for the reminder, I love to read too. But find I never have time. I usually try to read while I do cardio….but that’s maybe once a week.

  13. I actually do all these! Although I have to take note of them all again. I bookmarked your post in my Pocket Reader and be checking for more of your posts! 🙂
    Dropping by from SITSSharefest.

  14. I definitely do my reading after I crawl into bed – the day is just too busy – but that usually means I may only get in a few pages before i zonk out. Or, sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom, draw a warm bath and read there. And I mostly read on my phone or my kobo – but mostly my phone (which is larger than most – Samsung Note). I tend to listen to audio books a lot while I’m doing illustration or design work.

  15. I shut everything down early too. That way I have uninterrupted (I hope) time to get sucked into my book. If I’m reading an especially compelling book, I’ll go to bed to read even earlier than normal because I’m excited to get back to the story. I make a point not to read any business books at bedtime, just books that feed my soul or are entertaining.

  16. I’m a retired English literature and composition teacher, so my love of both reading and writing is a very big part of my life. I can’t imagine not reading some time during the day. I always read before I go to sleep at night. I find it helps me relax as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. It’s nice to know there are people, who feel like I do about reading!

    1. Jodee thanks for stopping by and thanks for being a teacher. My love for reading and writing stems back to some great teachers who always encouraged me to find great books and read for enjoyment!

  17. I bring my Kindle (charged) with me every day to work and read during breaks and lunch when I don’t have errands to run.

  18. Herchel S says:

    I also love to read on the kindle app. Lately, I have been using Amazon’s whispersync feature when available. It allows me to purchase the audible book at a discount after I purchase the kindle book. I will listen to books in traffic or while folding laundry and then be able to open the kindle ebook and read at night or in the early mornings. It syncs the two and I love it.

  19. I like to read early in the morning as well as like to read while m travelling. 🙂

    1. Traveling is also a great time to read. I need to look into audio books for when I’m driving too. Thanks for stopping by Triveni!

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