I used to hate reading when I was younger. I thought it was the most boring thing ever and I could not understand why people wanted to read for fun. Now that I have taken classes about linguistics and child language development, I know that was just because I was still learning to read and not yet reading to learn. Once I was able to read to learn new things, I really began to enjoy reading by 4th grade. I can also remember being annoyed in 5th and 6th grade because we only went to the school library once a week and we could only checkout 5 books. Most people checked out 1 or 2, but I always checked out 5 and had those 5 finished by library time the next week.
In high school I stopped reading very often because I just didn’t have time between school, volleyball, and blogging. But senior year I got back into it in the spring once I made my 101 in 1001 list! My goal for that list was to read 20 books, because I was probably only reading a few books per year at that point. But I ended up reading 124! So clearly, I found a way to fit reading into my schedule and love it again.
One thing I hear often in real life and from blog readers is “I wish I could read more, but I just don’t have the time.” I did a post about how to read more a few years back, but I wanted to refresh it and add some more tips since it could be helpful for many people!
Skip social media-
This can be hard to do, because it can be easy to open up an app and then mindlessly scroll for 20 or 30 minutes before you realize how much time you have wasted. One thing that has worked well for me this semester is setting aside 10-15 minutes at the end of the day to check social media. I will also check between classes or if I am waiting somewhere and have nothing to do. But I have tried to cut out mindless scrolling while I could be doing something else!
Be discerning about what books you pick up-
If it doesn’t sound interesting when you read the description, then don’t think that it will magically become a great book while you read it. Find what genres and authors are your favorite, and stick to those for the most part! If you really are into a book, you will finish it a lot faster.
Don’t be afraid to put down a book halfway through-
I used to have the hardest time stopping in the middle of a book even if I hated it. But if I am not liking a book by about 1/3 of the way through, I will put it down and pick up a different book. Occasionally I will come back to the book in a week or two, but most of the time I just ditch it at that point if it wasn’t keeping me engaged.
Get rid of Netflix-
Fun fact about me, I don’t have a Netflix. Now I am not saying I never will because I am not against Netflix or anything. But right now I know that if I had one I would spend way too much time watching TV because it is just to easy to click next episode. For me, Netflix is more of a social thing, such as watching movies with friends since all of my friends have accounts. Instead of watching an episode or two of your favorite show every day, you could be reading during that time and finishing at least a book a week! Just something to think about…
Bonus tip: Get a cat to keep you company while you read 😉
Get a library card-
Thank goodness for libraries. I pretty much only read on my Kindle these days, but I get all my books on there from my library. Sometimes it is annoying because it can take a few weeks/months to get your hands on a popular book, but it saves so much money and it is so convenient! It also is great because sometimes I haven’t read much for a week or two, but then I get a notification that a book I had requested can be borrowed and it makes me so excited to start that book!
Read every night before bed-
I am not always the best at this, but you’d be surprised at how quickly you can get through a book by just reading 10-20 minutes before bed! Usually if I am not reading then I am scrolling through social media or watching videos on my phone instead, so I am trying to add in reading every night instead!
Take advantage of travel time-
I love airplanes and car rides because it is great uninterrupted reading time. Next time you will be in a car, train, or plane for any length of time, make sure to bring a book or two!
How do you fit reading time into your schedule? Let me know in the comments!