F is for Five ways to fit more reading into your life

Author: Anne

Date Published: Jun 14th 2017, 9:59pm

I read a lot of books - here are my handy tips (first published last year) on how to fit more reading into a busy life ..


Quite often when people hear that I read a lot they tell me that they don’t know when I find time for so much reading. Sometimes they say it in such a way that they imply that if I am doing that much reading there is something important that I am not doing – they could well have a point ! But it is true that with busy lives we all have to make choices about what we do in our limited free time and I prioritise books and reading ahead of other choices.

I do think, however, that people have a tendency to find time to do what is really important in their lives and that, although at various times of our lives we have more free time available than at others, more reading can be slotted into an ordinary life with a bit of thought and reorganisation if that is what you really want.

If you do want to read more, here are some tips which might help you to find that elusive time :

1. Think audio-books. I’m not a great fan of these myself but that is just a personal quirk. Lots of people find these very rewarding (and yes, they do count as books and listening to them does count as reading). You can listen to them in the car, when doing the ironing, when doing the housework, when crafting, when gardening, etc. etc. With modern technology you can download them to your phone or tablet and even Bluetooth them to a speaker. It’s worth giving these a try.

2. Always carry a book with you. There are moments when you are sitting and waiting for something when it would be appropriate to get out a book so long as you have one with you (and remember that you can download electronic books on your mobile or other devices and that a Kindle is very light and can easily be carried just in case). Examples of times when I have been able to get five minutes or more reading done when I would otherwise be doing nothing else include in the doctor/dentist’s waiting room, on the bus, waiting for a train, having a coffee in a coffee shop or café, waiting for the children to come out from school, waiting for an event to start when you are already seated, in my lunch hour at work, etc. etc.

3. Think about substituting activities. If you are serious about more reading think about whether you really need to watch that TV programme or if you could read instead. The same applies to playing electronic games or time spent on Social Media. Could you stop reading magazines and read books instead ? None of these are bad activities but they all take time up that you could be spending reading books if you really want to do more.

4. At the ends of the day. Some people get up a bit earlier and read in the morning, maybe with breakfast. For those with busy families or if you are like me and are barely conscious until mid-morning this is not necessarily feasible but others find it useful. I read most at the end of the day, usually after the person with whom I share my life is in bed. In the quiet of the evening I can get quite a lot of reading done but you do have to be disciplined otherwise you can read too late and then be a wreck the following day.

5. Read better books. I have learned to give up on books that I don’t enjoy and for that reason I embrace time to read. I look for opportunities because I enjoy it so much. If you are having trouble finding time to read it is possible that you are labouring through reading material that you are not enjoying. Look for what you do enjoy and don’t be ashamed of it. If you like light romances, serial killer novels, conspiracy theory novels or erotica then search them out and read what you enjoy – when you cannot wait to find out what happens next you are much more likely to find time to read.