6 Tips for Getting More Reading Done

6 tips

Right now I’m at 124 books for the year. That puts me behind on my personal goal of a 1000 books for a year.

Yes, one thousand.

No, I’m not crazy.

No, I don’t sit around reading all day. (But, yes, I wish I did.)

I’m strapped for time just like you. I have kids, work, laundry, volunteer work, and writing all vying for my time. I manage to squeeze in reading time around it all.

It’s not magic, it’s time management.

Here’s 6 tips to help you get more reading done, too.

  1. Read to your kids. Read aloud time has amazing benefits for kids. And reading aloud is just as beneficial for older children. Kids books aren’t just for kid’s anymore, either. (Hello, Harry Potter.) If you’re a writer in a child-appropriate genre, that can help you get reading done, too. Many of those 124 books I’ve garnered this year were read while piled on the couch with my kids.
  2. Use idle time in your schedule. Find pockets of time where you’re otherwise idle and put them to use. Riding mass transit, eating a meal alone, and watching your kids play at the park are all times when you could be reading.  It takes at least one cup pot of coffee for me to gain consciousness.  So I often start the day with a cup of black coffee and a book.
  3. Keep a book on hand. It’s old advice, but good advice. If you have a book on hand, you can put unexpected down time to use instead of whiling it away on your phone. Book reading apps mean no weight to carry around.
  4. Prioritize reading. If reading is important to you, you need to make time for it. Most of us spend a lot of time with media. Will binge watching Netflix improve your life? Will more facebook help you achieve your goals? Make sure you’re spending time on things that are important to you.
  5. Audio books.  Sometimes your hands are full but your mind is not. Gym time, car rides, gardening, and walking the dogs are all times when you could be listening to a book.
  6. Read several books at once.  I read four books at a time: a fiction book, a research book, a writerly book, and an audiobook. Often research books and writerly books are dense. Not the best books for when my attention is divided or when I’m tired. Fiction is fluffier and better suited for these times. Audio books make use of gym time and my rare solo car ride. Reading multiple books means I can use all available reading time. Limiting myself to one in each category means I don’t lose focus. I have a much larger pile of books that are queued up after these are done.

There you have it. Not magic. Just spending time wisely and making use of small bits of time that would otherwise be lost to facebook.

Do you have any secrets for getting more reading done?

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