One thing I’m often asked is “How do you read so much?” It’s true that I do work full time as a teacher, have three small children, cook dinner every night, and keep the house looking fresh (most of the time). Now friends, it would be laughable to list all those things without saying that I have a hugely present and supportive spouse who is my partner in all things of life. It’s not like I’m doing “it all” alone. But in between doing “it all” with my sweet husband, it’s true that I will forever find time to read. Every day, no matter what. Now, listing all those things sounds a little braggy – Look how productive I am! Look how full my life is!” But I don’t meant it that way in a bit. I just mean, that you can do it too, even if you feel like you have a list of to do’s that never get done (we all do), even if you have a small child hanging off of you (me too!), a partner you want to give your undivided attention to at the end of the day, or a kid who desperately needs you in the next room (MAMA MAMA!). You could find time.
- Choose a book over scrolling. I am definitely a creator online, but I am not much of a consumer. I have maybe 4-5 people I like to look at on instagram, and I give myself 15 minutes every night to scroll Pinterest, but other than that – I don’t watch reels, I don’t scroll feeds. I don’t watch stories like a tv show. Put the phone down, and pick up a book instead.
- Get multiple versions of the same book – get the print copy, the audio, and the e-book. I mostly do a combination of listening to books (while shelving, driving, or running) and reading the print copy (at night, in bed, on the couch, or while monitoring my kids). And for goodness sake – don’t pay for any of it! Get them all from the library. It seems greedy to use all of the versions, but if no one has it checked out then you should. Libraries buy books so that people will use them. Just return as soon as you are done and you don’t have to feel guilty.
- Bring your book with you wherever you go. Get a purse or backpack large enough to carry the print copy. Or learn to enjoy reading the e-book version.
- Place holds at the library. I just shared a long list of holds that I have at the library. Having a stack of books that you’re excited to read always helps.
- Only read good books. Now…by this I mean – Put a book down if you’re not interested. No one is giving awards for finishing books in adulthood. If you’re not into it, move on.
- Read whenever you have a moment. Waiting for the pasta water to boil? Pick up your book. Waiting in the school pick up line? Pick up your book. Kids have soccer practice? Pick up your book.
- Try not to reserve your reading time only to when you know you won’t be interrupted. After school, I generally get dinner going and then I take the boys out to play and bring my book with me. I know that they’re going to need help, and that I may only get two pages read, but it’s still reading time. Who knows – maybe you’ll get through a whole chapter!
- Read instead of watch tv. This is similar to scrolling. You could choose to read a book instead of watch tv at night. My husband and I will watch a show together while folding laundry after the boys go to bed, but then I usually get my book out and he’ll switch to sports. I personally am not bothered by the tv being on when I’m reading, but I know that’s hard for some people. You could try to get your husband to read with you instead of watching tv! Or just go lay in bed!
- If you work – read at lunch. Read at breakfast too! I have always brought my book to school with me and read while eating. It’s the half hour of my work day that centers, grounds and calms me. I look forward to it.
- Get up early to read for a few minutes. Occasionally I am lucky enough to wake before the children and I will enjoy my first few sips of coffee with a quiet house, a simple breakfast and my book.
There you have it! My tips! I hope you find a pocket of your day for reading. Fit it in whenever and wherever you can. Reading and books are one of life’s greatest gifts in my very humble opinion.