Reading books is one of the best investments of money and time you can make. Unfortunately though, the latter isn’t always by our side, and our hectic schedules often get in the way of our reading. If you have a stack of books on your nightstand that’s already gathering dust, check out this article to find out how to read more without excessively disrupting your daily routine.
Ever since I was little, I loved being surrounded by books; so much that my parents even got worried I would become an antisocial teenager who never left the house. That wasn’t the case, but this deep and consuming passion for reading followed me all through high school and college. Rory Gilmore was my favorite fictional character, the smell of old paper gave me goose bumps, and bookmarks soon became my preferred souvenirs. Moreover, spending a lazy morning in cuddled up with the novel I was reading at the time was my most-treasured pastime activity. I naively though that nothing could ever come between me and my precious paperbacks. And then I got my first job.
Entering the real-world was brutal, to say the least. My job was extremely demanding, so I was always glued to my smartphone, worrying about the next task. Suddenly, I barely had time to see my friends and eat properly, let alone read for pleasure. I started to spend my weekends catching up on sleep and running errands and my mornings rushing out the door trying my hardest not to spill coffee all over my button-down. My vast collection of books looked sad and abandoned, and there was nothing I could do to fix that. Or at least that’s what I initially thought.
It took me a few months, but I slowly started to incorporate reading into my new routine. If you want to follow my lead, I’ve gathered a few tips on how to read more books even with a busy schedule.
1. Revamp Your Morning Routine
Waking up was never my favorite activity. That being said, I realized that reading in the morning actually gave me an energy boost and helped me keep my stress levels in check throughout the day. I started by setting the alarm one hour earlier and spending that time in the sole company of coffee and books.
This is one of the changes I regret not making earlier. Starting the day by doing something you tremendously enjoy gives you a different outlook on the hours to come. I became more positive and energetic, even though I was sleeping less. If you have a busy schedule during the day that doesn’t allow you to squeeze in any reading time, this is the perfect choice.
2. Invest in a Tablet Device
According to a study, 30 percent of people who own a tablet or e-reader say they spend more time reading than they used to. It makes sense – they’re easy to carry, not very expensive, and extremely practical. I own an Amazon Kindle, and one of the biggest advantages is that is has thousands of books available for free download. It’s an easy and cheap way to get access to some of the world’s best books.
3. Carry a Book at All Times
I have to admit I borrowed this habit from Rory Gilmore. I read during my commute, during my lunch break, when I wait in line at Starbucks. Even if I only manage to get five pages in at a time, I still consider it a win.
4. Don’t Multitask
Trying to multi-task between books is wasting your time. When I was in college, I used to switch from a steamy novel courtesy of Ravenous Romance to a convoluted story ordered from the Science Fiction Book Club with ease. Now, since my time is limited, I prefer to focus on one book at a time, to make sure I actually retain something when I get to the end. I either read a book until I finish it, or I decide to quit it entirely and switch to the next. Juggling more books at once can quickly become stressful and overwhelming.
5. Try Audiobooks
I know, it’s not the same. However, audiobooks are excellent when you have a long commute. Plus, if the book is read by the author, it ensures a unique experience. They’re more expensive, but they’re worth the investment. It’s nice to have something to play in your car when you’re driving or in your headphones when you’re walking around.
Reading makes you more knowledgeable, helps you learn new things, and builds focus. More importantly, it should be a joy, not an obligation. The sooner you remember that, the easier it will be to make it part of your day-to-day routine again.
What other strategies do you use to add more reading time to your routine? Sound off in the comments!