Finding Time To Read ǀ Books & Reading

Jess McGlynnApril 12, 2017

Reading is a huge part of my life and has been for as long as I can remember.  My parents have told me that I was always a voracious bookworm and that I pretty much had my nose stuck in a book from the get-go, even making up stories when I had run out of things to read.  One of my earliest memories of reading is of being given my own copy of Little Women at around 8 years old and just absolutely devouring it.  It’s still one of my all-time favourites to this day.

That said, my reading habits did change after I had kids; I just don’t have as much time to dedicate to reading as I once did.  Probably the best example of this is the fact that prior to having children, each time a new Games of Thrones book was released I would re-read the entire series…at the moment I haven’t managed to pick up the latest one!

On average, I read between 6-8 books a month, sometimes less, sometimes more.  Reading is what I do in order to unwind; when I’m feeling stressed out there is nothing better for me than to lose myself in a fictional world so if you are looking to get back into reading, or maybe just to read a little more, then here are my top tips:-

Carry A Book
I carry my current book around with me everywhere.  You would be surprised at how much spare time you get throughout the day whether that is sitting in the car waiting for school to finish or waiting for an appointment.  Sometimes I prefer to scroll through my phone, checking social media or replying to emails but most of the time I will read.  Yep, even in the car wash!

Put Down Your Phone
As I mentioned above, sometimes it is nice to catch up on social media or respond to emails but equally it can be a terrible habit to constantly be picking up your phone!  It is by far the easiest option but if you are trying to get into the routine of reading more than I would highly suggest trying to consciously step away from your phone and reach for a book instead.

Find YOUR Books
In my opinion, people who don’t enjoy reading are usually just people who haven’t found the right books yet!  Earlier in the year I read a book which I had wanted to read because everyone told me what a great book it was.  I slogged my way through 800+ pages and in the end…I didn’t really like it.  So what was the point?!

Don’t waste your time on books which don’t float your boat, instead try to find books which really capture your interest and make you want to keep on turning those pages.  Sites like Goodreads and Amazon are great for suggesting similar titles to books you have previously read and enjoyed so I nearly always head there first when I’m in the mood for something new.  If you are trying to get back into reading and aren’t really sure what you’ll like then head to the library and pick up a selection of titles to try out.

Create A Reading Routine
If you are serious about reading more then you might find it beneficial to create a little reading routine for your day.  I use an app called BeFocused during my working days which I have split into sections: 25 minutes of working time followed by a 5 minute break.  After four working sections I get a 15 minute break.  I use the 5 minute slots to whizz around the house and do household chores and the 15 minute break becomes my reading time.  Of course, this particular way works for me because I’m freelance and working from home but you could create a reading schedule which was more suited to your personal circumstances, whether that is challenging yourself to read 50 pages a day or just setting aside 10 minutes without fail to get some reading done.

Read Before Bed
This is probably the time when I get the most reading done and it’s something I try to do every single night.  About a year ago I had fallen out of the habit of reading before bed instead choosing to reach for my phone and I noticed it made a HUGE difference to my sleeping…clearly I need to step away from the screens in order to relax before bed and so now I try to give myself between 30 minutes and an hour of reading time each night.  Sometimes I can’t manage more than a few pages before I’m drifting off and other times you’ll find me still reading come midnight especially when I am so close to the end of a book (which is never really the best idea!) but it’s great to have that time to unwind before I sleep.

Do you have any tips on ways to read more?

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