Monday, July 15, 2013

10 Ways to Fit Reading Into Your Day

During the last couple of years, I've found that my list of reading just seems to get longer and longer.  Someone mentions a book and I suddenly can't wait to get my hands on it.  My list grows by the minute.  And since I also do reviews for several sites, I may not finish my list before I die.  :-)

Reading is good for the soul.  It encourages us, stregthens us, enlightens us, allows us to escape.  Books open up worlds that we can't physically travel to: worlds in the natural sense and worlds of imagination.  If you're looking to fit more reading into your day, here are 10 ways I keep reading:

1. Make the time-- You have to make reading a priority.  Some days my priorities are out of whack and I spend too much time on facebook.  So make the time.  Know that three or four hours in your day won't magically open up, but you may find time that you didn't know existed.

2. Have a book handy--When I'm reading, I have a stack of books on my nightstand.  There's always 2-3 books that I want to get through quickly and keep them where I can find them.  I do read in other places of the house, but replace them when I'm through so I always know where they are.  Books travel with my everywhere: T-Ball practice, the pool, doctor's offices.  Always keep a book handy.

3. Set Goals--Often times when I'm not sure if I have time, I'll set a goal for myself.  Perhaps I have a book to review and I don't know when it will happen.  So I'll get a goal for finishing in a week.  Then I'll break it down to so many chapters a day.  Most times it means 2 chapters a day.  And even if I get behind, I'll find that I'm further along then I would have expected.

4. Read to the Kids--I love reading to my kids in the evenings.  They like to curl up on the couch and hear all the stories we have and many more from the library.  We also try to keep a chapter book going. Currently we're in book two of the Boxcar Children series.  One chapter a night, slow and steady.

5. Turn off the TV, the computer, the phone--It's so easy to turn on the TV when the kids go to bed and find that it doesn't get turned off till long after.  The computer has the same effect.  I'm not anti-TV, but imagine how much reading we could be doing in that time?

6. Always have a book going on your Kindle--I didn't get a Kindle till just over a year ago.  And while I still love a "real" book in my hands, there are a lot of good books to be found on Kindle.  In fact, there are many free or discounted books if you're willing to look around.  And if you don't have a Kindle?  You can get a Kindle for Mac download for free which will allow you to read from your computer.

7. Make sure of "Dead Time"--Remember I said always keep a book handy?  What about that dead time?  Now I love to spend time swimming with my kids, but they could be in the pool for hours and I need a good book.  What about while my kids are sitting so patiently at story time?  I'm sitting in the back reading a new book I picked up on the holds shelf.

8. Utilize Audiobooks--My kids love books almost as much as I do.  And if they're one thing that guaranteed to keep them happy on car rides, it's audio books.  Do you know how much time we spend in our cars moving from the gym to T-Ball to the library to church?  We spend an unbelievable amount of time int he car.  And so we listen to audiobooks.  Right now we have The Secret Garden in the mini van.  It's wonderful to hear the language and ideas that my children are learning.  And the sense of imagination that's been build day by day.

9. Join a book club--Since I started a monthly book club on Creative2xmom, I find that I get more and more reading done.  Knowing that I have people to discuss books with keeps me accountable to finishing them.  I love to discuss books: new ideas, beloved characters, and unique settings.  And a book club gives me the perfect excuse to make time for reading.

10. Read before bed--Reading before bed is a wonderful way to unwind.  Sitting in front of a TV or computer keeps our mind reeling.  A good book is the perfect way to settle at the end of a long day.  And reading 1-2 chapters an evening can quickly add up.

How do you fit reading into your day?

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