Reading is good for us. It helps us take our minds off of our daily stressors and gives our brains a much-needed opportunity to think more creatively and imagine the stories on the pages of our favorite books come to life.
Reading while we are in school and reading after we graduate are two completely different experiences. In the real world, it isn’t a requirement. That makes it very easy to neglect the luxury we have, and to ignore all the great books that are out there waiting for us to read them.
If you are at a point in your life where you desperately want to spend more time crossing books off your reading list, but you just aren’t sure you have the time to make it a daily habit, you are not alone. Many people feel this way. Here are nine easy ways to get more reading time in your day.
1. Read first thing in the morning
Sometimes we tell ourselves we are going to complete a task “later,” such as read a chapter in a book, and never get around to it because we get too caught up in other activities. One simple way to overcome this barrier is to read first thing in the morning. Wake up, grab some coffee and get some reading out of the way before you get too distracted by other things you have to do.
2. End your day with an hour of reading before bed
Maybe you don’t have time to read in the morning, or just can’t wake up any earlier than you already do in order to fit it into your morning routine. Instead of making it the first activity you complete as part of your day, make it the last. You probably spend a large chunk of time on your phone or computer or watching TV before you go to bed, but you might be better off spending 30 minutes to an hour reading instead. It can even help you wind down and prepare you for a good night’s rest.
3. Set a daily reading goal
Goals are our ultimate motivators. They are the driving force behind everything we do. So why not set a daily reading goal, to make sure you actually make consistent progress? Having a goal makes you much more likely to set aside other activities, like watching TV or scrolling through Twitter, and replace them with reading. You always have more time in your day than you think.
4. Join Goodreads
One helpful tool you can use when pursuing various reading goals is Goodreads, which allows you to keep track of the books you are reading and even lets you set milestones to keep you on track. You can also use the site to connect with friends who might be reading the same book you are, read their reviews of other books and get specific recommendations for what to read next based on books you have read in the past.
5. Invest in an e-reader and sync your mobile devices
Maybe you don’t read as often as you might like to because you aren’t able to carry a paperback or hardcover book around with you everywhere you go. There is an easy solution to this: get an e-reader. The benefit here is that, even if you can’t or don’t want to carry it around with you on your commute to work, for example, you can sync it across your mobile devices. So if you take the train, you can pull out your phone and continue reading where you left off the night before.
6. Read what you want to read
Are you struggling to get more reading done because you are trying to get through a book or two you really aren’t interested in reading? Maybe a friend recommended it to you, or multiple people have “insisted” that you read it as soon as possible. If you aren’t into it, it really isn’t worth it. Read what you want to read. If you like science fiction, don’t read Frankenstein just because you feel like you have to. Reading should be fun. Pick up something you are more likely to enjoy, and you will find it much easier to spend time on.
7. Find a designated reading space
Sometimes we are distracted from reading because of our surroundings. We try to sit down at the kitchen table while waiting for our leftovers to heat up in the microwave or on the couch while our significant other is watching something on TV. Make more time in your day for reading by creating a designated reading space for yourself. Maybe it’s a chair in a quiet corner or on the back porch in the evenings where no one will disturb you. Getting away from life’s craziness, and bringing a book along with you, is a great way to designate more time for reading.
8. Join an online book club
A book club is a great incentive for fitting more reading into your busy schedule. No time for meeting with a monthly group of book lovers? Discuss the books you are reading online. Online Book Club is a free platform filled with virtual “bookshelves,” discussion forums, book reviews and more. Motivate yourself to read every day by joining a virtual book club without any commute time.
9. Try listening to audiobooks
Audiobooks are a great way to “read” while you are exercising, driving or just too tired to read a physical book. They are a huge time saver, and there are thousands of titles to choose from on platforms like Audible. Audible lets you try their service free for the first 30 days, so you can try and see how audiobooks work for you before investing any money in them.
There is a lot more time in your day than you might realize. Come up with your own incentives for setting reading goals and discussing the books you read with others. Pick up a book and get started. It’s worth every word.