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The ongoing struggle of my life is Finding Time to Read. Despite my best efforts I seem to only finish an average of 1 book every 2 weeks. As I’m single and don’t have any children (except the furry kind) I can’t understand why I don’t read more. Including commuting I am at work 10 hours a day, sleep about 7, so I should have 7 hours a day in which to read. But then there’s fixing meals, doing housework, watching television, running errands, etc. Okay, so maybe I don’t have as much time as I thought! But I know that there are ways to simplify my life that will allow me to read more. I can cut out watching television every day, save all my errands for one day, listen to audiobooks while I clean, read throughout my lunch breaks (I usually end up doing work while I eat at my desk) and read while eating breakfast and supper. But I’d like to know – how do you find time to read? What tips do you have for me? How do you arrange your days so that you can devote time to reading? I’d really love your advice!

22 Comments

  1. The biggest challenge for my reading now is my phone. I’m too easily distracted by the internet!

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I have some set times for reading. I wake up pretty early these days, and I can usually get in half an hour or 45 minutes with a book before I have to start getting ready for work. I take my lunch and find a quiet space away from my offce – we only get half an hour, so I don’t always get through a lot pages. I usually manage another 30-60 hours in the evening – more if I’m really excited about the book. It does help not having TV any more – though again, the phone & tablet are even more distracting. This may sound weird, but I also read in the car, but only when it’s stopped of course! On my commute, there are places where I’m stuck in a long line of cars for several red lights, and I open my book sometimes just so I won’t go crazy sitting there. I read more on the weekends – but I know you work lots of those.

    I’m looking forward to the Easter break, with three days off & more time to read 🙂

    • Oh, yes, I forgot about my phone! I, too, get distracted by twitter, instagram, goodreads. I should probably put my phone in a separate room when I’m reading. I love the image of you reading at stoplights! I once saw a man reading on the Capital of Texas highway in Austin while he was going 65 mph – it was amusing yet scary! I think getting up early is a good solution. I’d love to read for 30 minutes before getting ready for the day. I think it would help me not only read more but clear my head before work.

  2. I have the same problem of disappearing hours; I have no answers but I’m glad that the evenings are getting lighter to I can listen to audiobooks while Briar and I wander through the park in the evening.

  3. I actually find myself reading less now that I’m not working, but I nearly always read on my lunch break — but we had a dedicated break room, or I went out, to get away from work. I was also allowed two 15 minute breaks, which I didn’t always take, and sometimes I was able to sneak in a few more pages then. t’s amazing how much reading you can get through if you’re away from a computer — I find that’s the real time suck for me.

    • We have a break room room also, but most of the staff like to chat during lunches and it’s hard to read. And now it’s too hot to sit in my car so finding a quiet space is an adventure. The computer is such a time suck – I don’t turn mine on every evening and then I get behind on reading blogs – so hard to juggle all the good things in our lives sometimes!

  4. If you find the answer let me know – because I have the same struggle. I’ve actually tried getting up a little earlier so I can squeeze in 20 minutes or so before work – and I agree with Karen K., getting away from the computer makes a big difference! 🙂

    • It’s good to know I’m not alone! I was feeling a little defective. 🙂 And I do think getting away from the computer/phone is one of the solutions.

  5. I can totally sympathise! Even if there is no time during the rest of the day, I set aside an hour at night for reading in bed. It gives me a nice amount of time to relax and lose myself in a good story. Okay this amount of time doesn’t see me finishing tonnes of books but it does mean I am regularly reading 🙂

    • Setting aside time to read in bed is a great idea! I always have the intention to do that but get sidetracked with other things – especially on week nights.

  6. My most consistent times for reading on weekdays are on the subway during my commute and before I go to sleep. I’m very religious about doing the latter, even if it’s only for 10 minutes on nights when I get to bed late. I just saw a funny quite by Lena Dunham on instagram about this: “Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day of the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” I would be on board with that.

  7. piningforthewest

    When I was working I only ever got a chance to read at bedtime, so I didn’t get through many books. Now I try to read for an hour after breakfast, while my tea settles, and that makes quite a difference. I could never have read before going to work as I would never have got there on time!

  8. I mostly go upstairs to bed an hour before I actually want to sleep, so that I can read in bed for an hour. Sometimes it works out to less time, of course, but one hour is always my goal. And then, of course, I am lucky to have a job situation that allows me to take public transportation to work, which gives me a good hour of reading time every day.

    • Sometimes I do wish I could take the bus to work, but I’d have to leave about 3 hours earlier than I usually do and that is just not happening! An hour of good, solid reading time before bed sounds wonderful, though.

  9. We’re bombarded in this world of information overload so sometimes it’s hard to quiet your mind enough to sink into a story. My husband and I are trying to stick to a routine of dinner, news, walk, then read…instead of looking for something to watch on television. Television certainly is relaxing but sadly, rarely very productive – unless we’re talking about Bake-Off!

    • Haha! I agree about Bake-off – it’s time they showed another one here. It’s been too long! I do tend to get sucked into back-to-back episodes of 20/20 and 48 Hours way too often – incredibly unproductive. I like that you and your husband are trying to stick to a routine in the evenings. I do well with routines and seem to get so much more done when I follow one so I should probably come up with something of my own.

  10. I have no idea where the time goes. And having just myself to deal with you would think I fitted in endless hours of reading. I read at night during the working week, sometimes only a few pages. Weekends I fit in more, though I confess I sometimes forgo the hoovering for reading. When there is good stuff on the tv box then the reading gets neglected, but lighter evenings and nothing on the box means I will read more.

    My other Downfall is the Internet, it also means I don’t knit, sew and craft as much either!

    • I forgo the hoovering too and I don’t feel bad about it at all! I seem to do okay with not getting distracted by the internet – it really is tv that I get swept away with and not even good tv the majority of the time. It’s just nice to have it on and then I start flipping through channels. A bad habit! I do like that you can knit while watching tv, but I seem too lazy at the moment to do that! 🙂

  11. I’ve been having a similar issue, and it got to the point yesterday where I just forced myself to do nothing but sit down and read. I’m feeling more of a need now to read a chapter on the bus or before bed, which is nice. When I get addicted to a TV show (I’m currently obsessed with watching DS9) or feel a bit stressed I never want to read much and then have to reset myself.

    Hope you find some time soon, there’s some good advice here 🙂

  12. Don’t beat yourself up about it! Reading time comes and goes in life. Before I had children I went about five years without reading as I was too busy at work and I survived!

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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