As a child and young adult, I was a voracious reader. I ended every night by reading for at least 30 minutes.
But then, in my 30s, I started a demanding job that consumed much of my time. Shortly after I had my first child. There was no time for reading (I thought). Only now, 10 years and 2 more kids later, am I able to resume my reading habit. My youngest is now nearly 4, so there are no more late nights, thankfully. Once again I can settle down in bed for an evening of reading before I go to sleep. I’m in love with reading all over again and realize how much I missed it.
Reading isn’t just for enjoyment and relaxation, though it’s great for that. There are many other benefits to regular reading. According to Dr. Geoff Kauffman, one of the authors of a report published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “‘When people read a fictional story, they vicariously experience their favorite character’s emotions, thoughts and beliefs in the process.’ But that effect only comes with the written word, he added” (TimiGustafson.com)
In addition, there’s much you can learn by reading both fiction and non-fiction books regularly. Dave Ramsey, the popular finance guru, requires that members of his team read on a regular basis because reading is so important to professional growth. One of his interview questions to potential hirees is, “What book did you last read?”
However, a surprising number of us don’t take the time to read. According to NBC News, in a 2006 poll of 1,000 adults, 25% didn’t read any books in the previous year. “The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year–half read more and half read fewer.”
How to Find More Time to Read
Many of us would like to read but feel we simply don’t have the time. I know because that’s how I felt for years. About the only reading I felt I could squeeze in was Goodnight Moon when I was reading to my children.
However, even if you have a busy life, there are ways to squeeze in reading. Try these tips:
1. Make it a priority.
If you’re determined to get in the reading habit again, you’ll find ways to get in at least 10 or 15 minutes of reading time every day.
2. Take a book with you where ever you go.
Tuck a book into your purse when you go grocery shopping or to the doctor’s office. While you wait in line, you can be reading. If you take your child to a sports practice, use the down time to read.
3. Look for moments in the day.
All of us have little pockets of time where we can find a little time to read. This might be when your kids are watching their favorite television show or when you’re on lunch break at work.
4. Put limits on technology.
Thanks to the Internet and cable television, many of us spend our late evenings when we’re tired just surfing the web, checking Facebook 500 times, or mindlessly channel surfing. Instead, why not pick up a book and get lost in the story? So what if you’re asleep in 15 minutes? At least you had some time to read.
5. Read while exercising.
If you like to ride a stationary bike or walk on the treadmill for exercise, why not use that time to become engrossed in a good book? Your exercise session will likely pass faster and you’ll have read for a half an hour or more.
6. Join a book club.
Why not meet others who share your love of reading? Joining an in-person book club or even an online one and share your thoughts on the book the group reads. Adding a social component may motivate you to read more.
Do you read regularly? If so, how do you find time to read?