Category Archives: Reading

How I Make Time to Read

My goal this year is to read 52 books, equating to one book a week. I have been asked by Jamie and a couple of others how I find so much time to read between school, working, and wedding planning, so I thought I would share with you how I make time for something that I love to do when I don’t always have a lot of time.

At any given time, I am reading at least three books. I know that a lot of people hate doing that, but I’ve found that if I want to reach my goal, I have to read in at least three forms: an eBook on my iPhone or Kindle, an audiobook, and a hardback or paperback book.

eBooks

I will tell you any day that I much prefer a physical copy of a book than an eBook, but you can’t beat the convenience. It’s not very easy to carry an 800 page novel around with me. I also don’t always know that I will have some downtime and have time to read. So if I find myself waiting on people or just out in public and have some free time with not much else to do, I pull out my phone and read.

I also read on my lunch break at work. I get an hour break at the job I currently have, which is a good amount of time to read a chunk of any book!  It’s convenient for me to just pull my eBook up on my phone and start reading.

I usually read classics in eBook form. I don’t like paying money for eBooks – I can’t justify the fact that I’m not getting something I can hold in my hands and display on my bookshelf – and I can always find classics for free to download from the Kindle store or from public domain websites. I also use my public library’s eBooks. I can check them out without even having to go to the library. It works like checking out a regular book: you get two to three weeks to finish it and digitally return it. I love it because I get sick of classics sometimes and want to read something newer but don’t want to pay for it either. Win win!

AudioBooks

I’ll admit, I used to think audiobooks were incredibly lame. I hated having someone read to me when I was fully capable of reading at my own pace on my own. I really got into audiobooks a few summers ago when I had a job that allowed me to listen to music while I worked. I got tired of listening to my music and listening to the radio and I knew that Andrew’s mom really liked audiobooks. So I thought I would give it a try.

And I loved it. So now, I listen to audiobooks when I exercise, when I’m in the car driving, or when I’m getting ready in the morning. Half the time I can’t settle on a radio station in the car, so I’ll just plug my phone in and listen to my audiobook. I usually finish an audiobook every three weeks.

I get my audiobooks from my public library as well. They’re free (!!) and usually there isn’t a long hold time for those either since they are not as popular as eBooks or hard copies. I listen to classics frequently if I can’t find something that sounds interesting without having to wait for it. LibriVox is a great place to download classics from as well.

For my eBooks and my audiobooks, I use an app called OverDrive. That is the platform I use to check out eBooks/audiobooks from the library and it’s very easy to use. Your public library may use a different platform or app. I also use the Kindle App on my iPhone to read eBooks that I’ve downloaded from Amazon.

Hard Copies

My favorite way to read, snuggled up under the covers with just the light before I go to bed. I don’t really have a schedule of when I read at home because my schedule is so crazy, but I try to read at least for half an hour before I go to bed. In reality, I probably only do that a couple of times a week. So there are some nights I will read for three or four hours and others just fifteen minutes or not at all. When I have a night that I know I don’t have any plans or anything to do, I always set a portion of that time aside to read. If I plan in my head that I’m going to read tonight, I find it much easier to do so.

So this is how I find time to read and to read often. If I stay on course, I should read over 52 books this year. :) You can see what books I’ve read so far here. Do you read a lot? If so, what do you do to find time to read in your busy life?

Reading Recap: Spring 2015

In my literary endeavor to read 52 books this year, I have been chugging along quite well. I just finished my 28th book a few days ago and here are some of my favorites (as well as ones I should have just left on the shelf)!

You can read my first quarter literary round up here.

Favorites

  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen. My friends, Sarah Dessen can do no wrong. I know everyone says her stories follow her own “formula,” but Ms. Dessen, don’t fix what ain’t broken. Her characters are fresh and intriguing, and her prose, it just has that Sarah Dessen feel. I don’t know how to say it any other way. A great summer quick read.
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. I have always loved the story of Robin Hood and the many retellings, so it was a wonder to me how I hadn’t read the classic story behind it. So when I started reading, I was surprised by how light and funny it was. Robin Hood is so witty and, even though it’s in an older English, still made me laugh out loud. I loved reading about how Robin gathered his original band of men and the stories of his many clashing with the sheriff. I read this over the course of a few months, a story here and there on my lunch break. It wasn’t a page-turner, but when I finished, I wished there were more stories for me to read.
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman. You may remember that If I Stay was one of my disappointments in my last blog post. Well this sequel totally surprised me. It was told from the perspective of Adam, not Mia, and man, what a great character he is! He was so much more interesting than Mia and his personality was, excuse this cliche, a breath of fresh air. Forman’s beautiful prose is highlighted better in this book, with each chapter starting with lyrics that Adam wrote. Even thought it is largely character-driven conflict, I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know what happened next (which is pretty unusual for me with character-driven plots).

Disappointments

  • Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. This is the sequel to Seraphina, which I absolutely adored when I read it last year. Seraphina was everything I want in a book: romance, a strong female lead, fantasy, kings and princes, and a solid conflict. Shadow Scale was nothing like its predecessor. Several of the main characters were hardly mentioned and the romance that had defined much of the first book was nonexistent in this one. Rachel Hartman is a beautiful writer – and she has great verbage! Maybe a weird observation, but she has a gift for using big words that actually make sense in context which I loved. But the story itself was lacking. A lot.  So read Seraphina, but please, just leave Shadow Scale on the shelf.
  • The Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott. Okay, I need to confess, I may have read this series partly because the author’s name is Michael Scott, one of the best characters ever from The Office. BUT ANYWAYS. It was just so mediocre. The writing was subpar, at best, and some of the wordings were just so odd. The characters I felt didn’t have any development, and over the course of six books, that’s pretty bad. One of the main characters was just so stupid he should have been killed off in the first book. I think I would have been happier if he had. For a fantasy series, it just fell so flat. Nothing really redeeming about any of it.

Not a bad second quarter! You can also see all of the books I’ve read this year here. Have you guys read any good books lately?