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.
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!
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.
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?