Finding Time to Read

I won’t lie. I think about reading a lot. I especially think about how much time I have to read each day. I mean if I ever want to read 50 books in a year, I have to. I also think about how much time I don’t have to read. Normally, I have about an hour or two each day, sometimes more if it’s a slow day at work. How much time do you usually have to read each day?

I’m not a fast reader so it takes me a while to get through a book. If I’m immersed and it’s an easy read, I can usually finish the book in 6 to 8 hours. Usually, it takes me 12 hours of actual reading time to get through a 300-page novel. Add more time if it’s a more difficult book.

I’ve realized I waste most of the time I could be reading. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do have a few shows I watch religiously. Fortunately, their off seasons stagger. Otherwise, I’d be watching TV a lot more than I do. Thankfully, it’s not much of a distraction.

The real distraction is my phone. Once I’m in my recliner, bathtub, or sitting on my bed, getting read to read, I’ve noticed that I check Facebook and Twitter for signs of life. If there aren’t any, I’ll usually aimlessly surf the Internet or play a game. I have no idea why I do this, especially when I know I want to read. All I know is I need to break this habit stat.

I’ve taken the first step. I’ve determined that it wastes my time. My phone is my main time waster, but my computer and TV are on the list too, just lower. What are yours (if you have any)? Now I need to take the second step and not let these things waste my time.

Other than frivolous time wasters, responsibility takes a lot of my time too. I work full-time (until March 2 🎉), I have a husband I shouldn’t ignore, and I’m starting to be more active in my church again. There are all the household things to keep up with. I don’t have kids, so that’s a non-issue. But, there are other things I want to do besides read too, like go to the gym, go back to school in the fall, binge watch a few Netflix shows, and volunteer at my local library after my last day of work. I’m not sure how to get around these other things in life without disregarding them in favor of reading. How do you keep up with your responsibilities and still find the time to read?

Some of you may suggest audio books, but I’m not an audio book person. First, I don’t think they count as reading. I know it’s weird; it’s just the way I feel. Second, and more importantly, I can’t concentrate when I listen to audio books. I think the only way I’ll ever embrace audio books is if I lose my eyesight. *knocks on wood* There’s got to be other ways to get more reading in without audio books.

I think the key is balance and prioritization. I just need to figure out how. How do you prioritize your time? We all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, but it seems that some have found better ways to prioritize/manage that time than I have.

14 replies
  1. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    Oi! I hear you. I struggle with this too and I’m not nearly as busy as you. I always end up on my phone when I should be reading. So annoying. I’ve learned that if I’m more present I catch myself doing it and will put the phone down read but it’s a struggle. It’s really too bad about your aversion to audiobooks. 😉 they’ve helped me out big time!

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Being present is very important. I need to work on being more present so I can tell myself to put my phone down and read. And, I know, I know. Audio books are great. Blah blah blah. 😉

      Reply
  2. Jessica @ Books: a true story
    Jessica @ Books: a true story says:

    One way I get in enough reading is I set aside more time than I want to read. My goal is 1 hour a day but I’ve set aside 1 1/2 hours. 1 hour in the afternoon and 30 minutes at night. I like reading in smaller chunks. Unless the book is amazing I can only read for 30 minutes at a time.

    My phone is a black hole too. I always end up on Facebook even if I wanted to do journaling or shopping something. I like reading magazines and newspapers. A big reason I’m drawn to social media is I want some news and some interesting things to read. I move on faster from newspapers and magazines because I can’t do anything else. No candy crush in the newspaper 🙂 After I’ve read a few short things my news interest is satisfied and I didn’t fall down that black hole on my phone. Besides it’s been a long time since I actually read something great on Facebook (meaning shared articles. I love to read people’s personal updates and photos).

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Great idea, Jessica! I like the idea of scheduling more time than you’ll actually use. I’ll have to try that. I’ll try reading a few things that satisfy me as well to see if that will help me with my phone. I’ve considered putting my phone in another room before when I read, but I’m not sure I’m quite to that point yet, lol.

      Reply
  3. Kami Furr (@kamisthoughts)
    Kami Furr (@kamisthoughts) says:

    I hear ya! It is hare to prioritize life! I try to read when I have down time in the day, sometimes that is none. I also try to read a little at night while I’m in bed right before I fall asleep. I have taken a book to the gym also. I would read while I was on one of the cardio machines. One thing that helps me get a little reading in is taking a book EVERYWHERE! I read while I’m in the line at drive thrus, in line to pick up Gnome from school, etc.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I need to be better at reading everywhere. I’m such a chapter reader that I have a hard time stopping mid-chapter. But, if I read everywhere, I might get more reading in. Good advice!

      Reply
  4. Susan
    Susan says:

    It can for sure be hard to find reading time. I’ve given up (or mostly given up) several hobbies in order to have more time to read/review—t.v., cross stitching, couponing, etc. Unfortunately, I can’t give up things like laundry, scrubbing toilets, grocery shopping, so I just work around my responsibilities 🙂 I also combine activities—I read while I eat breakfast and lunch (since I’m usually on my own for those meals), I read while I wait at the doctor/dentist, I read while I exercise, etc. I do get distracted by two word games I like to play on my Kindle, but yeah, it’s definitely all about balance …

    Susan
    http://www.blogginboutbooks.com

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Sometimes that’s what I feel like I have to do is give up my other hobbies, but I’m not willing to do that. I guess that’s why I’ll never read as many books as you do. But, 50 books in a one year seems reasonable to me. I think I’ll meet it this year (even though it’s not my real goal) because of quitting my job. We’ll see, I guess.

      Reply
  5. Suey J
    Suey J says:

    I try to read for at least an hour every evening. Lately I’ve given up an hour of sleep to fit things in. Not a big deal because I can’t sleep anyway…😂

    Reply
  6. Kara
    Kara says:

    Yep, definitely about prioritization. Of which I am TERRIBLE at actually doing! So I understand you completely. Although I’m certainly luckier than most as I can read at work. When things are slower, I’ve actually gotten quite a bit of reading in that way. Otherwise, it’s usually at night before bed that I read. I like Kami’s idea of reading everywhere! And I do always have my kindle with me, yet somehow I get on my phone instead. One of the biggest problems is my love of kdramas. I find myself watching those instead of reading. *sigh* I have too many things I love! 😀

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Lol. I know what you mean. I have too many things I love too. I wish we have more time to do the things we loved. But, I’m glad we have what we have because I know we’re blessed. 😀

      Reply

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