Read a Book: Five Tips to Make Time for Reading!|
My freshman year of college my parents spent a good portion of moving day building my new Ikea bookshelf. I had brought stacks and stacks of books that I loved (in case I wanted to re-read them), and some new novels to school. Of course I would have time to read between my classes, activities, and hours of homework! Well, turns out, I never picked up one book off that shelf; there was no time to read a book for leisure.
Now that I have graduated and have a job, finding time to read isn’t much easier. Sure I don’t have marching band practice or multiple papers to write, but I am exhausted after work and always find something better to do (like watch The Bachelorette).
That’s when I realized: I will have never suddenly have more time to read the books I want and keep up with the news. I need to make time to read! Here are five tips to make that time in your everyday life.
1. Read what YOU want to read!
You will never allow yourself the time to read if it is not fun or interesting for you. Pride and Prejudice doesn’t bring you to tears? So what!? Find something you like. Go outside genres you are familiar with. Try The Hunger Games, a Jodi Picoult novel, or Tina Fey’s Bossypants.
2. ALWAYS have reading material.
Make it a new rule that you never go anywhere without a book. I take a book with me in my tote everywhere I go. Surprisingly, it comes in handy during lunch breaks at work, waiting at the doctor’s office, or sitting alone in the park or at a restaurant. These precious times are perfect for reading because they are times that you would otherwise spend mindlessly on your phone. Don’t like carrying a book around? How about an e-reader, magazine, or even download audiobooks or news podcasts (like NPR) onto your iPod or iPhone.
3. Just skim the headlines.
While I think making time for reading what you love is vital, it’s also important to stay updated with the news and current events. This was always easier for me in college because I needed to keep up with the news for my political science courses. But now it can be hard to get up earlier to read the newspaper. A great tip a prof once told me – Just skim the headlines. Get on nytimes.com and just read the headlines on the front page every day. Interested in more? Then by all means, read the article! But reading the headlines will keep you informed and come in handy for chatting in the elevator with co-workers. Check out The Skimm for the perfect solution: they have already skimmed the headlines for you and deliver short, witty content which is exactly what you need!
4. Utilize Goodreads.
Goodreads is the best thing since a library card. It’s like Pandora for books. You can follow what your friends are reading, and it also gives you suggestions of books you might like based on ones that you’ve rated and recommended. I’ve found so many that I can easily mark as “to-read” and come back to later. Then my favorite part is being able to update my “status” by saying what page I’m on in the book I’m reading. For some reason, it’s a great motivator for me.
5. Read Before Bed
This is a must. My before bed ritual used to be an episode of Say Yes to the Dress, Cupcake Wars, or something Kardashian related. However, cutting out those 30 min of TV in exchange for reading does wonders. I rarely cared what was happening on TV, but am usually anxious to get to reading my book to find out what happens next. It also helps me unwind and fall asleep much faster. Even if you can only fit in 5 minutes of reading a night before bed, you’ll be on the right track towards starting a positive habit.