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I love to read. And this year one of my goals was to make reading more of a priority. I set a personal goal for myself to read just 40 books this year. Which may not sound like much, but it was the equivalent of climbing a small mountain for me.
So whenever I get a free minute, you’ll find my head buried in a book or with my headphones in listening to an audio book. The year is almost over. But this year I have 38 books so far and only 2 left to accomplish my reading goal. I’ve been averaging about three books a month so far give or take.
When I set my goal of reading 40 books this past year, I was working full-time with blogging, designing, homemaking, and more.
See the most common excuse people use for not reading more is that they don’t have enough time. If busy me can find more time to read, then I think anyone can. Still I remember feeling the same way. I mean I thought there weren’t enough hours in the day to read, plus get everything else done. So that’s why I’m sharing with you seven things I’ve done to find more time to read.
7 Ways to Find More Time to Read This Year
1. Set a Goal
Up until a few years ago, I had never set a goal for my reading. I’ve been amazed at how much more I’m reading now that there are reading goals in place. I find myself determined to find the time each month to read. I made a list of the books I’d like to read this year. Then, I broke down that big goal into a more bite size piece each month. Reading just a smaller amount of books each months sounds a lot more manageable than a larger overall number in a year, even though it is the same outcome. Having this list posted on my Goodreads and written down has helped me to stay motivated and stay on track each month.
2. Join a Book Club
Nothing helps motivate you to read like joining a book club. You can start a book club with a few of your friends, or find one to join. Ruth from Living Well Spending Less has a great blog post on starting a book club if you’re not sure how to get started. Not only is the accountability extremely helpful to encourage you get the reading done, but it’s fun to discuss the books you’ve read with others!
3. Read Multiple Books at Once
I used to think there was no way I could read more than one book at once when I could barely read one at a time! I’ve found through reading multiple books that I’m actually reading a lot more, and I can pick up the book that best suites my mood at any given time.
This month, I was reading three books at once. This has been my maximum so far, but I was pleasantly surprised that none of the story lines got confused and none of the books were neglected. If you decide to read more than one book at a time, set boundaries and make sure you don’t have too many going at one time. Also, try to pick books that vary in genre and type to help keep momentum. I will choose to read at least one fiction and one nonfiction book at a time so I don’t get bored.
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4. Listen to Audio books
Audio books have been a game changer in the amount of books I can read in a given month. Sometimes, I don’t have the time to sit down and pick up real book. However, when I’m scrolling through Facebook, cleaning up our home, driving in the car, or cooking I can easily listen to an audio book at the same time. On my way to pick my girls up from activities, I would listen to an audio book just on the way there and back, and I was surprised how quickly I could finish them. If you are planning to give audio books a try, I suggest picking one that won’t require note taking as it’s much harder to do on the go.
I listen to my audio books through Audible. When you sign up for Audible, you can get your first two books completely free! You don’t have to keep a membership to listen to audio books through Audible. I canceled my membership after the free trial, and I just buy my audio books through Amazon and listen to them on Audible.
5. Read a Book that’s Interesting to You
If you aren’t a regular reader, it may take a little while to figure out what types of books you actually enjoy reading. Once you know, stick to those books and make sure that you have plenty of books to read that are enjoyable to you. Reading should be something you actually look forward to, not something you dread. If you start reading a book and find that you don’t like it, move on and cut ties with it. There is no point in reading a book that isn’t for you. There are thousands out there to read, and there will be a fair amount of books that don’t captivate you, which is totally okay!
6. Read While You’re Exercising
I use the exercise bike about five days a week now, and while I’m working out I read! I will either listen to an audio book or take my iPad to read using the Kindle App. If you typically run or work out outside, you might want to skip this step so you don’t run into something or someone 🙂
7. Take a Book with You Wherever You Go
I know I will have to go to the chiropractor once a week at a minimum for maintenance and/or treatments, which means I will at be sitting in the waiting room or treatment room for at least 30 minutes. This is the perfect time to crack open one of my books! Take a book with you while you are running errands or keep one loaded on your phone to read while in line or waiting at the doctor’s office. This is a great way to sneak in a little reading time.
The only thing that is stopping you from reading more books is you! Set a personal reading goal for yourself, and have your spouse or a friend hold you accountable. Break that goal down into daily or even weekly reading goals if you need the accountability. If you watch a lot of TV or waste time scrolling through your social media, spend that time reading instead. I truly believe that everyone has time to read, even if it is only a few minutes a day. Therefore, I am confident with my advice you can find more time to read, too.