How To Fit Reading into a Busy Lifestyle

Hey guys! So, I’ve had a crazy busy month, and so have lots of my friends. One of the questions they always ask me when we’re snowed in is “How do you find time to read?”

In short, the answer is that I make time for it. I have routines and understand the importance of taking a step back and relaxing with a book. I know sometimes it’s easier said than done – when you’ve got a million things on your to do list, the last thing you think will help is spending half an hour reading – but the time to clear your mind and revive yourself definitely helps you feel more rested and productive.

Here are some of my top tips for fitting reading into a busy lifestyle!

Allocate half an hour before bed or first thing in the morning

17662687_1919275244957763_7549930590808571904_nWhether you’re a night owl or a early bird, set yourself an alarm to wind down/wake up with a book.

For me, I read for half an hour or more before bed, and I find that lying there, snuggled up with a book in my cosy bed helps me to relax and clear my mind.

I’m definitely one of those people whose mind goes into overdrive when I try to sleep – did I finish that thing at work? Did I turn the oven off? Oh no, I forgot to make lunch for tomorrow! – but reading until my eyelids get heavy and I can just drop off to sleep really helps!

Get a Kindle/e-Reader

I’ve had a Kindle for a while, and I used to use it religiously when I commuted to work, but since not using public transport, I’ve used it less. However, I’ve recently rediscovered the joys of it! I can read a chunky book with greater ease in bed – oh yes, I can lie on my side and still read a Stephen King 1200-pager now! But more than that, I’ve found its flatness is super handy for slotting reading time in when you wouldn’t think to do so. Now, when I’m drying my hair, which takes a good 15 minutes on the hottest setting because it’s so thick, I rest my Kindle on my knee and read away. It also makes a tedious job seem quicker!

On top of that, you can download the Kindle app so you can read whenever the time arises – waiting in the doctor’s surgery? Tune back into your book. Car’s broken down? Get reading!

Audio books

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Audio books are great! Whether I’m walking the dog, doing my make up, taking a shower, baking, or online shopping, I can whack an audio book on and be enveloped in a great book while I go about my day.

I can tick items off my to do list, and kick my reading goal’s butt at the same time!

 

Cut down on TV and social media

Oh, I totally know the allure of Netflix’s sneaky autoplay function. The amount of times I’ve “accidentally” watched another episode when I swore I was going to bed because of that pesky feature is probably in the hundreds! But think of it this way; even watching just one Netflix episode less a day could allow you time to read a fair chunk of a book – my half hour reading slot before bed usually has me finishing an average length 350 pager in a week!

Make a list of reading goals and keep track with a journal to motivate you

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Set a goal to motivate you. It could be something like “read a new book each month”, or perhaps a Goodreads challenge. You can set a yearly reading goal and it will tell you how well you’re progressing and whether you’re on track. You could also spur yourself on with a handy reading journal to keep track of your reads and reflect on favourite genres, or take part in a discussion like What Are You Reading Wednesday! I’d love you to join in πŸ™‚

Get recommendations from friendsΒ 

Ask your friend what their favourite book is, and give it a try! It’ll be fun to discuss your progress with them – “I can’t believe x did that to y!” “I’m sure x plot twist will happen!” – and it’ll motivate you to keep going back to the book.

Buddy reading

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Similarly, buddy reading is great for staying on track! You and a group of friends pick a book, and agree to discuss it at a certain point each week. Set your own rules – could be that you each read 100 pages a week, or you just discuss up to wherever the person least furthest in got up to to avoid spoilers. Either way, it’s a nice way to share your thoughts with people reading along at the same time, and it’ll spur you on as you won’t want to be the person who’s only read 10 pages when everyone else is on page 100!

Join or start a reading club

Whether it’s at work or with a bunch of friends, gather up a group, throw a bunch of book titles in a hat, pick one and meet back up in a few weeks’ time to discuss the book. It’s a good way to branch out and try books you wouldn’t normally choose, and a good motivator for staying on track!

Read the book before the movie

the snowman

Make a pact with yourself to read the book first if there’s a movie you want to see. I’m refusing to watchΒ The SnowmanΒ until I’ve read the book! (Though, from what I’ve heard, the book is waaaay better anyway!)

If you’re dying to watch a film, you’ll fly through the book if it’s the only thing standing in your way. Plus, it’s always fun to see how the characters look on screen when you’ve been seeing them a certain way in your head as you read along!

Make yourself a cosy book nook

15253204_1260804250609127_3038972103912062976_nWhether it’s in your bed, in your favourite armchair, or by a window with a lovely view, find your reading nook and make it a place you want to be.

Set it up with cosy lighting, cushions, a place to put a hot drink and room to put your feet up, and you’ll be daydreaming about going back and picking your book up all day long!

Read in the bath

Is there anything more relaxing? (Well, until you drop the book in the water – then it’s the opposite!) But lying back with a book, a delectably scented bath bomb and a face mask on just screams “me time”! We all need to take a breather and relax. Plus, you can ramp up the bookish theme with products from Behind the Pages store – book-themed soaps, bath milk, shower fizzies, bath crumble, body lotions and loads more! Use my discount, TSUNDOKU10, for money off. I’m addicted to it!!

Start a postal book club with a long distance friend

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski book reviewI’ve been doing this for about a year now with my best friend, as we live at opposite ends of the country. It’s also a great way for us to branch out and try stuff we wouldn’t usually pick for ourselves, and a way of avoiding books that disappoint!

When you know your best friend’s tried and tested the book, you can be pretty sure you’ll enjoy. Plus, it’s a nice way of doing something together when we’re not physically close enough to pop out for a coffee together. If you don’t have a long distance friend, there’s plenty of people on Bookstagram who would love to do this kind of thing!

Read what you want, not what you feel you should

Reading should be aboutΒ you.Β Ignore anyone who turns their nose up at you if you’re reading a chick-lit instead of a classic – your reading time should be your time to wind down, so there’s absolutely no point in forcing yourself through a dreary novel you’re not enjoying just so you can say you’ve read it. You do you when it comes to reading!

Take a book on holiday, or read a book that reminds you of a place you visited

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Take a book abroad! I take several books each holiday, as well as audio books and the inevitable airport book purchases! It’s okay though, because I do get through a lot of books on holiday. I think I got through 3 and a half books in 5 days last time I went away!

Equally, if you haven’t got any trips planned, why not escape via the pages of a book? Maybe it’s a book set in a place you’ve visited and loved, or a place you’ve always wanted to go to. Either way, it’ll give you a great holiday vibe, and no one’s stressed on holiday!

What’s your top tip for making time to read? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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10 thoughts on “How To Fit Reading into a Busy Lifestyle

    • Tsundoku Girl Reads says:

      Thanks so much! Yes, I totally agree! I only realised how handy the app is fairly recently when my doctor’s surgery was running late and I handed brought a book! If it wasn’t for the app, I’d have had to watch reruns of Homes Under the Hammer with no sound on the waiting room’s TV πŸ˜‚

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  1. louise β˜† says:

    These are such great tips! I always recommend reading during commutes or before bed because it’s such an easy way to fit in reading. And I recently discovered that I prefer reading on my Kindle when I’m in public because I can read one-handed if there’s no room to sit down, and I don’t have to worry about embarrassing covers πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tsundoku Girl Reads says:

      Thanks Louise! Yes, it’s such a handy way to take five and read! Omg, yes, I totally agree – it’s so much easier with a Kindle on public transport or having it next to you when you’re eating lunch or something! Haha, and yes, no one can see if you’re reading something embarrassing πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  2. Maraia says:

    I definitely read WAY less now that I’ve moved. I always read before bed, without fail, but Sebastian falls asleep if he reads before bed, so we watch shows instead. I’d rather be reading, honestly, but we have to compromise. (Ironically, this means that he read way more last year than the year before.) Audiobooks are definitely a lifesaver for me! As is my Kindle. But I actually don’t usually read much on vacation. I’m always too tired by the time I get in bed!

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    • Tsundoku Girl Reads says:

      And you still read SO much, haha! Yes, I do too – that’s why I do it! Or I don’t fall asleep! If I watch TV, I stay wide awake! Audiobooks are a good shout though, especially as you can listen while doing chores or whatever!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. moonika says:

    I’ve never liked that question, How do I have time to read, or one time someone asked, trying actually to ridicule me or what, how do I have time to crochet or knit.
    I always give them this half-confused-half-throwing-daggers-on-fire look, it’s exactly the same time they use for laying on the couch, rubbing their bellies and watching TV/Netflix.
    My choices are not worse, because they don’t match other people’s choices, right?!

    Anywho, I take a book or my kindle along with me. I read while eating breakfast, if I’m having lunch alone, then as well. I read on the commute, I read in bed before going to sleep, in summer I might read while walking through the park. As you so beautifully put, we take time to read πŸ™‚

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    • Tsundoku Girl Reads says:

      Yeah, exactly! It’s like, I have time to read because I make time to read, like you make time to watch football or go fishing or shopping or whatever! We all have the same amount of hours in our days!
      Totally agree with you! Yes, they’re good times to read! I love the freedom of having ebooks/audiobooks on my phone so I can always bust out a book!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jamie Rose says:

    I hardly watch TV, though that time doesn’t all go on reading! I discovered audiobooks last year and it takes me a while to get through one but it means I manage to get a little bit of reading in every day, even if I’m too busy to stop and sit with a book. I think I went through 7 or 8 last year, which might not sound much, but it’s 7 or 8 books more than I’d have read otherwise. And a reading journal is definitely a good idea – I’ve been more committed to my monthly TBR now I’ve written them down where I can see how much progress I’m (not) making!

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