How to Make Time to Read

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Something that was instilled in me from a very young age was the importance of reading. I remember spending hours reading in my room, on the couch, in the car—whenever I had the chance to crack open a book, I would. College hit, and any reading for pleasure really went down the drain (aside from The Hunger Games and its subsequent books, which I made my way through greedily in a matter of days). Post-college, I worked in the publishing industry, and my love of getting lost in a book was reignited.

I don't know about you, but finding time to read each day can be tricky. Between work, exercise, making dinner, and spending time with loved ones, it can be difficult and almost guilt-inducing to settle in for a cozy few minutes of reading. This is how I make time to read (almost) every day.

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Read the format you enjoy.

This sounds trivial, but whether you're into carbon-based books or digital books, read the format you're more likely pick up. For me, I've made the switch almost entirely to digital, so when I can't get a book on my iPad and can only get my hands on a paperback, I find I'm not nearly as motivated to read. I've learned that if I want to finish a book, I more than likely need to try to read the digital version. (My novel of choice on my iPad right now is An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Talk about an emotional roller coaster!)

Go to bed thirty minutes earlier.

When I know I have thirty minutes to spare at the end of the day to read, I find it extremely relaxing. It almost always helps me fall asleep faster, so when I've had a difficult day or find my mind is reeling with thoughts and worries at night, I like to try to read for thirty minutes to an hour before I fall asleep. It's almost therapeutic.

Put away your phone.

In addition to making time at the end of the day to read, I find that if I don't leave my phone in a different room or plug it in across the room from my bed, I tend to spend more time scrolling through Instagram than I do reading my book. The temptation to pick up my phone to check social media is too great, so I leave my phone where it's not worth me getting out from under my warm covers to get.

Give audiobooks a chance.

I used to think audiobooks weren't for me. My mind wanders too much, and when my husband and I would take a weekend road trip and he'd want to listen to an audiobook, I couldn't stay focused on it. However, I've found that I can actually pay attention when I'm doing household chores or taking a long walk with the dogs. If you're like me and have given up on audiobooks, I'd recommend trying to listen to one again, but mix up what you're doing while you listen to find what works best for you. (I'm currently listening to A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan, and it is fantastic. I like to listen to audiobooks with this pair of bluetooth headphones.)

Stop by your local library once this month.

Remember that building you used to go to as a child weekly for story time? It still exists, and more than likely, it offers so much more than you remember. Aside from the book selection they offer in-library, they probably have a ton of ebook and audiobook files you can download instantly. They also probably have subscriptions to Mango (a modern language-learning app that's amazing) and Hoopla (a streaming service for audiobooks, ebooks, music, and videos). Stop by your library once this month, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

How do you make time to read? I'd love to hear your tips, and if you're curious what I'm currently reading, I keep my Goodreads and Instagram updated. Oh, and let me know what you've been reading and recommending recently!