15 Ways to Make More Time to Read
Do you want to read more books this year? Here are 15 tricks that will help you make more time for reading this year!
Whenever I post a new reading challenge to the blog, I always have a few people ask me how I make time to read so much. This is such a wonderful question and one I’m excited to answer!
I love reading because I love learning! I’ve always been an avid reader. As a matter of fact, one of my consequences for disobeying my parents was “no reading allowed.” Getting my book taken away was always the ultimate of punishments!
I’ve found several ways to make more time to read throughout the years. I want to share fifteen of my best tips to help you make more time to read in your own life!
15 Ways to Make More Time to Read
1. Make reading a priority
You make time for what is important to you. Reading is very important to me, so I make time for it.
2. Set a reading goal
I have found that making a list of books to read at the start of the year helps me make reading a priority.
Recently, I started participating in reading challenges with others (you can find the Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge here). By creating a sense of community around my reading life, I’ve been more accountable to making time to read.
So, setting a goal for my reading has made a big impact on the number of books I get through each year.
3. Make reading a part of your routine
It is a rare night that I don’t read before going to sleep. I’m seldom ready for sleep when I lay down.
I usually spend about 15 minutes reading before falling asleep. Reading has become a part of my routine.
Some people like to read after their quiet times in the morning or during the children’s afternoon rest times. Just pick a part of your day that you can incorporate reading for a few minutes.
4. Keep books readily accessible
Keeping books readily accessible helps me to snatch a few minutes of reading here and there throughout the day. I like to keep a book in areas where I frequent most. The key is not to get caught without a book on hand.
- Utilize your local library
- Create a book basket to corral the books you’re reading
- Make a stack on your nightstand
- Keep your Kindle loaded with good books
Do what it takes to keep books available!
5. Be willing to read in spurts
I rarely get to sit down and read for hours on end. It’s even rare for me to get to read for more than 15 minutes at a time.
But it’s amazing how many books you can read simply by picking up your book and reading for five minute spurts here and there.
Those minutes and pages add up, and they add up quickly! Just because you don’t get your ideal of a crackling fire, warm cup of tea, and a cozy blanket doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a good book!
6. Read more than one book at a time
I usually have at least a couple of books going at one time. This gives me freedom to choose what I’m in the mood for.
Right now I’m reading a book to grow my faith and a book on time management. One is heavier in content than the other. I’m not always able to concentrate on a book about the attributes of God, but can dig into some Biblical principals on time management.
Occasionally I will also have a fiction book in the works! Reading more than one book at a time means I usually have something going to fit my mood.
7. Don’t be afraid to go away from your list
Last year I made a book list, and about midway through the year, I wanted to read several new books that weren’t on my list. I had a hard time not feeling guilty about changing gears. This year I am giving myself permission to change my mind!
8. Turn off the TV
As a mom who only has so much time in a day, I knew I had to choose what was most important to me. I love watching Pioneer Woman on Food Network, but I can’t read and watch TV.
I choose reading and turn the TV off. Not ready to give up TV altogether? Consider reading during the commercials!
9. Get off Facebook
This is a tough one. But think about the 5, 10, or 15 minutes you get sucked into Facebook (or Pinterest or Instagram) during the day. Consider replacing at least ONE of these urges with a few minutes of reading time (a book, not a blog!).
This is definitely a discipline, but I found I had more time to read when I chose to reach for a book instead of check in for the latest status update.
10. Keep a good book on your mobile device
I have a Kindle, but I also use the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad. I always keep good books lined up on my mobile device for those times when I’m out and find myself waiting.
I’ll read while I wait for my turn at the bank, while waiting in the checkout line in the grocery store, or while my children play at the library.
Keeping a book on my mobile device means I always have a book accessible even when I’m out running errands. This is also a great way to read all those eBooks you purchase.
11. Utilize the wonderful world of audiobooks
I do not utilize audiobooks often because I can read faster than I can listen. Plus I’m a more visual or tactile learner.
But this is a great way to read more books if it works for you. I use it a lot with my kids when I can’t read-aloud to them, but we want to listen to a good story together.
Don’t feel guilty about not actually sitting down with a book! This is a wonderful gift. Use it!
Great options for Audiobooks:
- Christian Audio (they give a free book a month)
- Your local library
12. Read while you exercise
Some people like to listen to music while they exercise – this would be me. But if you’re looking for a new way to read more books, stick a book on your treadmill, or use your earbuds and listen to an audiobook. This is a great time to multi-task and strengthen your mind while you’re strengthening your body!
13. Ban the guilt
Nothing can deter you from reading more than feeling guilty about not reading more. Do what you can when you can!
Don’t compare yourself to other women who read more or less than you. You know your time limits and abilities. Just stick to what you can do and ban the guilt.
God has gifted us all in unique ways! Be who you are even when it comes to reading.
14. Use the bathroom
Okay. I said it. I’m a mom. Going to the bathroom and locking the door is sometimes the only way I get peace and quiet.
Of course peace and quiet is relative with the repetitive knocking or the baby crying from the crib. But that’s neither here nor there…
The point is the bathroom is a great place to get some reading done. You’re just sitting there. Multi-task.
15. Read while you blow dry your hair or brush your teeth
I have snagged a few minutes of reading while doing a mundane personal care task like drying my hair or even brushing my teeth. This is when a Kindle comes in handy – no having to hold he pages open!
Remember you don’t have to read only when you have your ideal situation! You can read a lot of books by just reading while drying your hair. A few minutes a day adds up quickly!
Do you want to read even more this year?
Then, sign up to take the 2023 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge! There are many women already signed up to take the challenge. Click here to learn more!
I’ve been thinking of trying audio books, but I don’t think I could retain the story, like I can when I read it. I do almost all of those things myself! When it’s a priority, it’s accomplished! 😀
Same here on audiobooks. But my husband used them a lot when he had a forty minute commute and was able to read several books!
I think men learn audibly better, as opposed to women. My husbands the same way. Maybe I should looking into audio books for my husband! He’s got a 40 minute drive to work now and in the foreseeable future. One way to get him to read more! 😉
My hubby loves them! He only has a two minute commute now, and he has often said he misses all the books he was able to read!
One really great resource for audio books is the app Hoopla. It works through the library! You simply put in your library information and then you have access to many hundreds of audio books! You “borrow” them on the app and then they automatically return after a certain amount of time. I think you can borrow around 12-15 items per month.
That is cool! I’ve never heard of Hoopla. Will have to check it out!
Any one can make time for reading if they want to. Many don’t understand just how wonderful it is to make that time to read, and to do it often. Discover the wonderful world of reading <3
It’s true. Realizing it was a matter of making time because it is a priority that helped so much for me!
This post came at the PERFECT time for me! Just this morning I was thinking through how I could realistically get some more reading in. Thank you! My favorite tip you shared was “reading in spurts.” Sometimes I think “I only have 10 minutes, what the point of reading when I’ll have to stop so soon?” instead of making those 10 minutes my best friend and getting in a few more pages. Because, realistically, I don’t have hours to read either! I like to have several books going at once too!
When I FINALLY started allowing myself to read in spurts, I was able to read so much more. It’s truly amazing how much can be read in those little pockets of time! I’m so glad this is helpful.
I read books when I’m on the treadmill! I can’t walk on treadmills any other way now! I plan to start prioritizing reading before bed now too (now that our show is over). 😉 Thanks!
First, what’s your show? And second, we get hooked on shows every now and then too! So it cuts into my reading. hehe!
lol Well, most recently, we went through the entire 9 seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond on Netflix, and I am also wild about Once Upon A Time. I don’t have any shows going on right now, but people are trying to coax me into watching Downton Abbey now, so I’m thinking about starting that one up. What do you watch? 😀
Oh I love Everybody Loves Raymond! We’ve watched 24, Lost, and Parenthood together in the past. Waiting on more Parenthood to come to Netflix 🙂 we started Downton but I don’t know if I totally got into it. I think it will wait until all the seasons are out and work through them. That’s just our preference.
Wow, you really broke that down real nice! I am fully energized and motivated to start reading now! Thank you 🙂
Wonderful! That’s what I like to hear 🙂
I could have pretty much written this whole list, down to having reading taken away as punishment as a child! And I’m with you on the audiobooks…if I’m listening I have to be taking notes, or following along with an outline, or *something* or I don’t retain it as well. Great post!!
Exactly! I have to take notes or I retain nothing! I can even be coloring. But I have to be doing something in order to fully listen. 🙂
OK so you’ve done it again and have challenged me!!
Sweet! That’s what I like to hear! 🙂
This is a great list – and hilarious! How in the world do you read while drying your hair. It’s all I can do to coordinate the brush and the dryer (plus there is the issue of the glasses thing)
I am a HUGE fan of audiobooks. Although I usually am reading 4 or 5 non-fiction books at once, I rarely take the time to read fiction. Now that I have a 30 minute drive to work, I get almost an hours worth of fiction reading on audio daily! Right now I”m on my second run through Jan Karon’s Mitford series. I actually look forward to the commute!
Well, I guess technically I don’t read when I have a brush and blow dryer in my hand. When I’m not using my brush, I’ll use that hand to hold a book. Or when I had long hair and flipped it over to dry, I’d just stick the book under my nose. haha! Quite ridiculous, I know. You do what you’ve gotta do. 😉 I haven’t really done the audiobook thing yet. Now that I listen to more podcasts though, I think I would enjoy audiobooks. I have to put ear buds in though. I can’t concentrate otherwise!
Reading is my number one thing this coming year. I do audio books all the time. I usually get the audio and then a paper book to read with it. It helps me retain. If not paper ebooks are good and so many are free. I’d been wondering about FB and all the time I spend on it is it really necessary? My big problem is if I want to spend time with hubby it’s with him and the tv. I’ve prayed for years he’s get to reading so I’ll just keep praying. I don’t want to neglect him but ready is better than tv. Thanks for all you great ideas to make more time to read.
What was the time management book you were reading in 2014? It’s mentioned in the 15 tips to get more reading time in blog post. Thank you!
Most likely it was Getting Things Done by David Allen. 🙂
I have a close friend who did a challenge of a book a week and it has inspired me to do the same on a much smaller scale though. I’m excited to start this challenge with my teenage daughter as well!
Hi, I have several books I have attempted to read and have not suceeded. So I am taking your reading challenge. I have made the decision that I need to make changes in 2021. I am also going to read through my Bible Chronological. When my son was battling cancer I read my Bible everyday for 3 years straight and then it was hit and miss but next year is going to be different. Here is to perserverance and discipline.