As a Bookstagrammer one of the questions I get asked the most is, “How do you find time to read so much?” The second question I get asked a lot – “Is reading your full-time job?”. People are bewildered and often surprised that I read “so much” even while holding down an intense managerial position in my daytime job. So far, for the year I have read over 100 books – 122 if you want to be specific. How do you find the time to not only read but read “a lot”? Here is how:
- I make the time to read
I know this may sound like an obvious answer, but I intentionally make time to read on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I set aside time to read for 90-120 minutes during the week and a bit more on weekends. This is where I should add the disclaimer – my lifestyle, that is being young and without children, allows for me to spend as much time – outside of working hours – reading. While I don’t spend ALL my free time reading, I do spend or try to spend a significant amount of my free time doing so. I know a lot of persons do not have a lot of time because of lifestyle constraints and I am sure a lot more of you do not want to spend the 40 minutes you have for yourself to read – I understand the struggle. With that said, if you are intent on reading more, start off small. Decide to read for 10 to 15 minutes daily, be it before work, during your lunch break, while travelling to work, when waiting on the children or even in the line at the bank. Take the moments where you have to wait and use them to read. Ten to 15 minutes daily might not sound like a lot, but it is a great start.
- I set a reading goal
Every year, I decide on how many books I want to read for the year (I’ve been doing this since 2005). I am very goal oriented and having a plan in mind helps me to achieve what I set out to do. This year, I made a goal to read 120 books, that amounts to 10 books a month and two books a week. At the start of the month I decide on which books I want to read, I will either end up reading over 10 books or just under 10. Having the stacks visible along with a copy of the book I am currently reading in my bag helps a lot. We set goals for every part of our lives, having reading goals is nothing new and it helps in keeping me focused.
- Goodreads is your friend
With Goodreads.com I can track my reading goals. The app allows you to put in your goal for the year and when you log in, it tells you how far ahead or behind you are. The app also offers recommendations on books you can read based on your reading preferences. If you are thinking about reading more, I encourage you to download the Goodreads application and check in at least weekly.
- Ask for Book Recommendations
As a Bookstagrammer a lot of my conversations centre around reading and books. I am either always giving book recommendations or getting one. I have a list of over 100 books I want to read and that list is always growing. Having a list of books you want to read helps to motivate you to keep reading. Sometimes I get in a rut and when I check my “to read list” a book will grab my attention and that is how I find my next read. If you are on Instagram, I suggest following some Bookstagram accounts, this way, book recommendations will end up on your feed – you might even see one you love that speaks to you. I heard @bookofcinz is really good – #ShamelessPlug.
- Join a Book Club
One of the easiest ways to read more is to join a book club. In January of 2019, I started the BookOfCinz Book Club – we meet monthly to discuss the monthly pick. A fellow Book Clubber told me that through joining and committing to the Book club she is ensuring that she reads at least 12 books for the year. Being a part of a book club is an easy way to stay accountable and ensure you get in more reading.
There you have it, some ways I ensure that I make the time to read. To date, I have exceeded my reading goal of 120 and I have upped my goal to 150. Fingers crossed I make it!