You know all about the benefits of reading—you know, boosts your intelligence, expands your vocabulary, improves your writing skills, reduces stress, increases your critical thinking ability, improves your memory. (Oh, and it’s just plain enjoyable!) You might also know by now that many successful people have one thing in common: they read every day. Since you know all that, you probably want to read.
But let’s get real. With your busy schedule, when on earth are you supposed to carve out time to read? Don’t simply shrug your shoulders and decide you don’t have time for something as indulgent as reading. Try a few of these tips, and you’ll be surprised how much time you’ll find!
Read things you enjoy.
Okay, that sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people read stuff just because they think they should. Instead, figure out what captures your imagination, and go for that! Maybe you love mystery novels. Crime thrillers. Books that explore human behavior. Political analyses. Whatever you love, choose that—and instead of being a chore, reading will become something you eagerly look forward to.
Pick a regular time to read.
Most people say that reading right before falling asleep or first thing in the morning is the best way to establish a habit. Aim for twenty minutes at either time (or maybe both!). Think about other times you could fit in reading; for example, if you eat alone, read while you eat. If you ride a bus, train, or carpool to work, try reading during your commute. How about while you soak in the bathtub?
Cut out one TV show a day.
Depending on what you cut, you’ll buy yourself half an hour to an hour of reading time. It’s not as painful as it sounds; what’s waiting for you in the pages of a book is usually far more interesting than what dances across the TV screen.
Same thing for social media.
It might surprise you how much time you spend on social media. You don’t need to cut it out—just cut back. Open a book instead.
Think about joining or starting a book club.
If you’re the social type, you’ll probably enjoy getting together once a month with like-minded people who want to read and discuss the same things you do. A book club is a great way to make new friends, find out about interesting new books, and gain some new ways of looking at things.
Keep a couple of books going at a time.
There’s no rule saying you have to read one book cover to cover before you start another. You can, of course, but you might find it more interesting to shake things up a bit. For example, you might read a great self-help book for twenty minutes in the morning before starting your day, then relax at night with a richly written Regency romance novel.
Conversely, keep it short.
If you’re not accustomed to reading, tackling an entire book might seem too daunting. No worries! Start out by reading articles or short stories. Once you get in the groove, you’ll likely find it easy to transition to books. The important thing is to just start reading.
Finally, keep something to read with you all the time.
Maybe it’s a book you can tuck in your purse or briefcase. Maybe it’s on an e-reader. Pull it out whenever you’re stuck with nothing better to do—in a long line at the motor vehicles division, in the doctor’s waiting room, or waiting for a friend to arrive for lunch. If it’s always at your fingertips, it’s a cinch to dive right in!