I am a full-time writer, a new/ first-time mom, and I love to read. I read about two-three books a month, sometimes it’s more. For some people, it’s a lot, and for others, it’s very less. But I often get asked how I find the time to read given everything.
I was not a reader all my life. I remember reading a lot when I was at my boarding school. Then on and off. I started reading consistently again in 2010 as part of my new year resolution where I decided to read one book in two months. So, you see, it’s taken me a while to build my reading muscles.
I read because I like to read. I enjoy it. It is the easiest way to be in the company of some of the brightest minds. If you don’t enjoy it, there is nothing you can do to be able to read more.
Let me start by saying I am not a fast reader. So to read I have to schedule it in my daily routine. I am a planner by nature and need to plan everything. I schedule the time to write and time to read along with other things.
For the joy of it:
The key to read more is to read something that you enjoy. If you are reading something that you are not enjoying that kind of defeats the purpose.
I pick books that I know I will enjoy, but I will occasionally pick books that are out of my comfort zone. This year I have challenged myself to read at least six books from genres that I don’t typically reach for otherwise.
I make it convenient:
Even though I love paperbacks and hardbacks, I have grown to enjoy ebooks. It has allowed me to travel without the worry of having to carry extra weight. I read on my kindle app that is synced on my phone and on my table. So any free time I get, I will read a few paragraphs to a few pages.
I had to train myself to read in small chunks, but that’s not how I use to read. After completing my education and starting my job and then marriage, taking care of the house, and now a kid. I have two options either I read, or I don’t. So I choose to read, and because I cannot curl up in bed all day reading anymore, I have over the years trained myself to read in small chunks.
Some books require focused attention. Usually, these are non-fiction, books that I am reading to enhance my knowledge or skill, like books on finance or writing. For these, I need to have a paper and pen with me because I know I’ll be making notes and so I like to schedule these when I know I can block out larger chunks of time. So I typically will read them before going to bed or over the weekend.
More than one:
I was one of those people who could only read one book at a time. I had to finish whatever I was reading before picking up another book. Recently I have started reading more than one book at a time.
I was also one of those who had to finish the book even if I didn’t like it. But that has changed in the last few years. Life is too short to read a book that I don’t enjoy. This revelation was incredibly freeing. So I let go of books that I am not digging. It is not to say that they are bad books. It’s just that for me it’s not the right time to pick it up. I have read a lot of books that I previously found hard to get in to. One such book was Life Drawing by Robin Black. When I picked it up the second time, I flew through it.
When reading multiple books simultaneously, I find that reading in different genres helps. That way I am not confusing plots and characters. So, I usually have a nonfiction, a romance (my guilty pleasure), and a historical fiction or a collection of poems or short stories on my currently reading pile.
Buddy read or book clubs:
I like to read a book and then talk about it. So I find reading along with a friend or a group of people very exciting. It’s interesting to see what other’s think of the plot and characters. Also, how others interpret the same things differently. This way I get to enjoy the book in more ways than one.
Tackling the reading slump:
Like everyone else, I hit reading slumps sometimes. I have found that reading short books, novella or short stories collection (shout out to Archana Sarat’s History of Mathematics which is on my TBR) helps me get out of it. I find that finishing books, even a small one, gives me encouragement that yes if I can finish this then I can pick something longer.
My love for Audiobooks:
Many people still have a hard time accepting listening to audiobooks as legitimate reading. And well it’s not reading. But it’s not the same as watching a movie either if you are going to argue with that.
I listen to at least one audiobook every month. It makes my commutes and the boring household chores interesting. If you find my house squeaky clean on a particular day, know that I have been enjoying an audiobook a little too much that week. It’s also one less reason for not reading.
I hope I was able to help you if you are struggling to read more or if you want to start reading. If you do read, what is the one book that you would suggest I pick up. Leave a comment below and let’s talk about books.
She has a formal education in Commerce and a dual degree in Management (Marketing Communications & Human Resource) and almost seven years of experience in project control & commercial activities with a multinational corporation.
She lives in California at present with her husband and their eleven-month-old son. You can find out more about her on her website.