“I can’t find the time to read!” is something I always hear from friends and family members, as books waiting to be opened and explored sadly go unnoticed, gather dust.
People always ask me: how do you find the time to read? I think this is the wrong question to ask because “finding time to read” kind of sets you up for failure, in a world that glorifies busy-ness.
We simply won’t “find time” to do things we haven’t prioritized so easily.
What we need to ask instead is: how do we make time to read? This way reading time becomes a priority, instead of being a mere afterthought.
Here are a few ways to help you move closer to your reading goals that I’ve adopted:
1. Have a visual reminder. I did this by downloading a nifty iPhone wallpaper from the writer Austin Kleon’s website. I admit I’ve grown dependent on my phone for a lot of things, so I’ve had to figure out how it could work in my favor. Every time I pick it up with the intent of checking emails, tweets or other updates, I see this:
It works every time.
2. Always carry a book with you. I practice this quite religiously because you’ll never know when you’ll have some downtime: waiting in the car, on your midday break, waiting in line, at a red light (just kidding). Aaand… it goes hand in hand with tip no. 1.
3. Create a list of books you want to read within a certain time frame. Since starting Libromance, I’ve had to create a blog & book editorial so I can plan ahead and keep track of my reading progress every month. This process is exciting as it gives you the opportunity to really be intentional about the books you want to read!
4. Set some actual reading time in your schedule. My reading time each day is between 30 minutes to an hour, right before bed. I’ve discovered that my mind is more receptive to information after the day’s done, and that mornings are prime time for writing.
5. Have fun reading. I think this is the most important — you won’t make time to read if you actually don’t find it an enjoyable and worthwhile pursuit. You have to love living inside the novel for awhile, completely immersed in its world. You have to believe that your reading time is sacred. At the same time, also feel it out. I’m one of those folks who can stop reading midway through a book if it doesn’t connect with me, and move on to the next one. Know what you like and know what moves you.
Got tips to share? Leave them in the comments below. Happy reading!
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.