Fit Reading Into Your Day
With all you have going on, are you reading as much as you'd like?
Everyone knows reading makes you smarter, helps you write, and illuminates connections to one's own life. But with work or school (often both), family, friends, eating right, and sleeping enough, it is easy to be fooled into thinking you have no time to read.
You should not have to spend any less time doing what is important to you, but neither should you deprive yourself the joy of reading and bettering yourself. It goes without saying, studying literature requires almost an unnatural amount of books to be read in very short spans of time. Accordingly, I have a lot of experience fitting as much reading as possible into a semi-normal life.
(Not to worry, I am not about suggest finishing a War and Peace sized novel in a late night cram session, in fact, I find reading when tired forces me to re-read the same parts later or else risk missing crucial points in plot).
Below are some tips and tools to get your extra reading in without stretching your day.
Get a Book You Really Enjoy
If you are having trouble persuading yourself to read, take some time to go to your local bookstore, and read around. Having a book you truly enjoy can make all the difference in the world. If you want to know what happens to a beloved character, you will make time to find out. It is almost like magic the way an entertaining book finds its' way into your life. Picking a book can be difficult and if your having some trouble you have a few options.
Talking to a book store employee, especially at small bookstores, can be extremely enlightening. Smaller bookstores are typically amazing at hiring knowledgeable employees and if you have the opportunity to speak with the owner, you may find yourself with a reading list for years to come. There are also plenty of reading lists and best book lists on Hubpages! Read some hubs, see if anyone sounds like-minded. If all else fails, check out some classics, they are so called for a reason.
Start Taking Your Book Everywhere!
You will be amazed how much more reading you naturally fit into your life by simply carrying a book with you. Waiting at the doctor's, in line at the DMV, these normally excruciating tasks will now be looked forward to when you get to find out what happens to your favorite character. For women a purse is the perfect place for a paperback and whether man or woman, if your like me, your car is your backpack/purse. Keep a few good books in your car just to have them always available.
An extra note: some smartphones have a Google Books application which has a hefty free books section. I do not want to recommend buying a new iPad or smartphone just to start reading, because it is not neccesary. But, if you already own one of these devices I highly recommend taking advantage.
If you live in a city you already have heard the many environmental benefits that public transportation has to offer. Using public transit takes cars off the road and puts us in the right direction for a sustainable future. A secret benefit from public transportation I have found from my time writing for San Francisco newspaper The Western Edition, busses and trains are a great opportunity to read, albeit with minor distraction.
The time usually used tapping away at a phone or else staring idly into space is now put towards expanding your mind, not to mention your conversations. By now, your carrying a book with you most of the time, one day of the week taking public transport to work or school instead of the car, or simply reading when you are already using a bus or train, you will end up reading chapter after chapter, cumulatively. Just do not forget your book mark!
Do Not Let Reading Be Homework!
The number one rule to increase your reading is keep it comfortable. Chances are, you are not going to go from never reading to designating three hours a day to solid reading. But use some of the above tips and you'll find yourself starting to read, and being immersed in the story, soon enough what was once homework becomes one of life's great joys. Happy reading!