One of the most common questions that friends and readers alike ask me is, “How do you find time to read so much?”
Despite the fact that I work full-time and homeschool our girls, I still read 8-10 books per month. It sounds like a lot — and I think it’s important that you remember that although I do those things, I also have my husband home full-time so that I’m truly not doing it all — but I really believe that finding time to read is realistic for most moms!
Here are my secrets to making time to read, even if you’re a busy mom:
Really Want It
Rather than waiting for time to read to fall into my lap, I actively look for time to read. I read while I eat breakfast and lunch in my office, while I ride the recumbent bike and in the evening while my husband watches TV. I’ve been known to read in the car on long drives, while Sean runs into a store for a quick errand and while my girls have art class in the afternoon.
Basically, when I have free time, reading is my activity of choice. Sometimes I think we say “I wish I had time to read,” but when there is time, we choose another activity instead. And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that — especially if you’re choosing another activity you enjoy instead — but I think it’s important to realize that the amount of time we spend reading is often tied directly to how high it is on our priority list!
Make It Accessible
The reason owning a Kindle has changed my reading habits so dramatically is that my books are suddenly very — very! — accessible. I have tons of books to choose from so that when I finish one, I can immediately start another, and I can read my books from any of my devices so that a book is never very far away.
One of the reasons I’ve come to prefer a tablet over an actual e-reader as well is that I’m able to read in the dark, whether it’s sitting in the family room while Sean watches an evening football game or lying in bed while I unwind from the day.
By looking for ways to make reading more accessible, I’ve eliminated many of the obstacles that kept me from reading in the past so that it’s even easier to fit it into my day!
Improve Your Speed
I’m a pretty fast reader, but from time to time I’ll look for speed reading exercises to do to improve my speed and comprehension. Reading quickly definitely makes it easier to read more, and there are ways you can improve your reading speed dramatically if you’re willing to work at it. Here are some exercises to get started:
There really isn’t any downside to being able to read faster, and it has lots of benefits!
And finally, you have to prioritize reading time as part of your daily and weekly schedule. Don’t wait for everybody to be asleep or the dishes to be done; instead, have the kids grab a stack of books and sit on the sofa together for silent reading time (even non-readers can participate with picture books), and leave the dishes for later! This is definitely an example of prioritizing the important over the urgent!
How much do you read each week? How could you make more time for reading?
|Mandi Ehman is the founder and publisher behind Life Your Way and the co-author of All in Good Time, as well as a wife and the homeschooling mom to four beautiful girls. She lives with her family on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia and loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.|