“I don’t have time to read.” Even bookworms like myself have allowed this terrible lie to slip from our lips. Throughout high school and college, I rarely read for pleasure because I “didn’t have time” between classes, homework, and maintaining what was left of my sanity. Interestingly enough, I still had time to spend browsing social media and binging late night television. Funny how that works.
When life gets busy, we purge unnecessary activities from our schedules. In most cases, pleasure reading is one of the first things to go. This is unfortunate, because reading is good for you and can be a great stress reliever. Here are some easy ways to fit reading back into your crazy schedule:
ON YOUR COMMUTE
Do you ride a subway, metro, magic carpet, or some other form of public transportation to class or work? This is the perfect opportunity to cozy up with a good book! Relax on your way there and unwind on your way home. If you don’t have room in your bag for a physical book, download one onto your phone or tablet.
Bedtime is the perfect time to squeeze in some reading. Put the phone down a few minutes early and knock out a chapter of your current read—although, be forewarned: one chapter easily turns into several. Books have a way of sucking us in and not letting us go. If you’re trying to get a certain amount of sleep, plan accordingly.
DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK
I work from 9-5 and bring my current read with me. When I sit down for lunch, I have food in one hand and a book in another (and I’m careful not to get the two mixed up). It’s a great way to take my mind off the job and spend some quiet time with my fictional friends.
PUT DOWN THE PHONE
I know, I know, it sounds impossible, but hear me out. Think of every time you open your phone and scroll through your newsfeeds. How long does it take? Try to add those times up, and you’ll have a rough estimate of how much time you spend on your phone. If you’re like me, you probably ended up with a big number. If you cut just ten minutes out of the time spent on your phone and put that into reading, you’d be surprised how much extra time you actually have.
I hope these tips work for you so you can get back to reading! Am I suggesting you give up TV, exercise, or other activities in favor of books? Absolutely not! It’s important to enjoy your free time in a variety of ways. It’s also important to remember why you love to read. No matter how busy you get, don’t give up on your literary companions. Next time you’re tempted to succumb to the “I don’t have time to read” lie, pick up a book and fight back. Happy reading!