I’m not great at goals and resolutions. I’m an all-or-nothing girl who does really well with immediate efficiency but stumbles around long-term goals. Maybe it’s a little bit of fear of failure and a little bit I don’t want to put myself in a box.
This year as I focus on being faithful, I want to establish new habits. I’ve been making my bed, trying to drink more water, walking on the treadmill or outside on the random warm days, and reading books instead of mindlessly scrolling.
In 2018, I read 52 books. That total was 47 in 2017, 53 in 2016, and 43 in 2015. I don’t know how many books I’ll read this year, but I already love the four I’ve finished the first two weeks of this year. I’ve been sharing about them on social media and will continue to share book roundup posts, but I want to answer a question I’ve gotten over the years:
How do you manage to read so many books?
“So many” is relative because I know some people read more books than me. But, hey, I like to watch TV too. Anyway, I thought I’d share some ways I manage to read books while also mothering my children, who are currently 11, 9, and 3.
1. I read on a Kindle.
Say what you will about missing the physical turning of pages and the smell of an actual book, a Kindle is convenient. I can have hundreds of books at my fingertips wherever I go. And when I finish one, my next ones are right there.
I do read actual books, especially when I get them free. (See #2.) And I write in them, just in case you’re wondering. I usually also then type all the marked passages into a Word document so I have them to reference later. (Call me a nerd, whatever.) When underlining on a Kindle, Amazon saves these quotes online, which, honestly, is amazing.
Also, Prime members get a free book each month as part of the First Reads perk. In January, I was given TWO BOOKS and those are among the ones I’ve read this year. (They were “Rock Needs Rivers: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption” by Vanessa McGrady and “The Forgotten Hours” by Katrin Schumann. And in case you’re wondering, the other two I’ve read this year are “Letters to the Church” by Francis Chan and “The Sacred Enneagram” by Christopher Heuertz.)
2. I review books on my blog.
I get quite a few free books through launch teams and blogger review programs. The deadlines that come with the review process keep me reading too. Plus reviewing books helps me process them and connect with other readers.
3. We spend a lot of time poolside.
I devour some fiction books at the pool. In the summer, I’m easier going when it comes to chores and household tasks. (I’m trying to adopt that mentality year around, though!) Just one more chapter and then I’ll move the laundry to the dryer and start a new load in the washer!
4. I read when I’m waiting or sitting …
… at the doctor’s office, at the school pickup line, and when I eat breakfast. I’ve been known to buckle in my youngest and show up at the big kids’ school early just so I can read. Plus I’ve been consistent on the treadmill, so that gives me another window of reading time.
5. I stop reading books I don’t like.
There are way too many good books to waste time on the ones that aren’t working for me. For real, ain’t nobody got time to wait and see if a book might get good.
6. I read what I’m in the mood to read.
Typically, I read one book at a time, but I started the year with about three books going because they were different. One I needed to read slowly to digest, another was also non-fiction but easier to read quickly, and another was a memoir that I read in two sittings. I tend to go through fiction binges. I don’t pressure myself to read through a list. I choose my next book when I’m done with this one.
7. I keep a wish list of books.
I love book recommendations, so I have an easy-accessible list on Amazon. I add to it often, order from it sometimes when prices drop, and consult it in the library, especially in the summer when I check out a few fiction titles at once. I also keep an Amazon list of good reads to share with others. As much as I like reading, I certainly also like talking about books.
Fellow readers, what would you add to your list about how you make time to read?
This is an edited and updated version of a post from a few years ago.