On my real-life and virtual porches, people often ask: How do you make time to read so many books?
“So many” is relative because I know some people read more books than I do. But, hey, I like to watch TV too. Even so, I thought I’d share nine ways I manage to read books while also mothering my children, who are currently 13, 11, and 5.
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, discounted, or from the library. And I read more physical books in 2020 because I needed a break from the screens.
Also, Amazon Prime members get a free book each month as part of the First Reads perk. It helps with quality Kindle reading. (Try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days! Kindle books are only one perk. We also love free, fast shipping and streaming music and TV shows.)
2. I review books on my blog.
I get quite a few free books through launch teams and blogger review programs, although I did less of that in 2020. Weird year. 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! This was true before we had our own pool, and it helps that my kids are strong swimmers.
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. Now with waiting room restrictions, I take a book with me to read while my youngest two kids and I sit in the parking lot while my oldest has her monthly orthodontist appointments.
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. I’m also picky about historical fiction and don’t read fantasy or scary stuff, especially if it involves missing kids, husbands dying in car wrecks, or other situations that could hit too close to home. I don’t really like time travel or anything that’s too far-fetched either.
6. I read what I’m in the mood to read.
Typically, I read one book at a time. 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 the current one. Surprisingly, I don’t set reading goals. It’s a free for all, and that works best for me in this one area of my life!
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. 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.
8. I splurged on Book of the Month.
I’d seen people talk about, share the books they received, and brag about the subscription service. I gifted it to myself a couple of months ago and am gifting it to a few people this Christmas. I’ve gotten two monthly picks so far: “This Time Next Year” by Sophie Cousens and “The Wife Upstairs” by Rachel Hawkins plus “Atomic Love” by Jennie Fields as a free add-on pick I earned from the gifts I purchased. (Join BOTM here.)
9. I use the library.
I typically don’t re-read books, so borrowing them works well for me. In 2020, our hometown library did a great job with curbside pickup service. I like to browse, especially the well-stocked new release section, at the library in the neighboring county where my kids attend school. It was opened some this fall, but it’s been shut down again recently. So, yes, COVID made library usage different, but there were still ways to support my reading habit.
Fellow readers, what would you add to your list about how you make time to read?