Before I get started, this IS NOT a post about why you should read more. Reading is my thing - I have been a bookworm since I first learned to read. I really missed having time for reading in the first few years of motherhood, so I’ve been working towards more reading this year. Don’t like to read? Maybe this will apply to YOUR favorite hobby.
This year I set an intention to read more. I really missed getting lost in books, but I also wanted to see if being intentional with my reading would curb some of my excessive scrolling habits. We’re not quite halfway through the year and I’m just about half way to my goal, so I’d say so far it’s working! I haven’t done anything earth shattering to read more, but here are the ways I’ve been more intentional.
How I Make Time for Reading as a Busy Mom
1. I set a monthly book goal. In the past, I’ve had years where I wanted to read 52 books, or another arbitrary number, but I never hit that. Mostly because I looked at it as a full year project, which means I could never catch up with what was left by the last quarter of the year. This year I set a monthly goal of four books instead. I thought it might be a little too lofty and that I would not hit it most months, but as of now (May), I’ve hit it every month and even read six in March. It’s crazy to me that this is on track to be my most books read year - the monthly goal (and the next tip) have really helped.
2. I started listening to audio books. For a long while, I was a big snob and didn’t consider audio books “reading”. But when I realized that I can’t actually do ten things while I listen to a book, so I’m still diving into a story and paying attention to it, I decided my rule was dumb. I now “read” one to two books a month using Audible. After some trial and error, I have found that memoirs work best for me - I am not a very auditory person and I can’t seem to stay involved with fiction or business/personal development books.
3. I only read books I like. Again, the “reading purist” in me for years forced myself to finish all books I started. Which means I could go forever not reading because I had something I just didn’t want to finish in my queue. So now if I truly have zero interest in the book, I return it. This is a good place to note that almost all of my physical books are from the library - I rarely buy a book these days unless I really think it’s something I am going to want to keep.
4. I have many books going at a time. I like to have three to four different books going so I can choose what sounds good to read. I usually have one to two fiction books, some sort of personal development or business book, and a memoir going on. And I rarely stray from these genres because these are what I enjoy reading.
5. I have books all over the house. I keep books all over so that when I find a down few minutes, I’m more likely to pick one up and read a few pages verus scroll for five minutes. It may not sound like much, but picking up a book once or twice a day and reading five or ten pages is both a great break and adds up quickly to reading more.
6. I have dedicated reading time every day. I read before bed for anywhere between an hour (rare) and 15 minutes (the usual) before I fall asleep. This helps me turn my brain off and fall asleep much faster. I try to keep a fun, engaging, light hearted “beach read” sort of book on my nightstand. This ensures I want to wrap up my computer or whatever work and get in to bed so I can read the book, plus it’s nothing that is going to make my mind spin. Even if I only read for 15 minutes a night, throughout the course of a month that is over seven hours and easily one book.
Have any tips that help you read more? I would love to hear them!