For me, reading is more than just a hobby or something for entertainment. Reading is my passion and it allows me to escape the daily grind and recharge my introverted batteries. My job involves a lot of interaction with other people and I need that time to reset so that I’m ready for the next day.
I’ve been reading regularly since middle school and it’s so ingrained in my life that I practically get twitchy when I haven’t read in a while. I work a pretty standard 9 – 5 job and I don’t have kids so my husband and I can enjoy our time how we please and this often means lots of reading (and gaming for the husband). But sometimes I can’t control the things going on in my life and that means that things get busy and I don’t always have the time to read like I’d prefer. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this to different degrees. If reading is so important, it can be frustrating to not have time for it.
When I don’t have time to read I’m not just missing out on what I enjoy, I also feel like I’m getting behind my schedule. I have books from the library that have due dates, books from Netgalley that I want to read and review before publication, and my own purchased books that sit on my Kindle and stare forlornly at me when I haven’t read them yet. I’m probably putting too much pressure on myself worrying about getting through my books, but that’s just my personality and I can’t really stop it.
So how do I, as a reading fanatic, cope when opportunities are short?
Sometimes you just have to make sure you get the reading you need. I do this by working some time into my mornings for reading. I get up 30 minutes earlier than needed and use that time to read while I eat breakfast. I don’t like to feel rushed in the morning so taking some time to read is a relaxing way to wake up and get ready for my day. It really sets the tone for the rest of the day so that I feel refreshed when I get to work. Though I will admit there have been times when I’ve had to rush getting ready because I spent too much time in the morning reading. Sometimes the book is just too good!
Use Work Breaks
When I’m at work taking my breaks I read. Full stop. That might mean not talking to that co-worker I haven’t seen in a little while, or sometimes eating at off times so the breakroom is quieter. Or making sure I bring my own lunch because driving to get food rapidly cuts into my lunch break.
Be Honest With Others
This one can be hard because it might not sit well with everyone or might be hard to do depending on your current relationships. But when you really need to read, be honest with others and make it clear this is what you want to do. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship so he understands when I say I want to read for an hour after dinner and then we can watch some TV together later. When we were first dating I felt like I couldn’t pick reading over him (purely from my own thoughts, not his) and it took a bit to realize that it was ok to ask for “me time”.
The last resort to fitting in reading is getting creative. This might mean listening to audiobooks while you drive or work around the house. I struggle with this one because I don’t really pay attention very well when I’m listening to a book, but desperate times and all that. Or you might find other ways to sneak in some reading like while you’re cooking, walking the dog, eating meals. This is where my ereader comes in handy because it’s so much easier to hold it one-handed. I don’t always get a lot of pages read while multitasking this way, but it’s better than nothing.
How do you find time to read when life gets busy?