How do you make time to read? | Discussion

Posted March 18, 2016 by Kaitlynn in discussion / 43 Comments

You guys know what this is?  The first discussion post I have written in ages.  Topics are hard for me to come up with but this one has definitely been on my mind for a while.

Most of you probably don’t know this but I got a new job back in January.  The first month was a lot of learning and a lot of stressful days.  It slowed down a bit in February but I was just recently given some more work to do and now my days are just packed.  I come home and I’m so tired that I don’t want to do anything.  Never mind the fact that I’m trying to get back in the habit of going to the gym.  Needless to say, there isn’t a lot of free time in my life to read and let me just tell you, that sucks.

I’ve been trying to think of ways to make time to read and short of adding more hours to the day (or just not sleeping) I haven’t really come up with any.  I used to read before bed but now I’m so exhausted that any time I try to do that, I fall asleep.  I try to read at the gym but it’s kinda hard to run on a treadmill and keep the page in focus.  Really, I’m just struggling here.

However, I have been testing out new things and I’ve found some things that work for me.


First, I shut off all electronic devices (unless it’s my ipod) and put them in another room so I’m not even tempted by them.  I don’t want my notifications popping up and distracting me all the time.  I also find that if I put on some movie soundtracks (I love the Harry Potter film scores) I can really focus on the book I’m reading and get out of my own head.  Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about other things that I should be doing that I find myself reading the same sentence over and over again without taking in a word of it.  Music surprisingly helps with that.


Second, I give myself a schedule.  I work from 7 to 4 every day and I’m usually home no later than 5.  I go the gym for an hour and when I get home I can read.  I set aside 1 hour reading time and if I can get in more than that, great, but if not, at least I’ve got that hour.  Sometimes I do take breaks for snacks or whatever and get a little distracted but most of the time I can at least read for 45 minutes of the hour.


Third, I’ve learned that audiobooks are great for driving or for the gym.  I can’t focus on them if I’m doing anything super productive (like cleaning) but if I’m just driving to or from work or hanging out on the treadmill, they are perfect.  I still don’t like them all that much but I’m trying.  I feel like I just haven’t found the right narrator yet.  I’ve heard that the narrator for the Harry Potter audiobooks is fabulous so maybe I’ll re-read those a different way this year.  (Yes, I try and re-read them at least once a year.  I don’t see this as a problem.)


Last, I have found that I have to have something interesting to read.  I tried to force myself to read a book that I just wasn’t feeling and it really made me not want to read at all.  I put that book aside, picked up a different one, and now I’m hooked.  I want to make time to read this one, unlike the last one I was trying to read.  A good book can make all the difference in whether or not you feel in the mood to read.

What do you guys do when you find that you don’t have a whole lot of time to read?  Do you stay up later than normal so you can at least read a chapter a day?  Do you do the audiobook thing and if so, who is your favorite narrator?  How do you feel about music while reading?  

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43 responses to “How do you make time to read? | Discussion

  1. Aliyah Garcia

    I actually like this idea, I myself have become a book hoarder and keep buying books that interest me, but never actually have the time to read them. I’m going to try this some time soon!

  2. I feel this so hard. I’m currently in college, and it’s really hard to have time for reading and do your school work and participate in organizations. However, I’m a firm believer in making time for the things you love. So, I try to make time during the week to read, even if it’s just a little bit, because it help keeps me sane when I have so much going on. I definitely agree with shutting off electronics. I get so tempted by my various social medias, YouTube, and Netflix, that I don’t read as often as I want to. If you shut those devices off, you’re way less likely to get distracted.

    • Kaitlynn

      College is such a time suck! I’m planning on taking some night classes this summer and I can already see all my reading time going away. I hate that about it but you’re totally right about making time for the things you love.

  3. You know, I have this exact problem. I’m so busy with my life that I find the older I get, less time I have to just sit down and read a good book. Which is sad, because I used to be such a book worm. Audiobooks are awesome, especially for someone like me who can listen while I’m cleaning.

    I do like your suggestion of just scheduling some time in and reading. I am going to try it. I just feel kind of ashamed that it’s gotten to the point where I HAVE to schedule time, and not just read when I want to.

    • Kaitlynn

      Yeah I hate that I have to schedule time to read. I miss the days when I had all this free time and could read whenever I wanted!

  4. GIRL I FEEL YOU. I feel like I hardly have any time to do anything these days. My schedule is packed with class and then when I get home I have to do chores and stuff oh god. I hardly have time to do my assignments. Then I work on the weekends it’s just hell. Most of my reading happens in breaks between classes or on the bus. My bus ride takes about an hour so I usually get a good chunk of reading going and coming back from school.

    I used to read before bed too, but I’m just like you where I’m so tired I just fall asleep right away hahaha.

    • Kaitlynn

      I used to read on the way to and from school too and I totally miss having that time. I’m planning on taking some night classes this Fall and I’m looking forward to public transportation so I can spend the time reading. And don’t even get me started on chores. My room is a complete mess because I’d rather read than clean it up!

  5. Liz

    When I’m not binge watching a K- or C-drama, I always try to read before bed. Sometimes, it helps me to fall asleep afterwards, calming my mind down, and other times, it might make me stay up late b/c the book is just too good and I’m at an exciting moment. I can usually stay focused on what I’m reading, but the temptation to check Twitter can linger in the background sometimes, so I can’t resist and have to check, lol. I can’t read on schedule though. It really depends on my mood or what genre I’ve been reading lately. And I love my eReader so I can always have my books with me on-the-go. 🙂

    • Kaitlynn

      I love my eReader for that same reason. It’s so convenient. And Twitter is such a temptation! I love it but I’ve gotta learn to resist it.

  6. Oh my goodness if you’re going to reread the HP audiobooks, I highly recommend doing it through audio! Jim Dale is – as you’ve heard – an absolutely UNREAL narrator. So, so perfect for the books and every single character in them.

  7. Tesni

    I find I can fit in reading in the morning for 30mins while I eat breakfast. I also get some reading done in lunch breaks and I try to make time at weekends and evenings. Instead of watching to or messing around on the Internet, I actively try to read.

    • Kaitlynn

      I need to spend less time on the internet, that’s for sure. And I used to read a lot at lunch but now I have friends that I work with and I find that I can never focus on my books and instead just hang out with them. Totally cuts into my reading time.

  8. Completely understand this – I’ve actually taken to bringing books with me to the gym so I can read while getting my cardio in – of course, all the public transport I’m constantly stuck on allows for more reading time as well. I might have to give the “set reading time” a go though, because I definitely don’t feel as if I’m reading enough!

    • Kaitlynn

      I really need to take books to the gym with me. I do like audiobooks at the gym but I don’t always have the audiobook versions of the book I’m reading.

  9. I like these suggestions! Personally, I always try and make sure I have the book I’m reading in my bag, so if anything happens during the day and I find I have some extra free time, I’ve got it to pick up (this was a godsend when my car broke down!).

    • Kaitlynn

      Pretty much everyone has been saying this! I love that I’m not the only one who does this. I always have to base my purse decisions on whether or not it can hold a book or at least my Kindle Paperwhite.

    • Kaitlynn

      DNFing isn’t something I’ve always done but I’m getting better about it. I still feel bad when I do that sometimes.

  10. Aisha

    Shutting off electronic devices is so difficult to do! I agree that working with a schedule is ideal when your busy. I usually stay up late to read. If I know I have to wake up early the following day, I try to read for 30 minutes or so. If I don’t have anything, I try to read until my eyes tell me to stop :). In the mornings, after making breakfast for my daughter, I can usually sit, eat, and read for about 15 minutes.

    • Kaitlynn

      I tend to treat myself to a late night reading on the weekends when I know I don’t have to be up early. I love it.

  11. Shutting off electronic devices is always a great way to help reading along. Sometimes I keep on music, but ignore any notifications. Another thing I will do to make time for reading is turn off the tv. Sometimes I just have to take a few days and not watch any tv at all. Also, I take my book with me everywhere (purse, bathroom, tub, etc.) and read even just a few pages whenever I get a few minutes.

    • Kaitlynn

      I really need to switch off the TV so I can focus on my books but I’ve been obsessed with Orange is the New Black lately so I really want to finish watching that first. It’s such a problem!

  12. I don’t really ‘find time’ – I just swap out one thing for something else, like reading instead of gaming, or blogging instead of reading, or sleeping instead of anything and everything else, so it’s more a process of priority and what needs my attention more in that moment. I will also tend to switch off electronics though, and also, the book plays a HUGE part in when I read. If it’s a book I’m SUPER EXCITED for, I’ll make time quicker, if it’s more mild, then I might put it off for a small while. I LOVE this post Katie, I’ll be sharing it in my wrap-up next month! 🙂

    • Kaitlynn

      I love your priorities. Haha.

      I’m gonna have to start reading by mood because I think it will help me stay focused on the book a little more. I know I should probably stick to a review schedule but I’d rather read what I want and actually read than force myself to try and read a review book.

  13. Anna

    It is so much harder to find time to read than it used to be! Even in the last couple of years that I was blogging, I was having problems coming up with time to read. One thing that really helps me is ALWAYS having my book on me. Show up five minutes early to class? I have my book, so I have time to read. I always carry my book on me, because I never know when I have a few minutes to pull it out and read. I also have trouble reading before bed now, because, just like you, I am falling asleep so fast when I try to from pure exhaustion!

    • Kaitlynn

      I always have a book on me and if I don’t, I make sure to have my Kindle. Even if I can just read a page or two, it’s still something. And yeah, reading in bed is pretty much impossible when you’re always tired!

  14. It is sooo hard to come up with discussion topics for me! I can so relate to putting aside electronic devices. I waste soooo much time on Twitter. Lately I’ve stopped handing out there as much and it’s amazing how much time I have available for other things. Congrats on your new job!!

    • Kaitlynn

      It’s hard for me to. I really want to incorporate them in the blog more though so I’m trying.

      Twitter is so time consuming. I get sucked in and when I look at the clock, an hour has passed. I don’t know how that happens!

  15. Man, doesn’t work realize that we have blogs to run! I am definitely an avid fan of audiobooks, I drive 40 minutes to and from work and I listen to them at 3x the speed, so I get a lot of reading done that way. I also, like you, try to read for an hour a day after work. I think DNFing books really helps as well. A suggestion I would make is to set weekly goals of how much you want to read or how many pages you want to get done in a book. That way it feels like progress and that you are accomplishing a task by reading! Motivation is key! Congratulations on the new job and good luck balancing reading and work!

    • Kaitlynn

      Yeah our bosses need to take our blogs into consideration when assigning us work.

      I love the idea of setting goals. I’m definitely going to give that a try!

  16. I have virtually given up watching television – I find that I’d much rather read and it gives lots of time. I haven’t really missed it.

    I also fit my reading in like this :

    – I always carry my Kindle in case I get time but I also have a book on my phone for those other moments when a Kindle is not suitable

    – I read during my lunch hour at work (I usually get 30 to 45 minutes in)

    – I read in the evening. After 10.00 I do as others have suggested and turn all my electronic equipment off and sit and read

    – I read in the bath – maybe if you shower you may prefer audio books (they are also useful in cars)

  17. Something that I have found difficult about having a blog is that you need to read more quickly than you might normally read just to stay caught up. I don’t like it when reading begins to feel like work. The reason I started my blog in the first place was because I love reading so much and I don’t want to change that. It is not as enjoyable when you feel like you NEED to be doing it rather than WANT to do it. So I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I read while waiting for appointments, I read while in the car – because I luckily don’t have to drive myself places yet 😉 – and I read before bed. I make myself get into bed earlier because I can never fall asleep if I don’t read first. I also multitask while I read. I saw somebody else said they read in the bath, and that is something I also do. It means I can unwind while at the same time getting caught up on books.
    There are times when I fall into a bit of a slump or I just don’t have time to read, and at times like this I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I remind myself why I’m doing this in the first place – and that is because I love it.
    I think I’m speaking for all of us when I say I read because I love to read – I don’t want it to become too much like work. Don’t stress about it!

  18. I have some similar strategies as you … and I can definitely relate to not having enough hours in the day. I very slowly fell in love with audiobooks — I, like you, used to have a tough time keeping focused on them, but I started off listening to them while driving and doing simple things, like laundry/folding clothes. As I got more used to them, I’ve started listening to them more and more, though I do still have to pause (and rewind later) when I find myself zoning out.

    I’ve tried the scheduling thing, and it never works for me :/ I hope it works out for you! I just … if I don’t feel like sitting down to read, my mind wanders even if I try to plan it in. So unfortunately, the actual reading part of my love of books ends up going through phases of reading a lot and reading not at all.

  19. I listen to a ton of audiobooks. The audiobook can make or break the listening experience. I can listen to 2-3 books for every book that I read in a normal work week. I highly recommend trying to revisit a series you already love. I haven’t read or listened to Harry Potter, but I’ve heard that both the US and UK versions. I don’t think you could go wrong with either of them.

    Not knowing exactly what your favorite genres are, it is harder to give narrator recommendations. I listen to mostly paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Some of my favorite narrators include: Robert Petkoff, Allison MacLemore, Amanda Ronconi, Bahni Turpin, Gabra Zackman, Hillary Huber, Holter Graham, James Marsters, Jim Frangione, Johanna Parker, Johanna Parker, Lauren Fortgang, Lorelei King, Luke Daniels, Marguerite Gavin, R. C. Bray, Renee Raudman, Sophie Eastlake, Tavia Gilbert and Traci Odom. I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t listened to yet. There are many more that I think are good, but these are the ones I love.

  20. My schedule fluctuates; sometimes I’m only moderately busy, and can easily fit in some time to read, and at other times, I’m working hard and extra hours (I freelance), and reading time is harder to come by. Like you, I listen to audiobooks when I drive, at the gym, and when doing repetitive chores like laundry or dishes that don’t need much thought. I also read whenever I have insomnia, which is more often than I would like. Thank goodness for my Kindle, which lets me read in the dark!

  21. I always have a book (or two) in my purse and read whenever I have a few minutes whether that be carpool line at my kids school, on break at work, while I’m blow drying my hair, cooking dinner (I don’t recommend this- messy! haha). Working night shift helps too- I can sneak in some chapters and there’s no one to tell me to put my book away!

  22. Patty

    I had never heard anyone say it but your comment on how a bad book can diminish your willingness to find time to read, is true. I used to start my books with the goal of finishing them even if they were not good, just out of respect for the author. But lately, as I grow older, I have decided that I will only spend my time reading a book that my mind, heart and soul think worth reading.
    Regarding audible books, I live in a country where you cannot drive and listen to an audible book at the same time. The driving is too intense and you must be fully concentrated. But, I would love to listen to one (never have) and most of all I think it would be wonderful for the time in my life where reading becomes tiring for my eyes, or a voice telling a story can be great company.
    Love your blog.

  23. I’ve never had to look for time to read. Been an insomniac since I was 7. Heh. But I also sneak reading in all the time. If I’m reading an e-book, I have it on my paperwhite, I have it on my phone, and I pull up kindle cloud reader at work during downtime.

  24. I have actually sectioned off time in my planner just for reading. My morning schedule almost always gets cut short. That is audiobook commuting time from 8-9 and I can’t keep people off the phone long enough to listen. I listen on the way home too. Then 8-9pm is paper book time, then 9-10 is ebook time. I find its the only way to try and get all my review books in. If its not scheduled I feel like I’m floundering.

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