How do you make more time for reading when your schedule doesn’t look any different in summer than it does the rest of the year? Read these four time-saving tips.
By Christine McParland
Summer is here, which means it’s time for sun, surf, sand, and reading! But unless you’re a student or a teacher on break from school, you probably don’t have extra free time to tackle your TBR (To Be Read list). How do you make more time for reading when your schedule doesn’t look any different in summer than it does the rest of the year? With these four time-saving tips, you might be surprised at how much you’re able to read this summer!
1. Keep a book in your car (or purse or backpack).
When you have a book handy, you’ll always be prepared for those unexpected waits that come up—like when you arrive early to an appointment, or when a friend is running late to meet you, or when you have a lunch break without plans. Not only will you make progress toward your reading goals, you’ll also have a productive way to pass the time!
2. Try an audio book.
Audio books aren’t only for road trips! Pop in a set of earbuds and listen while doing chores or yardwork, or go for a walk and get some steps in while making progress on a book. Listen in the car during your commute. Don’t forget to check out your local library’s digital offerings—some libraries have apps that allow you to “check out” audio books and listen immediately on your phone or tablet.
3. Set a timer.
Do you avoid picking up that page-turner because you’re afraid of being sucked into a literary black hole and losing track of time? Maybe you don’t have hours to read, but do you have ten minutes? Give yourself a reading break, set a timer, and enjoy however many pages you can within that time limit. Reading in short bits might seem torturous to the bookworm, but if you find yourself not reading at all because you don’t have larger chunks of time, even ten minutes a day can up add quickly. In case math isn’t your thing, that equates to fifteen hours total over the course of a summer—plenty of time to finish that novel that’s been waiting on your bookshelf!
4. Take a break from social media (or any non-essential task that takes up your time).
It’s impossible to make more time for reading. We each only get twenty-four hours per day! But what can you swap out to replace with reading time? Look for non-essential time-eaters like scrolling social media or catching up on a TV show. Ask yourself, “Do I value this more than reading?” If the answer is no, you know what to do! There, don’t you feel much better using that time to read instead?
Try one or more of these ideas, or come up with your own! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet your reading goals, and don’t underestimate the cumulative power of small but consistent steps towards making time to read. The goal is to allow yourself time this summer to do the thing you love—reading!