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Every month I write a monthly book review for Mamas who love to read. Many Mamas have responded with things like “I wish I could read this much” or “I can only read one book in three months!” So I wanted to give fellow mamas some ideas on how to fit more reading time in.
Why Find time to Read?
Reading is great for you and a good way to take a few minutes out for yourself. You can find intellectual stimulation or just be transported somewhere on a quick virtual trip. While there are many benefits to reading for you, it’s also a great example for your kids. I notice a significant uptick in my boys reading when I read because they want to follow my example. Taking time to talk with them about my books has created bonding time and curiosity. When I read a book last month called “Still Life” we talked about what a Whodunit type book is and my 6 year old decided to try one out from the library too.
— Indie Artists (@IndieArtistz) June 24, 2017
11 Ways to Find Time To Read
Set It Up
- Establish a Reading Time In the morning before the kids wake up, right before bed or written in a planner at a specific time everyday. The ritual of reading at the same time everyday will make it easier and more routine to read, it will be less of a chore and more of an enjoyable way to spend time.
- Make small goals, like a page at a time or ten minutes at a time. I personally like planning a page amount right now since I can be interrupted easily by my boys. Time slots work well for people who are scheduling it in their planner.
- Keep a few books in places where you often are (or your e-reader!) This one may take a bit of practice to do, it requires us to decide to pick up our book instead of our phone. I recommend keeping books in your purse for when you are out, your kitchen while you are cooking and have to wait a few minutes (don’t burn the food!) and your bedroom before bed. I used to keep a book at the place I liked to breastfeed when my boys were babies too. Interaction with them and staring into their eyes is my favorite, but their were times where they fell asleep like that and I knew there was no moving.
- Comfy reading corner If you have a dedicated reading chair with good books nearby you are more likely to go and sit there to read.
Share The Love
These ones are for all the parents out there who want to read with all the littles around. Reading with small children may seem impossible but can be done!
- Read your books to them for parents with babies this works really well to get a page or two in. Babies love your voice so why not use some of that time to read to them. There is no rule you should only read baby books, so try reading a book that interests you.
- Invite your kids to read at the same time Why not have invite your kids to read with you too? This one is easy for kids that love books. If they don’t take a family trip to the bookstore or library and let them pick out something they may enjoy. If they aren’t that into reading yet have them try sticker books or activity books like you can find here or here. Lastly, for toddlers or preschool age kids make a book basket! It is exactly what it sounds like, a basket of books they can look at. These books can be specifically saved for reading time so your little one stays entertained longer.
- Take your kids to a safe play area and read while they play This can look like a few different things depending on your location. A fenced in park or an indoor play area works great. You can also schedule a time with a friend where you get together and read the same book while the kids play in the backyard. You can have a mini book club and the kids can have a playdate win-win!
Just do it
- Just sit down and read Sometimes we need to remember the fun of reading and just grab the time when we have it. If you can grab a notebook and pen for those thoughts that pop in your head and try to distract you from reading.
Keep yourself motivated
“Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.” — Vladimir Nabokov
A lack of reading can come from a lack of planning or motivation. This is often the source of my reading ruts. When I have one or two books, but neither of them sound good, then I am stuck. These ideas help me get through it and I hope they help you too.
- Start a book list. I have a post here on some great book lists I found on Pinterest to get you started. You can also find suggestions at the library or bookstore. Don’t be afraid to try something new, you can always set it down if you don’t like it.
- Join a Book Group This helps with accountability. Being a part of a book group helps to take away the guilt from scheduling in reading time too.
- Join the Book of The Month Club There’s nothing like the fun of a new book in the mail to get you excited about reading. You get the choice of 5+ books every month and it is shipped free! Join here and tell me what book you picked!
- Use Goodreads Track what books you have read and get personalized suggestions based on books you like too.
- Stop during the good part This may seem counterintuitive, but it is a geat motivator for future reading. I actually read this tip from an author (who I can’t remember right now!) When he was writing he would stop when he still had ideas in his head. This would give him a head start for his next day. This works with reading too! When you are in the middle of a good part of the book and stop, you will be excited for your next reading time.
If you love reading it can happen. There are seasons in life where this will not be the case and that’s ok. Accept where you are right now. Until then, make a book list and be ready for that season when it comes!
What tip will you be implementing to make time to read?