Life is complicated for most of us right now. The massive amounts of change, and the stress that goes along with it, have changed many readers’ patterns. Some are reading less. Others have changed the type of books they read. Others struggle to focus. Now that life is beginning to get back to a more normal schedule in many parts of the country, life is getting busier.
My schedule is always hectic. I work full time as a dental hygienist. My husband is a pastor, so we normally have a busy church schedule. COVID has changed that, but we’re gradually getting back to normal with most areas of life. We’re still homeschooling our youngest son, who will be a junior in high school this year. And we’re starting a small farm. That doesn’t leave a ton of reading time.
Yet this year I’ve already read more than 40 books. How? I’ve found a lot of ways to sneak in extra reading time. Here are my favorite tips to help you read more.
1. Listen to audiobooks.
I spend quite a bit of time in my car every week. I put this time to good use by listening to audiobooks. I use apps through our local libraries (more on that below) to listen to several audiobooks each month for free. I also love to listen while I crochet or work on other projects at home. An added bonus: With most narrators, I can listen at a faster speed, sometimes even double speed, which means I can listen to a book in a lot less time.
2. Read more than one book at a time.
This is a little controversial among avid readers. Some people love it, others find it confusing. But for me, having more than one book going at a time is essential. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, I can find something I feel like reading. Generally, I have one audiobook, one nonfiction, one physical book, and one ebook going at once. I always have at least two books and as many as five books going at one time.
3. Use an ebook app. Or two. Or more.
I have the Kindle app downloaded to both my iPad and my iPhone. I love being able to sync both devices, so I can always pick up where I left off, not matter where I am. I also use library apps on both devices, so no matter what I’m reading, I always have access to it. More on the apps I use below.
4. Take a book everywhere.
I never leave home without a book…or a few hundred, of you count what’s on my Kindle app. Sometimes I carry a print book, other times it’s just my phone. But wherever I go, I have something to read. Waiting for appointments, waiting to get my oil changed, waiting for my grocery pickup order to come out – these are all moments where I can find a little reading time. I’ve even been known to read in line at the grocery store. Five minutes may not seem like a big deal, but all those “just five minutes” moments can add up during a day.
5. Use your library.
The Hoopla app has probably saved me more money than every couponing or rebate app I’ve downloaded combined. I can check out ten ebooks or audiobooks per month, in addition to my limit of physical books at our library. Hoopla is very easy to link with your card and has a great selection.
The Libby app has a different range of books than Hoopla. May times I’ve found a book here that I couldn’t get through other apps. It can be a bit more limiting – sometimes there are multiple holds ahead of me. It’s definitely worth using, though.
And of course, don’t forget physically going to your library. Check out books. Browse the used books your library has for sale.
What ways have you found to sneak more reading time into your life? Which of these do you already use?
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