How Do You Find Time to Read?

Elizabeth Bluemle -- July 27th, 2015

The ability to binge-watch series on Netflix (and every network channel via app) has not been a good thing for books. Even the most avid book-readin’ fools I know are challenged to keep up their page rate with all the digital temptations flung their way. How do YOU do it?

I ask because this is what I am currently looking at:

Bookcase

If you’re wondering about the little white slips of paper sticking up from the books, those indicate starred reviews. Yep, I’m SUCH a librarian!

The top five shelves are ARCs I’ve brought home from the store to read. Mind you, this only goes up to October, and is only a fraction of what has actually come to the Flying Pig for us to enjoy, evaluate, and use as both buying and selling aids.

The other complicating factor for me is that I can’t multitask while reading (or pretend to multitask, or convince myself I am multitasking when I am not). Of course, this is a *good* thing — but I often feel guilty when I am “just” reading, instead of reading and cleaning or ironing or tinkering with a spreadsheet or whatnot. I can do those things while listening to an audiobook (hello, Elena Ferrante), but publishers have not yet started sending AAEs (advance audio editions) along with the galleys.

So I guess what I’m asking you fellow book lovers out there, especially those of you for whom reading is part of your work — how the heck do we get it all* read?!

*all being an absurd concept, so here “all” means “a goodly amount”

16 thoughts on “How Do You Find Time to Read?

  1. Edi

    I can’t say I have a real solution to offer, but I’m so glad to know others who truly love reading and who read for a living struggle with this. It seems I’m surrounding by so many who have time to read, watch the latest on Netflix and PBS and enjoy family and friends. I do think I have more time to read when I give up the phone and all social networking apps. I keep a book in my purse but Kroger seems to think everyone wants to rush through the checkout lanes. Being organized doesn’t help because the dishes, shopping and laundry will always take priority. Hmmm. Perhaps I’m not making reading a priority. And, that’s the challenge: how to not feel guilty when I make something I enjoy a priority. I’ll have to work on that!

  2. Shirley Mullin

    I have books in my car, at work, and at home and read several at the same time…amazing how much one can read in the drive through at the bank! But, I also neglect or just don’t iron, have some help keeping the house clean and read for sheer joy…my best recreation. I am quick to put down ARC’s though that I know we can’t sell. Often I read the end of the book first when it’s for evaluation…weird I know but it works for me. If I like the way the book wraps it up then I’ll read the whole book to see how the author got to the end.
    Shirley
    Kids Ink

  3. Debbie Vilardi

    I read in waiting rooms. I read in the car while my son has his piano lesson. I also limit TV time. You have to make the choice to read. Reading is active; TV is vegetative. I multitask when I do watch TV. I watch TV when I need to shut down for a bit but sleeping doesn’t make sense. I read when I read.

  4. Carol

    I agree with Kathy, that you just give up TV. I listen to NPR on my commute and that keeps me up to date with news and weather, even sports gets covered if it’s Big. I do binge watch some series, but I only get those from my library, and since I am usually someone lately at that party, it takes a while for it to be my turn. I then watch to see what the fuss is. Sometimes I get hooked, but often after two or three episodes i feel like I know enough about what’s happening that I don’t have to watch them all. I don’t check email on the weekends, or facebook during the week. It helps to read fast and know when to put a book down after 40-50 pages.

  5. Erik Swallow

    Like a few have already mentioned, I set time aside each day for reading without distractions. I begin each day with a book and a cup of tea!

  6. Lynette

    I’m a city dweller in a city with a good public transportation system. What started as I can’t afford a car quickly became why should I give this up by getting a car, it’s my time to read!

  7. Maya Smart

    I peg my reading to current events so I feel a greater sense of urgency about turning the pages and intelligently joining the conversation. For example, when my twitter feed erupted in discussions about Caitlyn Jenner. I skipped the celebrity magazines and TV specials and dove into “Redefining Realness” by Janet Mock instead. Nothing compares to a great book on a timely topic.

  8. Steve

    I’ve settled for a happy medium. I’ve resorted to using
    Audiobooks for the books that I want to read for fun. Paper for textbooks for more professional readings. Lastly, digital for anything new.

  9. Daniel Wieser

    What is your motivation in reading? Just to finish books is not a good motivation.
    Also: Why read for the sake of reading? {{ Reading and finishing books is no accomplishment }}

    What are you going to do when you have finished all those books? Write an own book?
    If you have a goal you want to achieve (write an own book) and therefore you need to read books, then you will read more.

  10. Kathy

    I gave up television. Not as hard as it sounds, I live in Iowa and the airwaves are currently swamped in political ads and news. I would sooo much rather read!

  11. Melisa

    I actually schedule time to read. Time when I step away from the computer, leave my phone in another room, and just focus on reading. It’s *amazing* how much reading I can get done if I have no electronic distractions. I was looking back at book journals from 12 years ago and was astounded at how many books I read in a month. This was during the years of dial up internet and no smart phones. I made it a goal to try to carve out time every day to read without distractions.

  12. Jenny

    I read before I go to bed every night. Sometimes it’s only a page, sometimes it’s a few chapters. I also read during my lunch break.

  13. ce

    I take a book with me anywhere I might have to wait (except for driving). I also read during lunch and am known to forgo watching the news with my spouse in order to get some reading time.

  14. Elizabeth Brutka

    Elizabeth,
    I was just contemplating a resolution to that dilemma yesterday as I muddled through my collection of lists of things to do before sending a manuscript to an editor.
    I finally put the lists aside and decided to go to a local bookstore to read the newest children’s books. I can people watch ( harvesting characters for future books) ;get caught up on the newest books and just revel in the writing opportunities one can cull from the microcosm that is a bookstore.

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