3 Practical Ways to Get More Reading Done

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In these times of political turmoil and easy distractions, when many of us constantly find ourselves in heated conversations about presidents* or the recent episode of Game of Thrones, that on top of school or work or both, squeezing in more time to read is increasingly hard. (Whew. That is the longest run-on sentence ever.) But hard doesn’t necessarily have to mean impossible. So for today, I am sharing 3 practical ways to rummage for pockets of time hidden in the corners of the day and get reading. I am also acknowledging that there are endless articles like this that have existed in the interwebs since time immemorial, and I may not have something you haven’t heard in some manner or form before. But hey, what if I have?

Let’s get something out of the way first, shall we? Someone here might be like, oh, I love reading but I have no time, in which case, sorry, George, this list is not for you. This is for people who do want to actively incorporate more reading time in their lives. And please, call off the villagers with their torches. You are a reader if you read, irrespective of quantity and frequency. That is not the point.

Okay. Grab a doughnut or two and let’s talk strategies.

Read on Your Commute
Whether you’re taking the train or bus to work, reading on your commute is probably the easiest—and most recommended—way to get extra reading time in the day. This means you have to carry at least one book wherever you go; you’ll find it’s the one basic rule for all the items in this list. Now, hardbounds are delightful for bookstagram and all, but for the sake of convenience, please bring your good ol’ paperbacks. Or audiobooks** or e-books. Also, maybe read poetry or a collection of short essays since you can neatly break these down into segments and not deal with having to stop in the middle of a climax. It’s about time you pick up Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, which your co-worker had been recommending since Christmas.

Allow Yourself the Wonders of Sprint Reading
I used to be one of those people who cannot—or would not—read for short amounts of time. The idea just seemed ridiculous to me. How can I get into the story? How am I supposed to connect with the MC and his current situation with a scanty 15 minutes? Or, conversely, how do I get back to reality after such a harrowing scene? So I didn’t read at all. Until I realized I was wasting time, precious time I could’ve taken advantage of to make progress with my current read. These days, I’d read while waiting for my students at work or if I happened to arrive early for a coffee date with a friend. I get to read AND overlook someone’s tardiness and there’s really no bad outcome to that. Maybe read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s smart and infinitely eloquent We Should All be Feminists on your next 30-minute break?

Have a Dedicated Reading Time
And protect it. So, back in 2013, I would wake up an hour before I needed to and read. And I know others who read a chapter or two before resigning to bed. It doesn’t have to be a huge parcel of time but you have to treat it with respect. If you decide to set aside 45 minutes between the time you get off school and dinner, it has to actually be for reading. Disconnect from the internet if you have to. Hide your phone in the drawer. Just, read.

At the end of the day, I guess it all comes down to knowing your priorities. If you want to read more, maybe do not rewatch Stranger Things tonight, which you’ve seen thirteen times already anyway. Or be on Twitter less. Whatever works for you. But you have to do it on purpose. You’ll be amazed at how much reading you can get done even if it isn’t Sunday.

*Hint: it’s not just Trump Everything, but it’s mostly Trump Everything.
**Actually, audiobooks are the only option for people who are walking or driving to work. Unless you hire someone to read for you, which, uh, I feel obliged to remind you that that is just a fancy version of an audiobook. Also, how is this poor human to walk? K bye.

Hey yoh, bookworms! Do you practice any of these? Would you like to add something on the list? Let’s talk!

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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14 thoughts on “3 Practical Ways to Get More Reading Done

  1. I actually do your third tip, Miel! I read at least 30 minutes before getting out of my bed in the morning, and an hour or two at night before sleeping! It has just become a habit that I’m glad I was able to develop! 🙂 Great tips! 😉 -xo,Kat

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I got Daughter of Smoke and Bone! It’s been on my TBR for a while now and I figured it was time to really get into it! I haven’t tried those! I don’t actually listen to audiobooks too much… but I’ll have to check those out!

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  2. OH I love your tips here 🙂 I have about two hours every day of train to get to and back from work, so I’m using that time to read as well. If I hate the commute, I really like having this dedicated time to read and it makes the journey a bit less bothering for sure 🙂 I agree that we all have to develop some kind of reading habits, dedicated slots in the day to read, if we want to read more! 🙂
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now I’m really curious to know more about the nature of your work, Marie! Are you comfortable talking online about it? Like, the details. Also, do you bring physical books or digital ones? I don’t think I’ve seen you write about audiobooks in your blog. Do you listen to them?

      As always, it’s a pleasure to have you visit Bookish and Awesome. Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh well, with you sure! ❤ what would you like to know? 🙂
        I don’t listen to audiobooks – I actually never tried…maybe I should? ahah. I bring both physical and digital books, depending on what I’m currently reading. Digital books are more practical, but…well, I don’t let a big book stop me, I will fit it in my bag anyway ahah 🙂
        oh you’re welcome, it’s always a pleasure to read your blog posts and talk with you! ❤

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    2. Wait, WHAT. You’ve never tried audiobooks? But they’re amazing! Like, the only thing that’s stopping me from owning my collection is they’re pricey. -.- But yeah. Some of my favorites are Stephen King’s On Writing and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I would recommend you try your local library but I know we have the same library situation. So yeah. And yes to bringing physical books! I only ever read e-ARCs, just because I get easily distracted reading with my phone.

      Oh, you know. The basic stuff. Like what do you do and which part of the scenic France do you work in?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know why, somehow I feel like I wouldn’t be able to focus on the story if I’m hearing it? I don’t know if that makes any sense – but really, I’m just nervous to try. I should someday 🙂
        Right now I’m in my hometown, in a region called Alsace, on the very East of France, right next to Germany 🙂 Not biaised at all but it is the PRETTIEST ahah. And I’m working as a community and traffic manager for a website in a bigger city about one hour from where I live – which is why I take the train every working day. A bit exhausting but…gives me tons of time to read 🙂

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      2. That makes total sense! It really distracts me sometimes, too, that is why I go for non-fiction. It’s like you’re listening to a podcast that way. If and when you ever do try audiobooks, I highly recommend you start with a non-fiction title by an author whose style you already are familiar with. *Whispers Yes Please by Amy Poehler.*

        To be fair, I think all parts of France are the prettiest! Like, I’ll prolly burst out crying with so much wonder and adoration the day I set foot in your country. I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING. But wait. How did I not know that this is your job?! This explains things. And I know two hours of traveling time is exhausting but, when we were in Italy last year, I took a train from to Civitavecchia to Rome and I decided right then and there that I absolutely love trains. Plus, like you said, reading time yo! 🙂

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  3. Yes! I totally love these! I think sometimes we accidentally don’t give reading priority and then wonder why we never get it done!? I’m fully all for putting aside for reading. (It can be self care too!) And I tend to hate sprint reading but like it actually all adds up and I’m doing it more now.😂 Also like…reading instead of sleeping…*whistles innocently* I maybe do that too.😂

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    1. I wouldn’t have guessed you don’t sprint read, Cait! You get so much reading done? Also, I was SO tempted to include an extra item where in I direct people to YOU. Because, let’s be honest, you probably surely don’t sleep in favor of reading.

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