Does reading 80+ books in 9 months = no life?

Time management for book nerds

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. ~ Charles Buxton

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one. ~ George R.R. Martin, A dance with dragons

I’ve read 83 books so far this year (currently reading #84 – The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos), a lot of my friends wonder how I can read this many books, I work full-time, I look after our house, I go to school one night a week, I go to the gym 3-5 days a week and I go to a sewing class one night a week. In short, I’m almost always busy. They want to know my secret.

There really is no secret.

I don’t possess a Time-Turner like Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, nor have I taken a speed reading course so that I can read at the speed of light. No, it comes down to good ol’ time management and making the time for reading. So, keeping that in mind I thought I’d share with you some of my tips for reading.

  1. Own a kindle or eBook reader: Having a kindle has really helped me to broaden my reading horizons, its given me instant access to hundreds of thousands of books and I can do so wirelessly at the touch of a button. I can pick to read novels, fiction, non-fiction, magazines, short stories or poetry. There is something for everyone out there, you just have to find it! If that’s not encouragement enough to pick up a book I don’t know what is!
  2. Read the genres you like: It seems pretty straight forward and simple doesn’t it!? But reading books you like, books you actually enjoy reading and reading books that are easy to read and not too complicated have an impact on how fast you read, how involved you become with the plot and characters. This for me, directly relates to how much time I make to read. I find there’s nothing less motivating than to pick up a book and have to struggle through it. If you don’t like the writing style, the tone or POV it will likely affect how quickly you read it. If you can’t relate to any of the characters or find their situation to be unbelievable (and not appearing in a sci-fi/fantasy) this too can cause you to subconsciously find anything else to do other than read.
  3. Get to know the good authors: If you’re like me and offer reviews to indie authors, not every book you read will be brilliant (sorry, but it’s true!), so having a list of authors you know who do constantly write interesting, engaging and exciting work is important. If you find yourself reading something that takes a bit of extra effort to digest, once you’ve finished you can move on to something that will be easy to read to help you get back into enjoying the reading experience.  On this topic, some people will say if you don’t enjoy the book you shouldn’t read it, but I feel that if you’ve offered to review the book you should do your darndest to read it from start to finish and offer a constructive review regardless of the star rating you give it.
  4. Remove the distractions: When you set aside the time to have a proper read-fest, take the time to sit back and relax, open a new book and immerse yourself in it. There’s nothing worse than just experiencing Ginger the albino tiger track and hunt down her prey and your mobile phone vibrates or rings in your pocket, or your husband or child comes into the room to talk to you about their day or the cat or dog comes to prance about on your lap. While none of these things are bad, I’m sure you’ve all had this situation arise when you prepare yourself for a full on in-depth reading session just be distracted just as you get started. So, whenever possible, I try to empty the house of animals and other humans, chuck my phone into my handbag on silent and sit back with a nice cup of tea or coffee to enjoy one of my favourite pastimes. Let the book envelope you in its story and take you for a trip into the realm of imagination.
  5. Don’t be afraid to get your book out: I have been known to whip my kindle out while waiting for the bus, sitting at a restaurant, while stopped at that in-between windows part at the drive thru at McDonald’s, while cooking and even while ironing. Of course that’s just naming a few places. When you have a few minutes up your sleeve, or an unknown length of waiting, crack open your kindle or book and delve into your imagination. Don’t be afraid! The worst thing that can happen is that the person you are waiting for arrives, dinner gets cooked or you miss your bus (happily that means more reading time while waiting for the next one!). It’s all these little snippets of time that really do start to add up. I usually don’t read for hours at a time, because I get 30-40mins at lunch, 10-20mins in the morning over my coffee break, 20 odd minutes while cooking dinner (unless it’s super fiddly), 15mins here and 10mins there. How much more time do you really need?

How many books do you normally read in a week/month/year? Do you read more than one book at once? Where are some of the unlikely places you’ve been caught reading? Let me know in the comments below!


17 thoughts on “Does reading 80+ books in 9 months = no life?

  1. I’ve read… 54 books this year, I believe. (I think I’m about to start my 55th.) I’d set myself a target of 50 this year, so I’m pretty happy to be exceeding that goal.

    I also work full-time — although my work is raising two exuberant boys, looking after the house, and writing. My husband works shift-work, so most of the time I’m a solo-parent, with him gone over evenings and/or nights. I aim to write 5000 words a week on my novel, plus I blog five days a week (including one flash fiction story) and either write or revise one short story a week for submission to a contest/magazine. So my average day starts at 5:30am and finishes at 11:00pm.

    I don’t have an ereader, but do frequent the library a lot. I also listen to audiobooks while I’m ironing or driving, which accounts for maybe 8 of the books I’ve “read” this year.

    • 54 books is great! I’ve never tried my hand at audiobooks… I’m not sure why.

      It’s quite amazing how we make time where some people wouldn’t see any to read. I like that about my fellow readers! I do need to take a page out of your book though Jo, I need to make more time for writing. I blog, but that’s been about it for the last oh… 3-4 months, with the exception of ‘Tonight is the night’ which I blogged about a few weeks ago.

      I’ve heard people mention that e-readers speed up reading, I’m not sure if that’s accurate, but it certainly feels like it to me. I don’t think I would have read 84 books this year if I had to lug them around with me.

  2. Oh dear – now I feel like I’m letting the side down. I’ve only read five books this year. I tend to write more than I read 🙂

    • We also need writers Dianne! Without the writers, we readers would have nothing to read 😀 I have read a lot more than I have written, sadly, but I enjoy reading so much. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. My issue has always been remembering that most people do not read as fast as I do; that most people do not always have a book within reach.

    I average a book every one – two days, so have probably read between 100 – 200 books this year. I do not use an e-reader as they lack the same tactility as a book; I dread to think how much I would read if I carried a tool to fill the brief moments when I could not reach a book.

    • That is an awesome amount of books, especially as you don’t use an e reader! Do you use goodreads to track them all?

      • I only encountered goodreads a short while ago, so am still setting up my account.

        I am rather daunted by listing everything I own, let alone everything I have read.

        • I felt the same way, Dave, so made the conscious decision to start tracking my books from … wait for it… NOW. I haven’t gone back and added anything I own or anything I’ve read in the past. Waaay too daunting. But starying to record them from the time I opened my account was pretty simple.

          • That’s a great way to get over that initial hurdle! I added anything I could remember and added my current library at home, but I only had a few hundred books at home, so it wasn’t too crazy. Also I did it over a few weeks while I was packing, so it made it a bit easier!

            The TBR list grows like weeds once on GR 🙂

          • I am inclined that way too. However, there is the little voice in my head that wants the account to be completely accurate.

            I suspect it will quieten after a while.

  4. I’m not sure how many books I read a week/month. But I’ve read 150 books so far this year.

    • Wow! That’s an incredible amount of books! How do you make the time to read so much?

      • I read while I’m watching TV or looking at stuff online. Plus, I tend to read fast. I also take a book with me wherever I go. If I go out to eat, I bring a book along and read until the food comes. When I’m not writing, making my crafts or doing something else, I read.

        • Ah… you sound like me, except read a bit faster! 150 books so far, my goal this year is 110 so you’ve already blown that out of the water! Well done and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. Pingback: A Day In The Life… | Woah, Molly!

  6. Depends on the books I’ve chosen. I’m a pretty busy person (work full time, blog, train Muay Thai three days a week, keep house, spend the weekends usually being active and doing stuff) so my main reading time is on my commute. I’ve read 11 books in the past three months – I’m pretty happy with my effort!

    • Oh…that fantastic commute! How I wish I still had that 40mins to an hour each way every morning and afternoon. I used to do that a few years ago before I changed jobs. It was glorious!

      11 books is a great amount Molly! Some books should be savoured and digested slowly. Do you tend to read longer, more complex novels or get really engrossed in a good sci-fi? The sci-fi’s tend to get my brain ticking over pretty quickly and then my mind goes off on random tangents!

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