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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!