5 Ways to Make More Time to Read

This is a guest post by Robert Bruce, a full-time web writer for Dave Ramsey and a book blogger at 101 Books, where he is currently blogging through Time magazine’s Top 100 English-Speaking Novels. You can follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

“I don’t have time to read.”

When I tell people about my blog, that’s one of the comments I usually hear in response. The implication—or at least the way my possibly oversensitive mind takes it—“You must not have any life to read that many books … loser.”

Young Man Reading on His Bed - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages, Image #14518282

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages

Of course, I exaggerate. But, really, it’s a tension a lot of people in our overworked and overstressed society deal with. They understand that reading is important—after all, their second grade teacher made that clear. But nobody has the time to read a Dr. Seuss book, much less To Kill A Mockingbird or (gasp!) Infinite Jest.

In the last few years, I’ve dramatically changed my lifestyle. I’ve trained for five half marathons and two full marathons while working a full-time job. I’ve read 30 novels since last September. And, on top of all that, my wife and I had our first child last June. Kids have a slight effect on your schedule. Maybe you’ve heard?

Life is hectic around our house. But I’ve somehow managed to make time to read in the middle of all that. And I say that not to pat myself on the back but to show that, even with a busy life, it is possible (and important) to make time for hobbies you’re passionate about.

Here are a few tips that have helped me:

  1. Sacrifice something. You’ve got 24 hours in a day. You spend 8–10 hours (hopefully not much more) working. You spend 6–8 hours sleeping. You’ve got family and friends to spend time with every day. All of this doesn’t leave much time for other interests, like reading. So your golf game, like mine, might take a hit. You might have to turn off the television after 9:00 p.m. But, if reading is a priority, you’ll make time for it. As Jon Acuff puts it: “Be selfish at 5 a.m.”
  2. Make a routine. If I say I’m just going to “find time to read,” then it will never happen. I have to make time to read. So here’s what I do: I read during my lunch break, and I read at night, beginning around 8:45, after family time, after the wife and little guy are in bed.
  3. Set a goal. You’ve heard this so much that it’s clichéd. But it works. My goal is to read 101 novels. Usually, I would’ve given myself a deadline, but I didn’t want to speed read through the books, so I just chose to read them as they come. At my current pace, I’ll reach my goal in three more years. Maybe you should set a goal to read one book a month. If that seems unlikely, then make it one book every two months. And take it a step further—tell someone about your goal. Or, if you’re crazy like me, start a blog about it. There’s nothing like that extra accountability to keep you moving.
  4. Have fun. You don’t have to read a book simply because a friend suggested it, you know? Think about your hobbies, interests, and passions—then go and read about those subjects. I once spent five months reading nothing but casual, behind-the-scenes books about restaurants and chefs. I’m a chef groupie, I guess. Once you’ve read a few “fun” books, then dabble into the more serious, thought-provoking stuff.
  5. Mix it up. Once you get into the flow of reading, branch out of your comfort zone. If all you’ve read is nonfiction business books, then relax a little and pick up a novel. If you’ve plowed through Stephen King’s entire catalog in a few years, maybe it’s time to give a leadership or inspirational book a try. The point is: If you read the same style of book over and over, you’ll eventually get burned out and go back to watching two hours of Brady Bunch reruns every day…unless you’re reading 101 books for some crazy blog, of course.

As a result of these basic steps, I’ve dramatically altered my lifestyle over the last year. If I’m not at work or spending time with family or friends, I’m probably reading. At 9:00 every evening, you can probably find me in my “man cave,” in my chair, lights dimmed, reading a book or updating my blog. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hopefully, one day, my mind will thank me for the daily exercise. As Dr. Seuss says, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

And who’s going to argue with Dr. Seuss?

Question: How could you make more time for reading? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.scms.coop Janine McBee

    Carpooling offers a great chance to read when you’re the passenger.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I like that idea.

    • http://chrischung110.blogspot.com/ Chris Chung

      Reading in the car makes me dizzy.

  • http://responsabilitesocialeentreprise.wordpress.com/ Julien

    I enjoy reading in the train. As I spend more or less 2 hours in the train every day, it’s definitely a good way to make time to read. And an eco-friendly one!

  • http://joannamuses.com Joanna

    I would add try different formats of book. Audiobooks can be a really good way to fit more books in when you are busy because you can listen while doing other things. Sometimes I listen while commuting somewhere, out for a walk or while doing tasks like cleaning that don’t need heaps of mental focus. Even if you can only find half an hour a day to listen while doing other things (which shouldn’t be hard, especially if you commute) you could get through one or two extra books a month, maybe more if they are short books. I don’t find audiobooks work well for heavy non-fiction, but there is some authors I enjoy even more in audio than in print (Jon Acuff, Shauna Niequest, L.M Montgomery to name a few).

    I’m also a big fan of Kindles as a tool for helping fit more reading in. A kindle makes it so much easier to take a lot of choices of reading material with you almost anywhere. The many free and cheap kindle books also gives you options for expanding what you read. I’ve read lots of great books that were free or cheap for kindle that I’m pretty sure I never would have found (at any price) in a local bookstore.

    • Anonymous

      Great advice. I struggle with audio books because I get so ADD and lose my focus while trying to listen. Maybe I should give them another try though. 

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        As a kinesthetic learner (hands-on) I didn’t think audio books would work for me. What I found was they work great when I’m driving and also when I’m running. I need to be doing an activity. If I just sit on the couch and listen, they don’t work near as well.

      • http://twitter.com/laurabdallas Laura Dallas

        My husband has ADD and audiobooks are the only way he reads. He started listening while driving but if he gets a good story, he wants to listen to it until its over. The key is finding interesting content read by good readers. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I consume most of the books I read via audio while running. It is a great way to “read.” Thanks.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      This is a great idea. Thanks, I will be trying this!

    • http://natelaclaire.com/ Nate LaClaire

      Great suggestion! For several years, audiobooks provided my only “reading.” I would read while driving, exercising, cleaning, or doing repetitive tasks. I now take time to read print and ebooks as well, but I still keep an audiobook going at all times for those times when I need something to occupy my mind but my hands or eyes are busy.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      “Reading through listening” is great advice.  Thanks, Joanna.

    • Bpshirley

      I love to read and struggle to find time. Audio books are a perfect way to sneak in extra reading while cleaning.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Audio books work well for me. With a 45 minute commute each way to work, I can get through a book in just a few days. The nice thing with audio is that I finish the book, since I don’t have any distractions. Regular books are a little tougher. I usually end up reading at night. If I’m tired or distracted, the book gets put aside.

    Years ago, I started a MBA on the Run program, using audio books to progress through a Personal MBA  reading program. Over the period of three years, I had listened to over 80 books. There is no way that I would have been able to do that with printed books.

    I do find that if I enjoy a book in the audio format (especially some of the hands on or technical books) that I like to purchase the Kindle or Printed versions. Now that you can cut and paste your Kindle notes and highlights, I like the Kindle titles best. These are especially handy when blogging about the book, as they allow you to cut and paste excerpts for a blog post.

    Good luck on your reading adventure. It will certainly pay off with great dividends!

    • Anonymous

      That’s impressive. Do you take notes while listening to the audio books? 

      • http://www.spencermcdonald.net Spencer McDonald

        Hi Robert — You sparked a neuron in my mind. YES!! There is so much information available to us now that is hard to cram it all into our cranium. I read physical books and highlight. I read electronic books for pleasure and knowledge. I listen to seminars and books online and take notes along with the book or seminars I am engaged with. These notes really help me reinforce my learning. 

        • Anonymous

          Thanks Spencer! Glad to provide a spark. 

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        I usually try to write down key words or phrases. This allows me to do a search in the Kindle version or online at Amazon using their “Look Inside” feature. This is very helpful when doing research or blogging about the book.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      The Personal MBA program sounds interesting. Have you found it to be helpful other than getting through 80 books?

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        It’ a great program. I altered my book somewhat to use audio books, but the knowledge you receive is wonderful. While you don’t get a degree or a certificate, you do get a real world training from some of the top minds in business. I had a blog going about it back in 2006 at 
        http://www.mbaontherun.com/2006/05/ that details some of my experiences.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          Sounds great. I’ll look into the personal MBA site and see what I can learn.

          I checked out your blog and seen you read The E-Myth. I finished reading it about a month ago. It was an eye opener.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I have also found that if I am tired my reading gets pushed aside. I started reading a little earlier so that I would keep it up. Perhaps someday I will invest in a Kindle as well!

  • http://www.spencermcdonald.net Spencer McDonald

    I use the first 30 minutes of my day at work reading. I read leadership, motivational, personal development, and sometimes “how to” books. I also browse key blogs daily for inspiration and great content that can be digested quickly. 

    The idea of reading 101 books is an outstanding goal. In the end you will have satisfied your goal certainly, and created more knowledge and enlightenment to share with the world. 

    Thank you for the reminder that reading is key. We must make time for feeding our mind with the beauty of words. 

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Someone, I can’t remember who, is always saying “Leaders are readers.”  I am a firm believer in that.

  • http://twitter.com/SRKirkpatrick StevenRKirkpatrick

    We dropped cable to save money and I’ve had more time to read as a result of that.  My goal has been, as you suggested, to read a book a month.  I’m not quite at that, but I make more of a conscious effort to read.  I enjoy reading very much, but its something I need to make time for in my busy life.  I have been alternating between novels, and non-fiction books that help me grow, such as career or finance books.   I’ve been encouraging my wife to read too.  It gives us a nice quite time together, even if we aren’t interacting much verbally.  

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    I love to read, but seem to read in spurts.  I’ll read 2 books in a week, then none for a month.  But I think the folks who think you’re crazy for reading so much, Robert, are the ones who don’t enjoy reading.  Those of us who do look at your numbers and are envious.

    As for making time to read, my husband loves sports. So when he is watching sports on TV, I sit beside him so we can enjoy each other’s presence, but I read.  We are together but enjoying different activities.  It’s nice.

    • Anonymous

      Nice. I tend to combine my love of watching football with my reading. Football on the TV, low volume, and a book in hand. 

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      One of the problems I’ve found with traditional books, is the font style and size. Some of the smaller format books have 10pt text which is very difficult to read in low light. Some books use a non-traditional font which can be hard on the eyes after a few minutes. That’s what I like about the iPad and Kindle. Both allow me to choose the font and the size. No more eye strain.

      • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

        Thanks for that comment, John.  

        I never thought about the ability to choose font and size as a motivation for using a Kindle.  I love holding a paper book, but as I experience the slow onset of aging and its effect on my eyes, this may help me!  I have resisted the Kindle, but I may just have to try it now.

        • http://www.wol.ca/staff/lyons Charlie Lyons

          Chris, my Kindle has been the catalyst in my life to spur me on in reading more. I’ve read more in the last 3 months than the entire previous year. Do it, brother. :)

          • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

            I never thought I’d “cross over to the Kindle side,” but after hearing so many writer friends gush about their Kindles, I gave it a try. I LOVE being able to toss it in my purse and have a “stack” of books with me when I travel; no more shoulder strain, tons more choices!

  • Lacey Wilcox

    First off–LOVED this, and was incredibly challenged by it.  It actually had perfect timing, because reading more is something I’ve been working on in my own life.  Second, I know that this was not the point of your article, but I loved that you noted your wife is in bed by 8:45…I thought I was the only one who wanted to crash by then :)

    • Anonymous

      Haha. Yep. She’s in bed, sometimes reading, but sometimes asleep by then too. 

      • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

        I remember when my daughter was born, I was literally so tired I couldn’t read.  I’d read the same thing 3 times and realize I still had nothing.  Sleep deprivation.  So bless her heart for her 8:45 bedtime!  Now that my youngest is 7, I still am asleep by 10 p.m.  Motherhood – the hardest job you’ll ever love!

        • Anonymous

          Am exactly like you Kelly – practically the only hobby i have is reading – yet with a full time job and three children under five – that hobby has taken a serious hit !!  I do try listening to audio books when i get some time to jog

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    I wanted to read more last year.  So as a Christmas present I had my wife get me a Kindle instead of the normal sweater.  

    The Kindle has changed the way I read.  I read small snippets all day long because I can read on my computer, my phone and at home on the actual Kindle.  I’ve read 10 books this year which is about 9 more than I read the previous year.

    Reading is such a crucial part personal growth.  Reading also helps with vocabulary and critical thinking.

    Great Thoughts!  And if you don’t have one already I’d invest in a Kindle.

    Thanks

    Ryan H.

    • http://www.wol.ca/staff/lyons Charlie Lyons

      Yep, Ryan, my Kindle is what’s done it for me. Aside from my actual Kindle, the computer and phone apps make it really handy also. Blessings!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I have heard great things about the Kindle. Maybe within this next year I will be able to invest  in one

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      The Kindle is amazing!  I love my Kindle.

  • Besita

    Shelfari is another fun way to hold yourself accountable.  You have 3 virtual shelves, one for books you want to read, one for the books you have read and one for what you are currently reading.  It’s really fun to move a book from the “currently reading” shelf to the “have read” shelf.  You can see other friend’s shelves too and that helps hold you accountable.

  • http://thehandwritten.com MichaelDPerkins

    I spend a lot of time reading, but I do it early in the morning and late at night.  I’m “selfish” with my time from 4:30 am to 6 am.  And then again after my family goes to bed for about an hour.  Reading allows me to thrive.  If I don’t, then I feel stagnant.

    • Anonymous

      “Reading allows me to thrive.  If I don’t, then I feel stagnant.” this !

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Robert, I really enjoyed reading your post.

    I’ve also increased the amount of time I spend reading. It has been mainly through the sacrifice route.

    During my lunch break, I recline in my truck and read a book. Instead of turning on the TV, I grab a book. When there is downtime, I grab a book or open the Kindle app on my phone.

    By doing this, I have averaged 2-3 books a month.

    The next step may be to add variety into the mix. I have hit the leadership books pretty hard. It may be time to read a fiction book or a history book.

    • Anonymous

      Try a great fiction book like To Kill A Mockingbird or Catch 22. I think there’s a certain mindset out there that you can only learn things from nonfiction, and I don’t think that’s the case at all. It’s not all laid out there for you, but you can learn a lot from fiction. 

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks for the suggestion of those two books. I read a review of Catch 22 and it sounds interesting. It may be the next book I read.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I agree 100%!

  • Anonymous

    I read 3-4 books a week.  One thing that I learned from Tim Ferris is that it’s ok not to finish a book.  If I’m reading a book and I don’t think it’s a benefit, I put it down and pick up another.  This frees up time for books that IMHO deserve more careful scrutiny.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I really like your point about putting down a book if it is not a benefit. I always feel guilty about starting a book and not finishing it.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        I get the same guilty feeling and try to push through a book.

        Maybe putting down the book for the time being and coming back at a later date would have benefit?

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          But then I don’t recall all that I’d previously read.  I have to start over.  Grrr…

          • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

            That would be a downside to the put it away and read it later method…

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            Yeah.  I read so much in between that the context is gone.  In order to keep what I’ve learned, I write a review after each book, whether or on I actually publish it on my blog.  But if I don’t finish a book right away, it’s harder for me to process and keep what I’ve gained.

      • Anonymous

        I also have trouble feeling like I have to always clean my plate!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Ditto!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      That is great advice.  I have this inner urge that I have to finish every book that I start, but I agree with you that it’s not always the best use of my time.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I read about 2 books every three weeks. I read usually between 11am and noon and then I read again at night. This year I started trying to read a book a month but once I got into it, I was going at a much faster pace. Now if I do not read right before bed, it takes me a while to fall asleep. It is like my body is telling me to turn the light back on and read!

  • http://www.wol.ca/staff/lyons Charlie Lyons

    I LOVE this blog post. Wonderful stuff!

    I’ve read more in the last 3 months than I have the entire year before that. I’ve put together an actual “reading plan” as part of my accountability plan to my supervisor in the ministry my wife and I are missionaries with. A book a month for me right now and I’m a little bit behind. Also, my inclination is toward electronic things and thus my birthday gift from wife and family was an Amazon Kindle; this was easily one of the top 3 birthday gifts in my entire life. I love it and it has only spurred me on in my reading plan.

    • Anonymous

      My wife loves her Kindle. I haven’t made the transition to the e-readers. I guess I’m just old school. 

      • http://www.wol.ca/staff/lyons Charlie Lyons

        Not for everyone, I’ll give you that. :)

        Thanks again for the great post. Blessings!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I have 2, but will shortly reduce that to 1 when I get my new KTouch set up the way I want.  But I still love the feel of a real book in my hands.  So I kinda swing back and forth on this one.

  • http://avajae.blogspot.com Ava Jae

    I love reading. Finding the time can be difficult, but even if you only snag 20 minutes a day, it certainly adds up!

  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

    I enjoy using Kindle ebook reader it’s less hassle and makes reading a lot more convenient. It’s when we’re convenient that reading becomes more fun and interesting. 

  • http://lorithayer.com Lori Thayer

    I read while I’m on the elliptical sometimes and when I’m a passenger. I also listen to audio books or training programs when I am at work or in the car driving.

  • John BuAbbud

    Audiobooks are great not only for commutes, but also for pre-sleep reading. I listen to more exciting books while walking to work, and more relaxing ones before bed. Ever had a professor in college that no amount of coffee could keep you awake through a lecture? Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky are read by actors with such calming voices that I’m usually asleep within ten minutes. Audible has a sleep-timer function so you don’t waste a lot of time searching back for the last place you remember.

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky to put you to sleep… priceless!

  • http://www.CrazyAboutChurch.com Charles Specht

    I am currently reading about 8 books at the moment, along with writing/editing another!  Finding the time and motivation to focus on one thing consistently is a challenge for me.  And these are added to a marriage and five children, which is a whole other can of worms.  Alas…

  • http://sandraheskaking.com Sandra Heska King

    My mom is in a hospice home right now–4 hours from my home, and I’m basically living there. I’ve packed a laundry basket full of books in my car so I can pull out whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. I also listen to Bible CDs while I drive. And I’m lucky that I’m one who can also read while a passenger–no carsickness. I get a lot of reading done that way.

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      Fiction books are great for long commutes. They make the time pass very fast.

  • http://profiles.google.com/missdlb123 Dana Brown

    I moved last August and didn’t bring my TV along with me.  I read and read and read…until last week when I caved and bought another TV.  But 3 months made a habit and now I enjoy having my evenings to read so the TV stays off quite a bit more than it used to.  Yea Books!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Hobby. I hate that word. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bryan-Van-Slyke/653293402 Bryan Van Slyke

    Great article! I didn’t really read much since college, but decided to start earlier this year. Getting into a routine and MAKING time for it is essential. I also read on my lunch breaks and sometimes at night. Now, when I don’t get to read during the day, I feel like I missed out. I will not argue with Dr. Seuss!

  • http://www.findingfruit.net Jen

    I like to think of reading around my kids as good parenting. When they were all little we would each grab a book, or a stack for the little one, climb on the couch and read our books. Each of us lost in the pages of our own book but together, legs touching and blankets shared. We may not eat our vegetables but my kids love to read and learn so much from books.

    • Anonymous

      That’s awesome. I’m also starting to see that in my one-year-old. He’s constantly grabbing books and walking over to us, with that look on his face, like “Dad! Read this to me!”

      • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

        Jen & Robert — Modeling your own love of reading for your kids is one of the most important things you can do to raise a reader. My kids are both in college, and their personalities are as opposite as night and day, but they are both voracious readers because reading is “what we do in this family”!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      That’s great!  I love to read to my kids, too.  It instills in them a love of reading from an early age, and can even jump-start their process of learning to read.

      • Bpshirley

        I agree! Turn off the tv and read aloud to your kids. The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease is full of research on the benefits to your child and great book recommendations. Read a good book and your kids (even wiggly boys) will beg for “one more chapter!”
        Some of my favorites – Pilgrim’s Progress, Kidnapped, The Swiss Family Robinson, Little Britches, Bud and Me, The Story of a Bad Boy…I could go on and on  =)

  • Connie Mills

    I do a lot of my reading these day through audiobooks while working out or driving. And I love the Kindle app so that I can read in the long grocery lines that used to drive me crazy. Don’t even mind the lines at the auto inspection station now that I can use the time to catch up on a magazine or get a few chapters in on Kindle. Technology is changing the way I read and increasing my enjoyment of it. Who would ever have thought that you could carry around your bookshelf in the palm of your hand! :)

  • Anonymous

    I admit I’m not always good at following advice–my own or others!  But years ago when my children were young, I observed my husband’s cousin, the mother of 4 who were born about 1 to 2 years apart.  She babysat in her home, made nearly all the clothing that she and her 4 kids wore, and managed to participate in church and community activities!  How did she do that?  Her sewing maching was always set up and when she had even 15 minutes of peace and quiet, that’s where you would find her.  She certainly couldn’t finish an entire garment in 15 minutes, but she could accomplish something.  I always thought I had to have a couple of hours planned to get started on projects, but realized that I was wasting little gems of opportunity by not utilizing those small gaps in focused time to do pieces of something bigger!  Same goes for reading–you can pick up and read a few pages in small pieces of time.  Yes, it isn’t easy to shift the brain focus, but it is do-able!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I really like this. As you pointed out, this way of thinking does not just apply to reading but starting anything that may be time consuming. Thanks for the reminder!

  • http://twitter.com/RachelleGardner Rachelle Gardner

    Mike, I literally don’t have time for pleasure reading because I choose to be reading manuscripts – of my clients, and of people who want to be my clients. It’s all for work. However, I still “read” a book a week for pleasure. The secret? Audiobooks. I  joined Audible.com and download books to my iPod. I listen while walking/running, while doing household chores, and while driving. It’s amazing how many hours of listening I can get into a week. Audiobooks are the best thing to happen to me in years!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m the same way, Rachelle. I love Audible.com. I use the iPhone app and love it.

  • http://twitter.com/javerlin74 Jason Verlinde

    Great Post!  The one thing I took to hear most. . . I NEED A MANCAVE!

    • Anonymous

      Haha. It’s probably more of a “man loft” since it’s upstairs, but same affect. Sadly, it could turn into a playroom in the next couple of years, so I’m trying to enjoy it while I can. 

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I just re-established mine.  And it’s even in the basement.  Works great!

  • http://twitter.com/Ginmint Gina Mintzer

    Because I am in a Masters program and have to read textbooks, I was missing out on various conversations so I have intentionally incorporated more books on CD into my drive time that include: best sellers, business/leadership must reads as well as spiritual, and just-for-fun books.  Wishing everyone the goal of “making time to read”!

    • Anonymous

      I have found using your unproductive time while in the car to read very beneficial.

  • Gina Holmes

    My favorite and most efficient way to work in more reading is the text-to-speech feature on Amazon Kindle. It’s also how I find time for exercise. It’s about a mile or so walk to pick up my son from school, so I put my comfy shoes on, plug earbuds into my kindle and listen to a book on the way. I also do a lot of traveling for book signings and speaking engagements so I will either do the text to speech kindle or borrow a book on cd from the library. I usually pick something I wouldn’t normally read. I found two of my favorite books that way–Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell & Odd Thomas. Another way I work in reading and step outside my normal genre is to read one book with my husband and then another with my two sons for a half hour each night. 

  • http://www.betterhealthtoday.co Kay Wilson

    Hey Robert, 
    How inspiring to make us all think about how little or how much we have read recently!  Setting that daily time before we are too tired to keep our eyes open.  I find if I keep my book with me, there are always little bits of time we can us throughout our day also.

    • http://twitter.com/robertbruce76 Robert Bruce

      I agree! Thanks Kay. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryanwbe Bryan Beauchamp

    Something that has help me a great deal in meeting my reading goals this year is the social networking site GoodReads. http://www.goodreads.com With it you can rate books you have read, update the books you are currently reading, and share all of that information with other friends on the network or on other social media sites like facebook and twitter. The site has a great iPhone app as well. My favorite feature is the ability to mark books as “to read” and to create your own future reading list. This is particularly good when you are listening to a public speaker and they mention a book. You can whip your iPhone out quickly, look up the book, and mark it “to-read”. I did this after a sermon a few weeks ago, and immediately got feedback from my friends on the GoodReads network who could see my update, and then where able to tell me how good the book was and that I would really enjoy reading it. I highly recommend the site.

    • http://www.sarahstirman.com/ Sarah S.

      I like Goodreads, too — for the reason you mentioned. It’s great to keep track of book recommendations, and when I go to the library, I pull up Goodreads to see what I should be checking out.

  • Ginny Jaques

    I have a stack of books by my bedside.  It’s a conglomeration.  I like to say I have eclectic tastes.  But it’s kind of a mess of good and bad and fun and serious.  The bad ones will be discarded early.  Right now I’m reading George Bush’s autobiography, Decision Points.  It’s a keeper. He reads a lot.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123025595706634689.html  I’ll never beat his record, but I’m plugging away at night before I go to sleep.  Some nights it’s longer than others.  

  • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

    Waking up an hour early has made a tremendous difference (not that I do this every day :-)

    I am usually in between 4-5 books at a time, different genres, not counting magazines, journals, and reading online.

    For books, I now give myself permission to not finish one if it’s not engaging or compelling. When I was younger, if I bought a bought, my thinking was “I HAVE to finish it…I bought it!”

    We now live in the glut of the information age and need to be much more selective!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      This is where I struggle. I feel like I have to finish a book. I recently read one that I did NOT want to finish but I felt like I had to. You make a good point.

      • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

        Thanks Brandon…there are just too many good books to read, right? I hope heaven has a huge library!

  • http://www.sarahstirman.com/ Sarah S.

    I am constantly haunted by Stephen King’s advice to writers in his book, On Writing: “If you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have time to be a writer.” Ouch. I, like many others have mentioned, have found that if I will simply have a book available: in the car, in my purse, beside my bed, etc. that I am more likely to start reading than squander my time on piddling on the computer.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      I try to take a book with me wherever I go, in case I happen to have a few minutes free where I’m not doing anything.

  • Deb Ehret

    AS a librarian, I firmly believe in the importance of reading, and read a book that changed the way I view reading. The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller, shows us how important reading is, and how high-achieving students are readers, regardless of other life circumstances. She points out that readers are not examples for children, even in schools, so she trains her six graders to take a book with them everywhere. We spend a lot of time waiting, and that time can be used for reading! Phenomenal book; I highly recommend it. It’s a fast read and very interesting. Find it at your local library – but I think I need to add it to my collection!

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    Reading is a huge stress reliever for me so I prioritize this time.  I usually read at night before I go to sleep.  It doesn’t make me sleepy and it’s a good way to transition toward turning the light off.

  • Lsrealtime

    Put it on your “written” to-do lst!

  • Gentsent

    watch less TV!

  • Raymond

    I LOVE your blog thoughts! Thank you! I have wanted to read more, and you’ve given me a few ideas on how to get it done.

  • Rob Sorbo

    These tips would be useful for anyone who wants to make more time for anything.

    One thing that I wonder about is the value of books in today’s society. I read more than I ever have before, but it’s seldom books; instead it’s mostly blogs, articles, and news. 

  • http://www.helpmeselfpublish.com Andrea Bandle

    One idea that I liked was having a book with me in my car or purse. This way, during doctor/dentist appointments, kids sports or music practices, or anywhere I find myself waiting for blocks of time, I’ll be able to catch up on my reading without sacrificing a lot of my scheduled time.

  • Anonymous

    Knowing the value of reading will allow anyone to make a point to read
    more. I know this is an area I need to refocus on even more. I still
    read but could benefit from scheduling daily reading time. Great post. 

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    Very practical post!

    My approach is to read 20 pgs a day. By having a book with me at all times, I can typically get at least 10 pages in while just walking from place to place…to the parking lot, to meetings, up/down the elevator, even to just refill the water glass. Sure I might look like a bit of a book worm…people say, “you are ALWAYS reading”…I’ve heard worse!

    This pace works if you are trying to read 12-15 books a year without sacrificing much,if anything, else.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      Book worm is definitely on the softer side of the names that are flung around today. I wanted to read 12 books this year and I am now on my 16th. I’m usually reading about 2 books at a time and read around 15-30 pages a day in each of them. It’s not a lot but it works!

  • Burl Walker

    Great Post!! As someone who would love to only work an 8-10 hour day, I can’t say that I have covered 30 books in the last few months, but I do try to get one in each week to two weeks. You make a great point about switching up what you are reading. I try to always be reading two books. One in my field or related and another about something I don’t know anything about. It has taken me on so many fascinating journeys!  Oh, and congrats on the marathons! I finished my first 1/2 marathon this month.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent. Keep at running. I feel like my dedication to running and reading go hand in hand. 

  • LReg87

    Audio books in the car can be a great alternative to overplayed music!

  • http://twitter.com/jnthnhrrsn Jonathan Harrison

    I’ve started listening to business books on audio during my 30-minute commute.

    I have no problem reading fiction, but used to think these books were pretty boring. I’ve been loving using this time that was “lost” before.

    • Anonymous

      I have found listening to business and leadership books during my commute very beneficial to my personal growth and time management. I also wrote about it in this post http://wp.me/p1waA2-df 

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I import them into iTunes and place them on my iPod or iPhone.  Easier to carry that way…

        • Anonymous

          Even better Jeff. I’m still old school and carry audio books.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            :)

  • http://twitter.com/jnthnhrrsn Jonathan Harrison

    And loving the books, in this format, by the way :)

  • Hailingg

    I agree that we should spend more time to read. And I have taken more time to read and got a lot of benefits from reading. Thanks for your article and I will keep on reading books. 

  • Ben

    Move around by public transport and read as you go. Be conscious to fill in any gap  – that is fee time slot with something to read. Develop at least an hour of power daily – so that you can read

  • http://www.rockstarlifestyleblog.com Raye Cage

    I love books and read at least 3 a month. I consider my car a learning center (Raye University),    whether its a short trip or a long one, I always have some type of self-motivating CD playing.  I want to fill my mind with positive, uplifting material as much as possible. I love handling the physical book itself but will use all forms of media to consume information. My favorite place to read is curled up by a fire, with tea, and dark chocolate. 

    • Anonymous

      Nice. I like a glass of red wine and a chocolate chip cookie while I read!

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com Nikole Hahn

    I know what you mean. I blog. I write. I have family to spend time with. I work. I volunteer. I find that reading relaxes me, infuses my mind with color and helps in many of the other things I like to do like reading, conversing…so I enrolled myself in book reviews to force time to read and love it!

    • Anonymous

      Reading at the end of the day is just so relaxing to me. After a long hectic day, I can recline with a book and just chill out. 

  • Anonymous

    Ebook readers make reading on the go so much easier.  I have a kindle, plus a kindle reader on my computer and my iphone.  I am never without something to read and can always snatch a few minutes here and there.

  • Carla B

    well said! it took very little for me to get rid of cable tv and home phone, get up a bit earlier in the morning (I fall asleep reading at night so do mine early). but your point to make a sacrifice (or 2) and to schedule your reading are keys. what I noticed…I didn’t miss what I “sacrificed” and have been finding ways to make more time to read!

  • Karen Mueller Bryson

    As a writer, I often struggle with not having enough time to read. The “free time” I do have, I want to spend writing. I also believe it is important for writers to read, so it’s a battle. This is one of the main reasons, I have created a line of books that readers can finish in one sitting. I call the line Short on Time Books. They are fast-paced and fun books for readers on the go. So far, I have books for adults and kids and will be adding some books for teens in the New Year. I think people are more apt to start a book, if they know they can finish it within a reasonable amount of time and it is a fulfilling story.

  • Phyllis Dolislager

    I have found No. 5 to be important for me. I now make myself switch betwen fiction and nonfiction. I also keep a list of the books that I’ve read–year by year. This helps me remember what to recommend when people ask.

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    Great advice! I grew up reading voraciously, but marriage, motherhood and ministry has crowded out time for regular reading. I’ve been thinking about carving out a spot for reading once again, thanks for the motivation to go for it!

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    Reading is crucial to learning. I combine reading with exercise by grabbing a book and walking on the treadmill.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve seen people do that. And I’ve always wondered if you could focus on the words with your head bobbing up and down? 

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I can’t.  I’ve tried.

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        Oh ya, you can make it happen. Gotta focus on the core ;)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I’ve heard of that method. I’m scared I might fall off the treadmill because I was too focused on the book.

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        Ha! Yea, that’s a reasonable concern :)

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  • http://rebeccabarlowjordan.com rjordan003

    Readers are writers. That was drummed into my head for years at conferences. My mom actually started my love of books years ago when I was a child. She would read to me when I was sick–or one year when we were holed up at a conference (I had a relapse of mumps). I started keeping a record a while back of the books I was reading, and for the last year and a half, the total is now approx. 107 books. Where to find time? You can do most anything by starting with 15 minutes a day. I read before bed, while traveling, and through short breaks in the day. Books are like “special treats” to me, but I agree with Seuss. They take you around the world, into people’s hearts and lives, and give you ideas for your own writing. I still like the feel of old-fashioned books in my hands. They’re like old friends.

    I enjoyed your post! I especially like your suggestion of varying the kinds of books we read. I love fiction; my husband loves biographies. I’ve started adding memoirs, biographies, how-to’s, and always include some Christian living books as well. But fiction has by far given me the best “education” of people, places, and lifestyles.

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  • Nancy

    I never go anywhere without a book. If my husband or someone else is driving, I am reading. If I can’t sleep or wake and can’t get back to sleep, I read. Waiting in the doctor’s office or waiting anywhere, I read. In an undergrad class, the professor asked us on the first day to write down everything we had read in the last 6 months as a way to get to know us. I just wrote ‘I read a lot’ as there was not enough room on the 3X5 card he gave us to list everything I had read, even if I could have remembered every title. I have very eclectic reading tastes and so I read many different kinds of books, articles, blogs, etc. I believe that if someone can learn to read, they have the most important tool for learning they can have and learning is something that I will continue to do for the rest of my life here on earth after which I will learn the ultimate–how exactly I will react to seeing Jesus face to face for the first time.

  • http://AlphaDogTheBook.com WingGirlKim

    Sometimes I ride the subway instead of my bicycle just to be able to read. Or I read while walking. Yup. While walking :) …walking slow, of course!

  • http://www.nosuperheroes.com Chris Lautsbaugh

    I read about 5 books at once, that way you can always “feel” like something. Audiobooks gives a new way to “read” as well. 

    A little friendly competition with a friend is good to. It has motivated me to increase my reading over the last few years. I am at 70 books for this year already.

    I also post my reading our our family ministry website – it is one of the most popular parts of http://www.lautsbaugh.com and nosuperheroes.com

  • http://twitter.com/mychng meiyen chng

    Oooh..Excellent article…just when I need it! Thanks

  • http://www.redeemchristianity.org Scott Jensen

    So true! People really need to slow down and take time to read more, I could only imagine how much more work could be done if people were to slow down and read more…

  • http://www.justcris.com Cris Ferreira

    What I did to be able to establish a daily reading time was to wake up a little earlier. My mind is more alert in the morning and I am able to read everyday for about 30 to 40 minutes.
    And whenever I can, I also read at night before going to sleep.

  • http://www.ivanhoesanchez.com Ivanhoe Sánchez

    Hi Robert! I enjoyed your post… why? because we share the same passion.  I month ago I started a blog about the importance of reading.  The blog is in my native language, Spanish.   I also sell books, and I have had the opportunity to do it by three different methods: direct sale, retail sale and wholesale; doing this job I encountered that the number one excuse for not reading is: I don’t have time to read.
    Most of the time, when people tell me that they don’t have the time to read I remind them that  setting up time to read will empower them to do better at whatever they doing, and cite some examples.  One of my favorites is the story of Dr. Ben Carson.
    Your post and comments have enriched my reply box.  Whenever I hear another “I don’t have time to read” I will take out some of the ideas on this post.  
    Thanks a lot for that.  

    • Anonymous

      Awesome. Glad you enjoyed it. And good luck with your blog!

  • Zernike

    “Be selfish at 5 a.m.” — THAT’S a keeper!

  • Barbara

    I love to read, it’s one of my favorite things to do.  You will always find me with a book on my 30 minute commute to and from work, on weekend mornings and sometimes during the day on a quiet Sunday. 

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  • http://twitter.com/elramey debra elramey

    I can take more time for reading by following your great advice! 

  • http://www.leadershipconnexion.com Stephan De Villiers

    I am a compulsive reader.  I read everything, from posters on the wall in waiting rooms if I forgot a book and there is nothing else, to Robert Jordan’s mammoth Wheel of Time series and any non-fiction book about Personal Development, Leadership or Management.  However, having a nine week old baby myself, my reading time took a series dip and I constantly feel frustrated when I look at my reading list and bookshelf because “So many books, so little time.”
    I guess this is why I found your post both inspiring and practical.  I need to have a serious look at how I do spent the few hours I have to myself and implement your advice.  Even if it is one book every two months it is one book more than what I am reading now!
    Thanks for taking the time to share this!

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  • Lunareuphoria

    I can’t imagine a life where there’s no time to read. I carry a book with me everywhere. Literally. I read while waiting in line, in the bathtub, while riding in the car, before bed, at lunch, etc.  Also, I don’t own a TV.

  • http://neelthemuse.wordpress.com/ Neelima

    I have books lying all over the place- so that I can just grab a few pages wherever I’m at. I’m also not choosy- read pretty much anything. Joining a library makes for compulsory reading as you have to read up those books within a short period. Ironically, I have been reading the most voraciously since my twins were born- reading to them is also a great way to keep the habit going.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I read to my kids frequently!  As a result, two of the five have become voracious readers themselves (the others are under 5).  My 12 year old wants a Kindle for Christmas!

  • Kimila

    I actually added to my reading time by taking a book to the gym. I know it might sound weird, but I’m committed to doing at least 30 minutes of cardio a day and usually it’s through an eliptical or step mill.  Nothing makes the time pass quicker than a book.  And, I found that if I’m at a good point in the book I will stay on the machine longer to get through that section.

  • http://www.theinspiredbudget.com Tanya@The Inspired Budget

    I agree with the comments about audio books. I just finished an audio book yesterday, simply by listening to it in the car while running errands. I wouldn’t do this with serious books I really wanted to absorb and focus on, but a lighthearted read is great for listening to in the car.

  • Rula Mazigi

    It seems true that there are many things we ‘want’ to do but ‘can’t find time’ to do. What’s interesting is to carefully watch what you ACTUALLY do during a given day, from the big things (like going to work and being with family) to the small mundane daily habits (eating routines, TV routines, cleaning, texting, surfing, and daydreaming routines).

    If one carefully examines the details of one’s day to day routine one will begin to see a pattern of great waste relative to one’s desire to ‘find time’. Not only that, but it becomes obvious that the things with which one wastes one’s time are small habitual, mechanical habits (and thoughts) which are cummulative and have nothing to do with necessity, but are often a compulsion of unconscious desire, habit, or anxiety.What I’m trying to say is what I have noticed in my own life. The things I “want” to do are not actually things I WANT to do, but things I believe I ‘should do’. What I actually want to do (escape, waste time), I find the time to do.

    The desire to do something is never enough, it comes with all kinds of postponements and justifications of not having enough time, enough money, enough support or whatever. That is because INTENTION takes CONSCIOUS effort. If I am not conscious of what I actually do, I can never INTEND to do otherwise. I will simply continue with the banality of my daily time wasting exercises which include daydreams of “reading more books”. That’s my experience anyway.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Great thoughts!

      • Rula Mazigi

        I wish them to be more than thoughts haha …Action is the only remedy to thought ;-) Thank you Jeff.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          I agree.  I have several things in my life that need action, but it seems like I can only work on one at a time effectively…

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I read a huge amount of books, to the tune of 250-300 per year.  I do some of the same things as you’ve listed.  I read in the evenings, after my wife and five kids have gone to bed.  I discipline myself to read and write every day (the writing is new to me…).  There are a lot of TV shows that I’d love to watch, but haven’t, because I’d rather spend the time on something more beneficial to my life.  And I haven’t regtretted that decision.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Wow! That is an impressive number of books to read a year. Keep it up Jeff.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Easy for me.  I love to read!  Redaing Steve Jobs right now…

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          That looks like an impressive book. I’ll get to it one of these days after I finish my huge backlog of books.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            The first 20 chapters started off good, but each chapter seems to be more and more of the same stuff: Jobs’ treatment of others.  I’m over halfway through, but am starting to get a little tired of it…

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  • Ghaliya

    This blog came at the right time (thank you). I have been reading a book a month for the past 4 years.. but finding it so hard to pick a book lately (say SIX months) maybe cause it became a habit that needs refreshing .. but I do agree “Make a routine” is what it needs. I read on way to and back from work.

  • Amy de la Fuente

    I take a book with me in my purse or work bag so if I find myself early to an appointment or needing to wait I always have my book to keep me company.

  • http://openlyfeminist.tumblr.com Petya K. Grady

    This is great! Another tip: don’t think that “I’m reading a book” has to mean “I’m spending three hours each night devouring this 800-page masterpiece”. Read as much or as little as you can. It’s better to do a little bit than none at all. I have an hour-long lunch-break and spend 40 minutes of it getting my food ready, eating, socializing and the last 20 minutes with my book. I look forward to it every day!

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    Congrats on the new kid. Making it a routine is crucial, but I also I think one of the greatest things to master is the time of day when you read. Too late, and my eyes get tired. My mind is fuzzy. Too early, and the same thing. I like the late afternoon, but my schedule allows for that.

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  • http://dianneguthmuller.com Dianne Guthmuller

    Robert, I love your post.  I will pass it along.  I have had a similar experience.  A couple of years ago I felt that God was calling me to lead an online Journey through the Bible, which meant I would post a devotion from each day’s reading.  It’s amazing what happens when you commit to the cyber world.  I now have over 600 posts, i.e. devotions.  I have learned a lot and God is using “The Journey” to encourage others to know Him more through His Word!

    Blessings
    Dianneguthmuller.com

  • http://www.meeklabs.com meeklabs

    I think we all read quite a bit, we just dont sit to read for long.  We read tweets, facebook updates, emails, but nothing of real substance.  Ahh, if there was just a button we could push to make all of that information bombarding us go away.  Oh wait, whats this thing on the side of my pho…

  • Pattikayck

    I’m starting to write a list of books your interviewees have written. I am using your method to find time to learn hoe to play the piano. I’ve wanted to for years. Your system is so obvious. it’s oblivious. Thanks for the pointers. First to the piano, then to the writers’ group. I was so pleased I figured out how to make a comment on your Monotize blog. I had to practice once again. 

  • http://flourishingtree.blogspot.com HopeS

    I finally made time to read this post! I’ve had an ongoing battle with the cable company for several months now — signal problems and raised rates. Your post has inspired the perfect solution: Nixing the cable will give me peace of mind and more time to read. Thanks!

  • http://365actsoflove.wordpress.com 365 Acts of Love

    Here are ways that I find time to read/listen to books:

    (1) I listen to books while working out or cleaning.
    (2) I read instead of watch TV (though I watch some TV).

    Other suggestions: (1) Start small–read 15 minutes a day; (2) read whenever you have a spare moment; and (3) read with your spouse so you’re still spending time with him/her.   

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I have experienced setting goals work wonders for me. When I go with a deadline, I tend to complete it  within the timeframe. For instance, booksneeze, tyndale blog network, etc expect the audience to post review within a set time limit. This ensures that I complete reading those books as fast I could.

    Thanks for your professional tips Robert.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t imagine not making time to read!

  • http://twitter.com/RickSmith Rick Smith

    First child…? Congrats! :)

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    I need to read more! Instead of surfing the web sometimes, I just need to put away the net and open up a simple story. A story about God or a story about inspiration. The Bible. Something!

    Thanks for trying to keep me in check. :)

    James
    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

  • Damir Butkovic

    Hey,

    For me it works the best if I have  certain time when I start to read, like 11pm for example. At that time i would stop everything I am doing and go and read.

    Cheers,

  • Anonymous

    Appointment setting is nothing but the arranged meeting between client and salesman.  It can save your lots of time . Now a days it is so much useful in big companies or firms.

    appointment setting

  • Heather

    As I college student I can totally relate to all of this. My friends will catch me reading a book non-school related and gasp because they just dont see how I could possibly have the time to do such a thing. For me it’s a matter of keeping my sanity. With all of the reading that I’m forced to do for school I need to chose something for myself that I can just enjoy. It’s a way of relaxing while still letting my mind be active, whereas watching a movie means becoming a vegetable for
    A couple of hours. I normally take 30 minutes everyday or every other day, depending on the homework load for the week, and just dedicate it to my book of choice. I switch between more difficult authors, like c.s Lewis, and easier more modern day novelists. (I’m just a lover of a good story). The last one that I read was The Help by: Kathryn Stocket and I must say it was so fantastic.
    I will also say that having my iPad makes reading so accessible when traveling. I still prefer the feel of a real book, but ebooks have become a huge part of my life.

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    Robert, thanks for the great advice.  I especially liked #5-“Mix it up.”  This is a good thing for me to hear… I typically read a narrow range of books–non-fiction, mostly.  I’ll have to look into some fiction books :)

  • http://www.joyfullythriving.com Kristen

    What a great reminder of ways to make reading take precedence in your life. Last year, I started writing down all the books I read and found that I read 97 books. I was so disappointed that I didn’t make it to 100! That’s my goal for this year…and I’m almost there. Making reading a priority is so important. Thanks for that reminder!

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Love the post, Robert!  If you look at the statistics at how much television the average person watches – most people would have plenty of time to read – they could just turn off the tube!  Great ideas, though, on how to develop the discipline of reading – thanks so much!

  • shellyanglin

    Wonderful! I love the thouht that “finding time,” is impossible and “making time,” is imperative. Of all the reasons we have for not living the very life we most desire, “I don’t have time,” as if we are victims of the clock, is so defeating. At the very least, we need to accept our own choice and say, “I prefer to spend my time elsewhere.”

    I appreciate you reminding me! Thank you!

    Shelly
    http://www.areyoulivinginjoy.com

  • Jared Detter

    Read while you’re doing things you already do.  I read while I brush my teeth.  I have an electronic toothbrush that runs for two minutes.  If I read one page every time I brush my teeth, I will read an additional 730 pages per year.  If the average book has 300 pages in it, I’ve read almost 2.5 extra books that year.  If the average book has 200 pages in it, I’ve read almost 4 extra books that year.  I also take a book with me when I work out.  Instead of just staring at myself in the mirror for 30 seconds as I rest between sets, I read one page.  Apply that principle to stuff you already do, and you’d be surprised how you come up with opportunities.

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  • http://momonthegoinholytoledo.com/ Kat

    I think setting a goal is a great idea.  I am a work from home mom of 3 (toddler, preschooler, and kindergartener) and I am currently reading 2 different books.  I have made it a routine that I only read one of the books while I wait in my car to pick up the kiddos from school.  I have found that I am always early because I enjoy reading as many pages as I can before school let’s out.  So, reading has actually made me punctual for pick-up. The other book I tend to read here-and-there but I have found that escaping to the laundry room to read a few pages quietly to be highly effective.  It seems to be the one room in our house that only mom dare to enter. You have inspired me; I think I will set a goal.  But will I succeed? With advice like this yes! Yes, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)

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  • Akinsjob

    Thanks for this Michael.

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  • Anonymous

    My goal for this year is to read one book a month (that is besides the textbooks I must read and the devotional that I read each morning). I am also posting this goal on my blog. Again,  this post is just what I needed to read! 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      You’ll accomplish that with no problem Vanessa! Just break it down into easy to accomplish steps like how many pages a day you will need to read, use any spare time you have, and try not to fall behind.

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  • http://www.odd-news.net/ weird news

    Awesome idea, definitely i’ll give it a try. Thanks for share. :)

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  • http://twitter.com/Chyzob chibuzo ogbonna

    I am totally new here and gbam … I’m totally sold to this blog.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dawit.w.degefa Dawit Worku Degefa

    I have to love reading first, the concept of reading, and then no matter what reading will be one of my basic needs.

  • http://twitter.com/Nathan_Roten Nathan Roten

    I have found myself struggling with this very issue.  Thanks for the insight!

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  • Xuan96-smile

    i shall read after dinner… having my homework completed as the only term XP
    thanks for the motivation :)

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  • Prem

    Great tips. I love reading, but started struggling to finish books. A few months back, I started rising early – 4 am and after a light session of Yoga, started reading books I love. The quiet is amazing and I could read better. I am much happier nowadays. Cheers

  • Roso2son

    IF you are in your own house, go dress up & put your shoes on. That way when you start reading, you don’t just lie down on your couch & read for 5 minutes & sleep on w/ your book for an hour! I find this “ritual” as self-restraining, to avoid what must be avoided: snoring. Or better, I leave the house  & swing by the nearest Starbucks coffee shop. That you know it aint your house & you are not suppose to sleep in a public place like the coffee shop. Besides, caffein & your fave book are good chums. For me, I find both ways effective & practical….

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  • Fabian Markl

    I have another Dr. Seuss for you, whenever you have finished a nice novel:

    “Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened”

    This article is great! Because you have exactly one life to read the greatest books on the planet.
    On average, a person reads merely one book per year, which means that most people may never be able to do what you are doing, and know what you are knowing.

    I have been an average reader (and I am a graduate student) most of my life, but in the past few years I increased my reading amount from 10 books per year to 100 books per year.
    It keeps growing year by year.

    Some simple almost primitive reading techniques helped me to double my reading speed in few weeks by myself.

    Enjoy, your novels!

    All the best,
    Fabian Markl.

    http://www.rapidstudents.com/

  • http://www.victorsbookshelf.com/ Victor’s Bookshelf

    Hi Robert (and Michael)!

    I recently found your blog. I have, just like you it seems, set out to read more books. I think that I will stick mostly to non-fiction, but that might change.

    I have discovered that I really enjoy reading, but you are right, if we do have a busy schedule, we do have to make the time for reading (and most of us probably can!)

    VIctor

  • http://www.vocepodefalaringles.com.br Eduardo Souto

    I have a goal, I must read one chapter of a book until the end of it so, for example:

    If this book has 30 chapters, it will take me 30 days to finish the whole book and so on!

  • http://simply-typed.com sheree stowe

    My eyesight has declined and it helps to read books via audio. However, there is just something about holding a book and reading the old fashion way. So, I spend Sunday afternoons reading in print. Awesome article. Love it!