Today I have the privilege having a good blogging friend of mine, Lisa Mullen from The Merry Momma, provide a guest post. She has been an inspiration to me with being disciplined in reading. I hope she inspires you as well!
Last year, I read 45 books. (Here were my top 10 favorites!) Already in 2018, I’m on track to blow my goal of 52 out of the water. I live and breath books. And talking about them is as much fun for me as actually reading them. I love to share what I’m reading in any way I can — in person, on my blog, and on the job. (I manage a small Christian bookstore.)
I regularly get asked, “What are you reading?” or “Know of any good books I should read?” (Um. Are you really prepared for that answer?) or even, “What should I read next?” I have come to be known as someone who both loves giving and appreciates getting book recommendations. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s a conversation I have on a daily basis, especially now that I have a more public platform.
But I am also often asked, “How do you find the time to read?”
And the simple answer is… I don’t.
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I don’t ever find the time to read; I make the time to read.
I know, I know, semantics. But “finding time” is so passive, like, “Oh hey! Here’s some time! I think I’ll read!” And that’s just not how it happens at all.
I’m very intentional about creating space for reading in my daily schedule. Because it’s important to me, I make it a priority.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. And, for the most part, we all get to decide how to spend them.
But we also all have different priorities, and that’s okay! Reading doesn’t have to be high on your list of priorities. (I do, however, believe that at least a few minutes of reading a day is highly beneficial for our minds and our souls.
It is high on mine, though, for a few reasons:
- It feeds me – mentally, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, etc.
- I want to be a lifelong learner
- I want to model a habit of reading for my kids
- It’s part of my job
- I want to share good books with my blog readers
- I just love it! And I think every mom needs to do something she loves on a regular basis.
Now that I’ve explained why I make time to read every day, here’s how I do it:
5 WAYS TO MAKE TIME TO READ
- I made it part of my morning routine.
I start every morning with at least 30 minutes of Bible reading, prayer, and one of my current books of choice. This book is usually either a spiritually edifying book, a motivational book, or a parenting book.
- I made it part of my evening routine.
I used to just work, work, work until it was time to go to bed. But I found that it was making me worn down, cranky, and restless at night. After taking Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Evenings Course, I started reserving the last 30 minutes before bed as reading time. It has drastically improved my mood and my quality of sleep.
- I take advantage of car trips.
Anytime we’re going to be in the car for an extended period of time, I take a book. I don’t always read the entire time – I talk to the boys and my husband, too – but it’s often a good opportunity to get some reading in.
- I use my Kindle App.
I’ll be honest – I MUCH prefer reading a physical book to an electronic version. But there are some real advantages to having the Kindle app on my phone. For one thing, it means that I always have a book with me, because I always have my phone. This makes it really easy to sneak in a few minutes of reading here and there whenever I find a “down” minute.I recently heard someone on a podcast say that she made her way through War and Peace in large part because she read snippets on her phone while waiting in line at the grocery store! I’m not quite that committed, but it has come in handy while in various times of waiting, while getting ready in the morning, or during *ahem* bathroom visits. If you only have a few minutes to spare throughout your day, downloading books to your Kindle app may be the golden ticket to reading more this year! (And don’t forget – you can download them for free through your local library!)
- It’s my recreational activity of choice.
Finally, I make time to read during those times that anyone pursues a hobby or recreational activity. Anytime I have a chance to relax — Friday nights, lazy Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons, vacations, etc. — I choose to read. What can I say? I love to read!
There you have it – my “secret” to how I read so many books. It’s not a matter of “finding” time (what mom has time just fall in her lap??). I literally make time to read, because it’s important to me. And I don’t feel guilty for doing something that fuels me and constantly inspires and equips me to be a better person. And you shouldn’t either! 🙂
What about you? Do you have any tips for making more time to read, or is this an area of struggle for you? Share in the comments below!
Lisa is a wife, mom of two boys, bookstore manager, and blogger. She writes at themerrymomma.com, a blog devoted to encouraging moms to embrace motherhood with joy and intention. When she’s not working or taking care of her growing family, she can usually be found cooking, enjoying their country oasis, and, of course, reading her heart out. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Plus, click here to subscribe to her Newsletter.