When Life Gets in the Way: 5 Tips to Read More

Who among us wishes they had more than 24h in a day? 

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I often think about all the things I could do with a little bit of extra time. I could go to that yoga class in my hometown I’ve been dying to try. I could go out with friends more instead of seeing them once every few weeks. Or I could bake more often because who doesn’t love more cake?

The list of possibilities is endless, but there’s one thing all bibliophiles share: we wish we could read more because, let’s face it, our TBRs are endless. 

But reading can easily take a backseat if you allow it. Before you know it, you haven’t opened a book in months because you’ve got other things to do (studying, working, going to football practice, practicing for your recital, etc.)

To help you read more, I want to share what helped me be more productive. 

1. READ ON YOUR COMMUTE

This is my number one tip. Have you ever considered how many hours, days, weeks, months you spend on public transport your whole life? Let me tell you, it’s a lot. Personally, I spend two hours on a train every day. That’s ten hours a week. It would be a shame to let that time get wasted, wouldn’t it?

Reading on the train has been a life changer for me. In the mornings, most passengers listen to music, read the newspaper or quietly sleep against the window. I used to fit into the first category, but I found that reading a book suited me much better. Surprisingly, it gives me energy and makes me excited for the day to come.

It’s a little trickier in the evenings. Most passengers are excited they get to go home and talk about their day to colleagues they share their commute with. For me, this means it’s harder to read since I need my peace and quiet to focus. But no worries. That’s what tip number two is for.

2.LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS

Now, some people consider this to be cheating, but I’m not one of them. Audiobooks are a perfect substitute for traditional reading. As I’ve said in the previous section, it’s a great way to continue reading your book when your surroundings are too loud and distracting. You can just pop in your earphones, close your eyes, and focus on the words and the story.

Audiobooks are also useful in other situations. Do you have to fold laundry, do the dishes, or make dinner? Why not listen to an audiobook while you work? Trust me, it makes chores a lot more enjoyable. Time will fly by and before you know it, you can curl up in the sofa and read another book.

3. READ WHAT YOU ENJOY

This one seems fairly obvious, but too many people read books they don’t enjoy. As you may know, I rarely (if ever) DNF a book, but I know that others get into a reading slump simply because they’re not enjoying the book they’re reading so they’d rather not read anything at all. Sound familiar?

One piece of advice: get rid of it.

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(Okay, maybe not like this. I don’t condone violence against books. Also, excuse the swearing)

If you’re struggling with time, the last thing you need is to read a book that makes you feel like you’re wasting it. Now, I’m not saying you should give up on every book after five pages, but there’s also no point in sticking with a 300 page book if you’re not enjoying it by page 100. Cut your losses and pick another one.

4. PARTICIPATE IN A CHALLENGE

The last thing you want is another deadline, right? Wrong. I’m here to tell you that setting a reading challenge will do wonders for your productivity. Committing yourself to a monthly or yearly goal such as the Goodreads Challenge will motivate you do keep reading. Let’s face it: nobody likes to lose.

5. JOIN A COMMUNITY

Are you bad at motivating yourself? Do you want someone to push you to read more, share your passion with someone, ask for recommendations? Joining the book community might just be the thing for you. Whether you decide to join the world of book blogging or bookstagrammars, you’ll find a wonderful community of like-minded people who share your passion and who’ll understand what you’re going through.

Do you like my tips? How do you find time to read? Do you ever get into a reading slump? Let me know in the comments!

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23 thoughts on “When Life Gets in the Way: 5 Tips to Read More

  1. You pretty much hit everything that helps me. My 3 hour commute gives me lots of time to read, and since I now only read what I want to, I devour books. Challenges help me read a little broader, and I am super competitive, so you know, gotta make it happen. I have fully embraced audiobooks, after figuring out which kinds work well for me (I am a visual learner). It also lets me “read” those books, which do not fit my blog (adult romances mostly).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are such great tips! Joining a challenge/community is such a huge one. I read so much last week for the Booktube-A-Thon because the enthusiasm around reading was so motivating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      Challenges are the best because they really bring out the “competitive” side in me (I’m mostly competing with myself since I don’t like to lose any sort of challenge) 😀
      It’s great to hear these things help you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post!! I can totally relate!!
    I recently discovered the miracle of audiobooks. I love that you can listen to audiobooks while doing chores, driving, walking, etc and anything that is relatively brainless! Despite not having a spare minute this week, I managed to finish When Dimple Met Rishi 🙂 I agree that it is a major timesaver!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Challenges always motivate me!! They are great!!
    Also, audiobooks are amazing. I wish more people would try them (and I don’t get why people call it cheating?!?! You get the same story whether it’s read to you or you read it yourself?). I have been able to get so many more books in! I’m always listening to one when I drive. It makes the drive so much better and I get an awesome story!!!!!

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  5. These are awesome tips, Lauren! I spend the same time as you everyday on the train and it makes me feel motivated to use this time to read…I’d much rather do that than just do nothing, or sleep ahah 🙂 Having a community to turn to is one of the best things as well, there are always more books to read, advice and support. Book blogging has made me want to read a lot more, for sure, but also read and discover so many new books. It’s a new love for reading, really 🙂
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      I’d much rather read on the train too 🙂 And I love the community, it’s the best thing about blogging and they really motivate you to read more ❤ It's definitely a new love for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, deadline stuff always helps me out! Which is why I make goals each month so I know the amount of books I want to read. And I know I DEFINITELY read on the way to and from school! That’s forty minutes in total, if I can focus. 😂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great tips! My schedule is about to get infinitely more busy and so my time for reading will be severely limited. Luckily I’ll still have time to read on my upcoming commute (Gotta take the train, too!). I’m currently listening to an audiobook but I might just have to start taking it with me instead of listening to it at home, at night, in the dark haha. The Goodreads Challenge has been keeping me motivated so far, too! 😀 Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, listening in the dark is one of the best perks of audiobooks, but you should definitely take them with you on the train as well. You’ll get a lot of reading done and it makes the train ride a lot less boring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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