For the past five years, I’ve had a lot of fun using Goodreads as a place to organize the books I read.
As this year comes to a close, I’ve been keeping a close watch on my 2017 Goodreads shelf which lists all of the books I’ve read over the past months. 2017 is shaping up to be my best year to date. I’ve already read 50 books, and I plan to squeeze a few more in during December.
My goal is to read approximately 4 books per month for a total of around 48 books for the entire year. Usually, I land pretty close to my goal. And this year, for the first time, I went beyond.
As a busy full time author, I don’t have a ton of reading time. In addition to writing, my schedule is often insanely busy with homeschooling, running my kids to activities, and attempting to do mom-things like cook and clean. I also volunteer in my church library, which is a lot of fun but takes time too.
Since I’m passionate about books and reading, I’m often encouraging others to read. I love finding out what genres people like and introducing them to new authors and books, especially when I’m volunteering in the church library.
Occasionally I rub shoulders with someone who responds to my reading fervor with something like: I don’t have time for reading. I’m just too busy.
When someone says something like that, I usually have to count to ten, bite my tongue, and paste on a fake smile. Almost always I encourage those “too-busy-to-read” people to give audiobooks a try.
But what I’d really like to say to them is: You’ve got to be kidding! I seriously doubt you’re all that much busier than me. And if I can manage to read (approximately 48 books a year!), then you most certainly can find time to read ONE!
Let’s be perfectly honest. Most of the time “I’m too busy to read” is just an excuse. We can usually make time for the things that are important to us (like surfing Facebook or watching TV at night). Granted, there are times and circumstances that might genuinely prevent us from reading and other pleasures. But for the most part, reading is a choice, one that we can make, no matter how busy we are.
So how does an insanely busy person make time for reading? Here are three things I’ve found helpful:
1. Schedule reading time every day. I always read right before bed as a way to unwind from the day.
2. Cut back on screen time (and social media). I find that when I have a free Friday evening or Sunday afternoon, I’d much rather curl up on the couch with a book than watch a movie.
3. Make use of audiobooks. I listen to books every chance I get—when I’m driving, exercising, cooking, etc. Audible makes audiobooks easy and portable.
This Infographic by the National Reading Campaign shows that reading is actually GOOD for you! Reading for as little as six minutes can reduce stress by 60%. All of us insanely busy people NEED to make time for reading to help us reduce stress and enjoy life!
So how about you? How many books are you on track to read in 2017? And how do you make time for reading in your busy schedule?
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