If I had a penny for every time someone has said to me that they have no time for reading, I’d be able to buy a few chocolate bars by now!
I know that there is a huge portion of society who just don’t see the point of reading or don’t think it an important part of keeping the brain ticking over. If this is you, you might want to click that little x in the top right of your screen.
There’s nothing I can say that will change your mind.
If however, you are someone who loves to read but just can’t seem to find the time then I hope that these suggestions give you some ideas.
Utilise your ‘down-time’
We all have more free time than we think. Think of those moments where you aren’t actively doing anything, like sitting in front of the television or commuting to work. I find that I can squeeze in a good 25-30 minutes’ reading on each leg of my journey (when I’m not fiddling about with my phone of course). There are days when I am staring into the abyss that is the television after a long day at work because it is the easy thing to do. Now and then I will decide against it and either turn it off or place my Kindle in front of my face! Sometimes lunch hours where I am not doing anything other than eating or chatting, provide a good excuse to read a couple of pages. And if none of that is possible, there is always the traditional ‘reading in bed’ opportunity!
2. Find a genre or topic that you are passionate about
If there is something that I am really passionate about and I so happen to be reading about it, there is little that can tear me away from that book. If you are struggling to get into reading, don’t be afraid NOT to read what everyone else is reading. Find something that really interests you and then read about it. That way the reading doesn’t feel like a chore and you are more likely to read more. It sounds really straightforward doesn’t it? I’ve spoken to so many people who just don’t know what to read.
3. Volunteer in a peer-reading programme
I’ve notice that a few companies offer the opportunity to volunteer once a week to read with a child at school. I’m not sure that anyone off the street can walk into a school, demanding to read with a child (for safety reasons of course!). But, I am confident that there are at least 10 people out there who work at companies which offer this volunteering opportunity via a special programme. You’d be doing a good deed and actually reading a book. I used to read with younger children and helping with their literacy many moons ago. It’s such a rewarding experience to make a difference to a child at a crucial time in their educational development.
4. Find a part-time job in a bookshop (or volunteer at a charity shop with a books section)
I used to work for a popular chain of UK bookstores and landed the job by simply walking in and applying in response to an ad in the window. It was difficult not to find the time to read especially when a large part of the job involved recommending and talking about books – apart from selling them of course!
If you are in the UK, The Bookseller is a good site to browse for jobs in the sector (If you want to make a huge career change). There are a number of Oxfam Bookshops and plenty of smaller independent bookshops wherever you are, who I am sure would love to hire you if you can demonstrate your enthusiasm for books!
5. Join a book club (or start your own!)
This is something that I have wanted to do for the longest while, but a book-club is a great way to meet people and to encourage you to read something you may not have ordinarily read before!
I’m seriously considering finding my nearest one. Watch this space!
How do you find time to read?