The biggest barrier to reading for most people is finding the time. I am going to be very mindful with my words here to acknowledge that it is a valid reason for a lot of people and not an excuse.
One of my objectives and goals is to take the guilt out of reading.There are already so many things that people feel ‘guilty’ about not doing /doing and I think reading shouldn’t be one of them.The 5 tips below can help you cultivate the habit if time is a scarce resource or commodity.
Read shorter books– This one seems pretty obvious but is one that most people neglect. If fiction is your thing go for short stories,novellas etc If you are the non-fiction type, go for smaller abridged versions(100 pages or less) of areas of interest.
Repurpose ‘waiting’ times– Doctors appointment,waiting in line at the post office,waiting at the hair dresser/mechanic etc. Use those times to get a few pages in. Every little counts
Read in short time bursts – Its very easy to set a goal of ‘Read for an hour everyday’ but we all know that it might be difficult to get an hour in with all of the things competing for our attention. So set shorter time goals e.g. 10 mins in the morning,10 mins at lunch,10 mins at bedtime. Do what works for your current season.
‘Read’ an audiobook– This is pretty self explanatory. This is time saving in the sense that you can do it while doing other things like walking,cooking,cleaning etc .This is classic habit stacking. I have a series on my YouTube channel and Instagram TV on the book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear where I go into this concept a bit more.Click on link to watch Atomic Habits Series
Read summaries– Yes I know this is sort of ‘cheating’! But guess what? There are millions of books in the world and it is unrealistic to expect that we can read them all. If reading is about learning for you sometimes all you need are the key learning points from a book. This can then set you on the path to wanting to know more. There are loads of apps like Blinkist, Instaread etc which are good tools to utilise. There are also loads of blogs/websites and book reviews(including some of mine). This is time saving as you get the essence or lessons without having to spend the hours reading the book itself.
My book loving self would always prefer that you read the book but I am willing to concede that time is such a scarce and valuable resource that we need to adapt and flex as we see fit. I hope you found these tips useful. If you did please do share with others who might also find useful.
Here’s wishing you a lovely Tuesday and week ahead!