Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

Last week, I mentioned the benefits of reading and offered some suggestions for finding the right book for you. This week, it’s all about finding the time, which is a strangely appropriate plan because last week I barely had time to breathe. Here’s my best advice for getting your pages in:

Keep Your Book Handy

bag and tabletWith the exception of the occasional formal event, I never carry a bag that isn’t big enough for a paperback or my Kindle. Or both. Usually both. You never know when you’re going to end up with some unexpected free time, and that’s a great time to get your reading in. Waiting rooms, grocery store lines, arriving somewhere early…it’s hard to realize how much wait time we tend to have unless we’re actively looking at it. I know I accumulate at least half an hour every week just waiting for someone to arrive so we can start a meeting (especially since I’m terminally early, and sometimes other people…aren’t). When I started my first “real job” in my early twenties, people in the office had such different schedules that I usually ended up going to lunch alone, and reading at lunch became a lifelong habit (unless I’m with someone else, of course). You’ll also always be prepared for the unexpected, like waiting six hours for your car to get fixed after you threw a rod halfway through a four hour drive…just as a totally (not) hypothetical example. Keep your reading material close at hand, so you never miss a chance to get in a few pages.

Try Different Formats

Screenshot 2019-08-31 at 6.24.58 PMIf your reading opportunities tend to be in shorter chunks, or you’re not sure about diving into a novel, you might consider a collection or anthology. Short story, essay, and poetry collections are perfect for bite sized reading, and help you further refine your tastes. They can also be great for discovering new authors and new interests. Some of my very favorite authors I first read in a collection. The Best American series is a real treasure trove, with collections ranging from short stories to essays to food and travel writing and beyond. I especially love the Nonrequired reading collections, because of the wide range of topics and formats.

Audiobooks are another option. Listening to a book still gives you most of the mental and emotional benefits of reading one, and can give you reading time when you need your hands or eyes (or both) for something else-like driving, for instance. My first experience with audiobooks was during a period where I was living five hours away from my family, and driving home to visit one or two weekends a month. The audiobooks made the long drives fly by, and my parents grew accustomed to seeing me sitting in my car outside their house while I waited for the end of a chapter. I don’t make many long drives anymore, but I do listen every day while going to and from work, and often even when I’m just going down the street to the grocery store. I also listen while cleaning my house, exercising, and organizing my work space. Sometimes I have one book I’m reading and another I’m listening to, and other times I go back and forth on the same book (I’m totally in love with Amazon’s Whispersync function).

Make it a Priority

To Do ListIf you have decided that reading more is something you want to do, then be sure to keep that desire in the front of your mind. It’s easier to find time for the things we want to do, and the things we consider important. You can set a specific time (even on my busiest days, I always read for at least half an hour before bed) or a daily goal. Try playing around with your downtime by replacing something you normally do with a little bit of reading, and see how that works for you. If you (like me) are always making to do lists, then add your reading to the list so you don’t forget, and can have the satisfaction of crossing it off as accomplished.

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Any other timesaving tips? Read anything good lately? Let’s chat.

18 thoughts on “Worth Trying: Read More, Part Two (Finding the Time)

  1. Paul says:

    I think making it a priority is probably the most significant thing anyone can do. As with any activity, if you leave it until after everything else, you will never get around to it.

    In my case, commuting by train has proved to be a real boon. It’s forty minutes each way and an ideal time to pull out a book.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I used St. Louis’s metrolink system when I worked downtown (a long time ago), and I wish it was feasible to do so now. I definitely preferred it to the daily drive I have now, so I’m a little jealous of you. Of course, I like this job better, so it’s a net win…but I do miss reading on the train.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to always bring a book with me when I used public transportation to get to work/class; I got so much reading done that it was almost obscene. Looking back, that was actually a nice arrangement: no parking fees, minimal gas usage, reduced stress, and lots of time to read.

    Like you, though, it’s no longer feasible for me to use public transit 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m lucky that there’s always enough parking at work (we have our own lot), but the gas usage and stress (I’m actually not a big fan of driving) are pretty lame. At least I have my audiobooks to get me through it. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Audiobooks to the rescue!

        I love driving – as long as there are no lights, no traffic, no bad wether, and no construction delays.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kagould17 says:

    All good tips Amanda. Also, find a page turner or a really spell binding series where you just can’t wait to find out what happens next.For instance War and Peace is likely not a good read if you are not already dedicated to reading. Hope you are having a great weekend. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Absolutely. The need to know is a powerful motivation.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thanks. Happy Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tips, Amanda. I’d like to try audiobooks, but my attention span is always problematic. There are some mysteries available only by audiobook, so I might have better results with them. Hope you’re having a wonderful Labor Day weekend !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shell Vera says:

    Agree with these tips. Something I like to do is but the book on kindle to see how I will like it and then if I find myself highlighting a lot, I’ll go buy the physical book. I then ensure I finish the Kindle version at least by scrolling through to the end so the author had good stats for people who finish the book, as I don’t want their stats to look like I didn’t finish when the truth is I liked it so much I got the physical book instead.

    Like

  6. fakeflamenco says:

    Thanks for the good post. For me, reading is a reward at the end of the day, when I finish a post, or while I’m waiting for the water to boil… I also read to research for posts, that keeps me turning pages. : ) Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I give myself a chapter or two when I’ve been working hard for a while and need a break.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    You know, reading a real book almost seems healthier… I think I give myself a headache looking at a screen all the time… being able to read off the page and actually turn the pages kind of gives you this nostalgic connection to what you’re reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I do some screen reading and some ebook reading. I like to mix it up. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lara/Trace says:

    Amanda, you are so organized. I admire that!

    Like

  9. I always try to squeeze some reading during the day 🙂
    Great tips 🙂

    Like

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