I get asked frequently how I am able to read so much, while having three little kiddos running a foot. Well, I have a few strategies to share with you, but it comes down to what reading means to you. For me, reading is a form of self-care, so I am intentional with my reading time because it is meaningful to me. I have a few strategies I use to make sure I get some reading time in most days and will be sharing with you all today.
Tip #1 - Carry a book with you everywhere
My purse or backpack always has my Amazon Kindle, as well as a physical book or two, and my phone is always loaded with audiobooks from Libro.FM or from my local library. If you bring a book with you everywhere, you will surprise yourself with pockets of time you will find throughout the day where that book comes in handy. Places I have read a book: in my car in the school pick up line, in the car wash, while waiting at the microwave at work, work lunch breaks, when my kids are watching Cocomelon or Blippy for the 1,000th time. If you count audiobooks to this, the places and times you can sneak in reading time are truly endless.
Tip #2 - Audiobooks
Audiobooks are books too. They count as reading and I will not hear otherwise. I love audiobooks when I am commuting to work, walking my dog or putzing around the house. If you are new to reading or have young children and have a hard time fitting reading into your day, try audiobooks. I have a friend who only reads audiobooks because that works for her in this stage in life. As long as you're reading, the format does not count, and audiobooks can be a great way for newbie readers or those with young families.
Tip #3 - Read in the morning
This tip can be a struggle for me personally, because I need my sleep. Chasing these three kids around is exhausting, but if I make the time to wake up a little earlier than I need to and spend that time in a silent house, reading and drinking coffee, my day is immensely better. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than you need to wake up. Spend that time reading a book you enjoy. I guarantee your day will be 100x better.
Tip #4 - Read before bed
I won't get into the science that proves this because, well, science is not my fortay. But I am sure you have heard that reading before bed can help improve your sleep. Not only that, looking at a book, rather than a screen, is better for you in countless ways. I tend to read my Kindle in bed because it is easier to hold, and the screen light does not disturb my partner. Most nights I fall asleep with my Kindle in my hand, and I would not have it any other way.
Tip #5 - Prioritize yourself
When it comes down to it, if you want to incorporate reading (or any new habit) into your life, you need to take inventory of what means the most to you and prioritize yourself. When I first started this blog three years ago, I did so because I wanted to get back into reading regularly because it brought me so much joy. I went from reading a couple books a year, to reading almost every day. While it was not easy to get into the habit at first, I am so glad I made the time for myself. Reading is self-care. It makes me a better mom, partner, friend and person. Make the time and prioritize yourself.
You don't have to have endless free time to make healthy reading habits.
These are a few habits that help me make reading a priority. I hope that some of these resonate with you and help you prioritize reading in your life.