Does this sound familiar? “I really wish I had more time to read, but I can’t find the time.” Then looking at your screen time app, you see you are on social media 30+ minutes per day. This was me and…occasionally, still is. For years, I talked about reading more and how great it would be to find the time…and then I figured it out. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a “ban all social media” or “unplug the TV” post. Although, not bad ideas.
Reading was always like running to me. I loved the benefits, but hated the act of doing it. Therefore, I made up all sorts of excuses. It wasn’t until I watched my 8-year old daughter plow through all the Roald Dahl books in less than a month that I became truly inspired. Obviously, a child has more reading time. My motivation was that I didn’t want my kids to lose that passion for reading and I needed to lead by example!
First thing I did was look at my big excuses. The biggest one was “Not enough time.”
My commute: Before Covid, my commute was 30 minutes each way every workday. Listening to audiobooks was a great solution for me and it helped the drive to go by much faster. This enabled me to go through about a book each week to week and a half.
Chores: Doing yard-work or other random chores are also a great time to dive into my audiobooks.
Phone App: Our smart phones have native ebook apps or you can download one like the Amazon Kindle app for free. This can be easily leveraged while standing in line, waiting for a family member to run into the store, in the bathroom, or whenever you typically pull your phone out of your pocket to relieve boredom. Choose one situation, like while eating lunch, and read a chapter. Most of these apps can be accessed from your desktop too.
Next concern was not having enough books to read or not knowing what to read next. This one is pretty funny if you think about it, I was reading zero minutes a day and zero books a year and, yet, I was worried about running out of book ideas! Our brain really does try to talk us out of things. There is certainly a book you have heard about or have been wanting to read for awhile now. If not, go to Amazon and type in books about <something you’re interested in>. There is no shortage in available books. See below for some of my favorite books.
Lastly, “if I read more, it is going to cost a fortune.” Yes, books do come with a cost…if you want the newest books or need to own all hardbacks, there is a small investment. Audiobooks can be the biggest culprit when it comes to cost. However, $20 for the insight into some of the greatest minds like Malcolm Gladwell or to get lost in a CIA adventure with Mitch Rapp are worth it. You just have to not buy all the books at once and take advantage of some cheaper and even free options.
Cheaper: One of my favorite sites is Bookbub.com. Once you create a free account and select what you’re interested, they will send you daily or weekly emails with all the books in your favorite genre that are deeply discounted. I have purchased dozens of ebooks for my Kindle for under $2 each.
Free: Bookbub also has a free book section; however, they don’t make that section as easy to navigate. Amazon has thousands of ebooks for free and are very easy to locate. Just go to Amazon and search “free <interest> ebooks” and you will not be let down. In fact, while doing research for this article I bought a cheap book on bookbub from my wishlist that was on sale and was pulled in by a free business ebook on Amazon. Now, I have two more books in the queue.
Libraries and Thrift Stores: Remember those buildings we used to hear about called libraries? Well, they still exist and they still offer books and even audiobooks that you can check out. Thrift stores are another great option as they have all sorts of titles for garage sale prices as well.
These solutions are just some of the simple hacks to reading more that I like to leverage. Every excuse I could think of was easily accounted for when I simply took a step back to think. Yours will be too. Just go out and grab a book…whether it is from a friend, a library, bookstore, ebook, etc. and read a few pages a day. Eventually, you will finish that one and be ready for the next. Still not convinced? Have you ever heard ANYONE say they wished they read less?
Here are some ideas to get you started…
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