I thought I would share with you today all the ways in which I am able to read while being a full-time college student. People sometimes are in awe by how much I read during the school year. However, I simply incorporate the following things into my daily life.
1. Read during the commercials. I tend to watch a lot of my shows and movies on Netflix now which is a shame because, growing up I used to get a ton of reading done while the commercials were on. Sometimes, I would find myself turning off the TV because I was more interested in the book. Even if you are just reading a page or two at a time, they will add up and before you know it, you have read a solid amount of your book while you were watching TV. If you are watching a show with commercials, try it out and see for yourself.
2.Read what is exciting you. If you are not feeling like reading a book, don’t. If you are struggling with reading, you need to read the books that excite you and inspire you to read for an hour or two before bed. Pick something that makes you want to read all day.
3.Always, always, always have a book with you. This is probably the most important tip I can give to you. I can’t begin to tell you how many times there are during a day in which I can whip out my book and read a few pages or even a few chapters. I read during short breaks in class, while waiting for a friend to meet up with me, or any other time when I have a few moments that I might otherwise waste by going online or simply sitting there. I have even been known to read while walking home from campus. So always keep a book with you so you can sneak in a few pages whenever the opportunity arises.
4.Don’t read if you don’t want to. If you need to take a break from reading, that is fine. I didn’t read anything during September. Nothing. NOT ONE PAGE. This is pretty much unheard of when it comes to me, but I just needed the break to get settled into the semester before picking up books again. After taking that break, however, I am excited about reading and I am finding bits of time wherever possible to squeeze in a page or two.
5.Read before bed. I find that this is a great time for me to read. It helps me relax for bed and also gives me a time free from homework, internet or other distractions where I can simply focus on the book.
6.Pick books that are easy to understand. I have a hard time trying to read really complicated or confusing books when I am really busy. When I try to read something like classics or complicated epic fantasies, I find that I can’t focus as well and end up missing a lot of the story. I try to leave those books for summer break when my mind does not constantly have to be churning out essays during school. Instead, I pick out either children’s books that I have on my TBR or short novels that are fairly simple to focus on.
7.Read more than one book at a time. This is something I have only recently begun to do over the past year. I find that this is very helpful for a few different reasons. Lately, I have been really wanting to read one of my huge, intimidating classic books. I kind of settled on reading Anna Karenina, however, I know that I will never be able to only read that book for the next few weeks. I already know that there will be some days when I come home from work brain-dead and not able to read such a difficult book as that one. So, I will go ahead and pick up the book I really want to read, Anna Karenina, but I will allow myself to read some other easier reads alongside it in order to satisfy all of my reading needs.
8.Time yourself. This is something that I don’t do very often, but when I do, it is usually pretty effective. I will tell myself to read for 30 minutes and then I will do something else. So, I buckle down and read for 30 minutes. The best part is that usually by that point, I am so interested in the book that I just just keep reading.
9.Put away the distractions. This is a hard one for me. I love to read but I get so distracted by Youtube, Netflix, blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, and tons of other things. I have found that if I truly want to read, I need to be serious about getting off the computer and opening a book. It is always a little difficult at first when I keep telling myself, “One more video.” but a few pages into a great book, I don’t miss the distractions at all.
10.Look for possible reading times. Look for times throughout the day when you could be reading but you do something else instead. Do you surf the web before bed when you could be reading? Did you watch a re-run on Netflix while waiting for your friend to come over? Did you flip through magazines while waiting for your dentist appointment? If you consciously look for times when you could be reading, you might find that you have more time than you previously thought.
I hope that these tips help you find more room in your daily life for reading. If you have any other great tips, please share them in the comments.
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