I mentioned on Facebook this morning that I’ve read 199 books this year, and I’m hoping to finish one more to set me at 200. Mary asked how I possibly fit that many books into my regular life; if I had super magical reading powers, or if I’m just a super fast reader.
I do think I’m a pretty fast reader. I remember at about 10 reading a novel on the couch and my mom reading over my shoulder and her later commenting that I was turning the pages before she finished. I definitely read faster than Bart, who won’t let me read over his shoulder because it makes him nervous. I just now took a reading speed test online (who knows how accurate or correct it is), and it said I read about 522 words a minute (with sufficient comprehension) while the average reader does more like 200 words a minute.
Here is basically how I get so much reading done:
I listen to books on CD in the car. I listened to 46 books on CD this year (some I started in book form and finished on audio or switched back and forth between the two). I commute about 40 minutes each way to work, so I can get through more than a CD a day (since each CD is about 60-70 minutes long) and it’s amazing how much time you spend just running errands.
I listen to books on my iPod. I’ll download the CDs from the library to iTunes, upload them to my iPod and listen to them while I’m at the gym or cooking or folding laundry. I don’t do as much of this as I could because it can be a bit of effort to actually get them onto the iPod. I’ll try and be better about this next year.
I read during my lunch break. This was when I really started reading again in 2007. I had a 30 minute lunch break every day and I read almost every day straight through it (except for the days when I took a nap. Oh glorious sleep on the corner of the conference room floor). Now I have an hour lunch break and I try to read for most of it. You can really make some progress with just that much time a day.
What really puts my numbers high, though, I think, is when I have a weekend or day of concentrated reading. When we had the snow day a week or so ago, I read four books in about 24 hours. When I went to Utah for my Dad’s birthday in October, I read five books on the airplane. One Saturday this spring, I finished five books in one day.
I also keep a LOT of books around from the library so that I have plenty to choose from. Sometimes, if there is only one book there and it’s not one you’re interested in, you’ll just not read. I want to always have something that piques my interest. If I have five books going at one time, that doesn’t bother me at all. If I’m really enjoying something, it’s much easier to make time to read it, than if it’s something you’re slogging through.
Any other great ideas of how to fit reading in?