But I knew there had to be more ways that people were fitting reading into their lives and I asked my Instagram community to share their best tips for fitting in more reading. And WOW did you all deliver!
If you’re looking to fit more reading into your busy life, these are really great suggestions and I hope they help you make reading a more regular part of your life.
Here are 35 terrific tips for how to read more!
35 Ideas For How To Read More
- Audiobooks. This is my #1 recommendation too! When you can listen while you do something else, it’s an absolute game changer and I was so thrilled to see so many of you mention what a difference it’s made for you. (And if someone wants to tell you that audiobooks don’t count as reading, ignore them. They can spend their time worrying about semantics and you can spend your time enjoying books in whatever format works for you).
- Pick up a book instead of your phone. Ah, the smart phone – both the greatest tool and the biggest time suck on the planet. One of my best tricks is to put my phone in another room while I read so I’m not tempted to pick it up “for just a second.”
- Take a book with you when you wait at appointments or in the grocery pickup line. There is often so much wasted time at an appointment and if you can spend that downtime reading a book, you’ll be able to fit in lots more reading!
- Read while you’re on the treadmill, exercise bike or elliptical machine. I love this one! I listen to audiobooks while I run and many of my books are strongly connected to my runs in my mind. It makes it way easier to run when I have something fun to listen to!
- Have multiple books going at once. Yes, yes, yes! This is a game changer for me (and I’ve heard from so many people that they thought they’d never be able to mentally keep track of multiple books at a time but it turned out to be just fine!). It’s easy for one book to really clog up your reading if it’s a slow read or one that you only occasionally feel like picking up. Having multiple books to choose from means it’s easier to pick something up. Plus, lots of people (myself included!) like having something going on audio, something on their kindle and something in paper.
- Make reading seem like a treat, never a chore. This person said, “I have no problem finding time for treats” and I love this framing!
- Listen to audiobooks on double speed! I listen to all my audiobooks at double speed and it’s the best – normal speed often is much slower than regular conversation and its easy for your mind to wander when it’s too slow. One woman said, “Now I can’t stand them at regular speed!”
- Use the Kindle app on your phone. This was another frequent recommendation for how to read more – if your phone is always with you, it’s a great way to make sure you always have a book on hand (and the kindle app is free for everyone, even if you don’t have a Kindle reader!).
- Listen to an audiobook while you commute. Back when I was a librarian, I had a 30 minute commute each way and I listened to SO MANY audiobooks on that drive (whenever I think of that drive, I think of listening to the extremely excellent Bloody Jack series). Now I work from home, but on the rare occasions that I’m making a solo drive, I love using the time to listen to my current audiobook.
- Swap out watching TV for reading. This certainly doesn’t mean you can’t watch ANY television, but if you can replace a bit of it, you’ll get back some good reading time!
- Get a Kindle! I’m a MASSIVE fan of my Kindle – it’s just the best for no-distraction reading and so portable. One woman said, “I went from hardly reading, to reading 50 books after I got my kindle in February.” If you have questions about Kindle readers, I have a whole post about them here.
- Buy an alarm clock and charge phone in another room at night. I did this about three years ago (this is the alarm clock I have) and it’s been a game changer for me in many ways, including less distracting when I read at night in bed.
- Read first thing in the morning. This is my favorite Saturday or Sunday morning routine – I keep my book or Kindle next to my bed and since my phone isn’t next to my bed, it’s easy to pick up my book instead and read for a bit before the day begins. And it also just feels SO LUXURIOUS!
- Use screen time limits for social media and other time suck apps. Obviously i’m never going to get rid of Instagram, but a screen time limit can help you enjoy it without it using more time than you want to give it.
- Keep your earbuds handy. I loved this suggestion – it’s great to listen in the grocery store or when you’re running other errands.
- Get a shower speaker! This is such a clever suggestion for how to read more – pop a waterproof bluetooth speaker in your shower and you can listen to your audiobook while you wash your hair!
- Keep a list of books you want to read. When you finish a good book, there is always that “what’s next feeling!” If you already know what’s next on the docket, it’s easier to jump right into another good book.
- I committed my lunch break at work to reading and not looking at my phone. This was another great suggestion – if you have that break in your day for lunch, it’s a wonderful time to add a little more reading to your day.
- Arrive early for things and spend extra few minutes in the car reading. This sounds WAY better than screeching up late to an appointment!
- Read while eating breakfast or lunch. This has been my favorite routine since I was a kid. One mom said, “I read while I eat breakfast. Only 5 minutes but sometimes it’s the only peace I get all day!”
- Read for 30 minutes every night before bed! I often go to bed earlier so I can get in more reading time – it’s such a nice time to wind down at the end of the day too.
- Invest in a good pair of earbuds so I could/would listen to audiobooks easily. This was a terrific suggestion – I love my Raycon Everyday Earbuds and listen to audiobooks all the time with them!
- I catch a train to work and consciously call that my reading time, not work or phone time. It’s so easy to let all excess time go to work or phone usage, so this is a genius suggestion!
- Carpool line reading. If you pick up your kids from school or other activities, you often have small blocks of time to read while you wait for them. This is a great time to fit in more reading!
- Do a little reading here and there. One mom said, “I do a little in the morning before my kids get up, little during quiet time, a little before bed. It adds up!” Another said, “I had to become okay reading for few minutes here and there instead of always needing a block of time.”
- Read books that are fun! I believe this so much! That doesn’t have to mean you read nothing but fluff, but there are lots of great books that are engaging and interesting without being a slog. Look for those books!
- Do not finish a book you’re not enjoying. Nothing will kill your reading like a book you aren’t enjoying. If it’s hard for you to actually quit a book, try just putting it aside temporarily and replacing it with something you’re more interested in reading. Then you can decide later whether it’s worth coming back to that book or not.
- Schedule specific time for it! One woman said, “I tell my kids, this is my time to read.” It’s much easier to fit in more reading when you have time blocked out for it.
- Set a page goal. One woman said, “25 pages a day. Before bed.” Yours might be 2 pages or 100 pages, but a page goal might make it easier for you to make it happen.
- Use the Forest app to focus. I talked about the Forest app in this blog post about reducing your screen time and it’s so helpful for me to be able to focus without distraction.
- Every time I sit down, I try to read a chapter before I scroll. A personal rule like this can be so helpful and I love the person that suggested this one!
- Read while your kids are around. One mom said, “I wanted my kids to see me with a book more than phone. It took my book count from 5 to 89.” I love this so much – what a great example to your kids of reading plus prioritizing the things you love!
- I teach and we do silent reading time everyday and I read right alongside the kids! This is such a good one. You can also implement it at home too, if your kids have a certain amount of time they need to read for school each afternoon or evening – sit down with them and read your own book!
- Read while nursing or rocking a baby in the night. One woman said, “Using a kindle, read when I nurse my baby instead of scroll.” Plus, the Kindle Paperwhite has a warm light option so it’s often easier to go back to sleep in the middle of the night when you read rather than the blue light of a phone waking you up too much!
- Bring a book to the park while the kids play. I’ve spent so many happy hours on a park bench reading in the sunshine (or shade on a hot day!) while my kids run and play. Win-win!
Any other suggestions for how to read more? I’d love to hear them – please share in the comments!