"I would love to read more, but I just don't have the time."
I'm surprised by how often this excuse crops up when I'm discussing books with others. It's true that in our modern-day lives we tend to stay busy, especially those of us in college. But to have no time to read at all? That's just a tragedy. And a misconception.
Think about it. There are 24 hours in the day. The average person spends about 7-9 of these sleeping. That still leave us with 15-17 hours. Now, how much of this time do you spend on your iphone, ipad, facebook, or that addictive time-devourer known as pintrest? And yet we can't find any time to read? Hmm.
The truth is, it's not that you don't have time--it's that you're not using your time wisely. You don't have to read a book a week, you just have to start reading. Even if it's just a few pages a day. In order to squeeze some reading time into your hectic schedule you'll have to get creative. Here are some ideas to help:
1. Read While You WaitHave a Doctor's appointment? Dentist? Chirtopractor? Instead of flipping through those boring magazines in the waiting room, bring along your book! (You don't want to touch those magazines anyway, some little kid probably snotted on them).
2. Read On Your BreakTake your book to work with you and read during your break. Even if it's just 15 minutes, you'll still be able to squeeze in a few pages. (And it's more productive than spinning around in the chair in the break room).
3. Read While You WorkoutGive your body and your brain a workout at the same time. Listen to an audio book on your ipod while walking, running, biking, etc. Some treadmills even have a place where you can set your book and read while you workout. (Just don't fall on your face. People might laugh at you).
4. Read While You Drive (But Not Literally)Get an audio book to listen to while you drive to work, school, etc. (Because you know the radio is going to be playing the same handful of songs. And you've heard "Call Me Maybe" so much that you now sing it in your nightmares).
5. Read Inbetween ClassesTurn those obnoxious gaps between your classes into an opporunity for some reading time. (Let's be honest, you know you're not really going to use that time to do homework anyway).
6. Read Before ClassGet to class 15 minutes early and bring a book with you. Instead of staring at the clock wishing class was over before it's even started, you can sneak in a few pages. (And your Professor will think you're a dedicated student for coming to class early. Win-win).
7. Read Before BedRight before you go to sleep is the perfect time to read. Try getting to bed a little earlier to give yourself more reading time. Set a goal to read 5, 10, or more pages every night before you hit the lights. (Just don't let the late-night-reading-bugs bite or you might find yourself up into the wee hours of the morning).
8. Read While You CleanLet's face it: No one likes to clean. (Unless they're weird. But we won't judge them). Make the drudgery more enjoyable by popping in your earbuds and listening to an audiobook.
9. Read While You Cook/BakeOnce you have your food throw into the oven, flop down on the couch with your book until your food is ready. (And if you burn your food at least you have a good excuse).
10. Turn Off the ElectronicsYep, you read that right--put away the phone, ipad, laptop, etc. and turn off that T.V. (You'll be alright, I promise. Your friends won't think you died if you don't tweet about those boiled peanuts you had for lunch). Try to use some of the time you spend on facebook, texting, tweeting, etc. to get in some reading. (Your brain will thank you.)
So, there you have it! Now get to it and try out some of these tips for yourself.