…when everything else seems to get in the way.

I know we’ve all been there. We claim we can’t read the latest next best paranormal romance because we don’t have time. We can’t possibly squeeze in a book on the writing craft because we have too many things on our plate. I mean we have kids and jobs and lives. How can reading possibly get any kind of priority, especially when we’re trying to crank out some writing, too? This just goes beyond the impossible. This is just asking too much.

FALSE, I say! Just flat out false!

We here at the place (being K. A. Holt, Jessica Lee Anderson , E. Kristin Anderson, Madeline Smoot, Mari Mancusi, and sometimes member Jenny Ziegler) are going to disagree with the global statement that there is no time to read. We have the answers you need.

We give you the Top Ten Ways to Make Time for Reading:

1) Locate an isolated closet in the house.
Purchase a reading light and a year’s supply of batteries. Using crayons, create a “DO NOT DISTURB” banner to post on the door. Tell your family to respect the banner. When they call for you, do not answer.

2) Read during your daily commute.
Unless you’re the driver. In which case you should listen to audiobooks.
Actually whether you commute or not, audiobooks are a fantastic way to add extra books to your list. They make cleaning and cooking and commuting and grocery shopping and everything better.

3) Set aside an hour at bedtime before turning off the light.
This might mean turning off your TV and laptop earlier to make time to snuggle up with a book, or it could mean staying up a little later. Either way, it’s great relax-y time.
And really, even if you’re too tired, it’s okay to fall asleep reading.

4) Visit the library with your family.
Everyone gets to curl up with a book for a while.
(Yes, admittedly, this will make some moms roll around with laughter. It’s very kid dependent.)

5) Buy a pair of reading glasses, download the appropriate app, and read a novel on your cell phone.
Just think how fast you can flip through those words.

6) Always keep a book on your person.
In your purse, in your manpurse, on your phone, whatever. Then, wherever you are, you have something to read.
Take *that* line at the post office.

7) Read aloud to your kids.
But you get to pick the book and they have to listen. It’s the perfect opportunity to re-read THE HOBBIT while spending time with your family. They’re happy so long as they get to hear your voice.

Always the perfect read-aloud

8 ) Turn ‘date night’ into a ‘reading date night’ and alternate reading pages out loud to your significant other.

9) Stop watching TV.
I know, it’s hard to fathom this, right? But all of “your shows”… well, they don’t need you. The feeling is not mutual.

For the record, Star Trek is an exception.
Geordi LaForge—I mean Levar Burton—knew how to find the right balance.

10) Stop making excuses.
Stop pretending reading doesn’t matter for your writing. That writing is the only thing that matters. Reading does matter. It matters more than anything else. So read a book already.



PJ Hoover loves any excuse to read a great book!

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Filed under P. J. Hoover

6 responses to “Writing from the Place: TEN WAYS TO MAKE TIME FOR READING

  1. Natalie Aguirre

    This is great advice. I always have an audio book for exercising, long drives, and doing work around the house. And I mostly read at night rather than watch TV. Even with this, there are tons of books I can’t get to. But I’m glad I read as much as I do.

  2. Love this post! I keep ebooks on my iPod for when I’m waiting somewhere and after lights-out at bedtime, as well as audiobooks for when I walk to work. I’m also tackling my TBR list this year, keeping a stack of library books by the couch and using San Antonio Public Library’s hold and inter-branch loan systems to save me time picking up books.

  3. I started reading audiobooks in my commute time a number of years ago, and since then find them expanding into all parts of my life–as you say, cooking, cleaning, all kinds of things!

    This post was full of fun advice, and a good reminder that writers need to be readers, whatever that takes!

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