Just recently, I’d been talking to a friend when he told me, “I love to read, but I just don’t get the time for it.”
Stupefied, I simply stood there, staring at him. Now, it’s not a new revelation. People go on wanting to cultivate a new hobby for years without actually taking a concrete action towards it.
Lord knows I’m one of them. This is one of those problems that have been looming over us like a long-forgotten backache—one that’s always there, but never noticed.
For a moment, it took me by surprise. Imagine all the potential, all the experiences, that we could be missing out on, just because of a minor, self-imposed inconvenience—time?
And that’s when I knew it was time to address this. People shouldn’t go around wishing that they did something, when they could actually be doing it. So, I’ve curated a list of the top tricks that I use, to squeeze out time for reading.
Carry The Book Around
When you’re a reader, cars, parks, cafés, and any place under the sun where you get free time, is fit for reading.
Wherever you go, just carry the book with you. At best, you’ll get through a couple of pages. At worst, you’ll be mistaken for a book nerd.
Reduce Screen Time
Now now, I know this sounds like I’m preaching, but trust me on this one. We often squander hours and hours scrolling on our phones, without realising the amount of time that we’re losing.
Before this turns into a rant (check that out here) where I talk about my distaste for social media, or mobile phones in general, I’ll get to the point.
You have limited hours in a day. And most of the time, you’re in control of where your time goes. Reducing your screen time by a mere 30 minutes, and replacing it with a book can do wonders to your reading progress.
When most of us delve into the world of reading, we’re pretty clueless. Classics like 'Pride and Prejudice’, or self-help books like ‘Atomic Habits’ happen to be our first picks.
Now, I have nothing against these works. But sometimes, it’s more helpful to be a little kinder to yourself and pick books that interest you, regardless of the acclaim they garner.
Despite my abhorrence for certain Indian authors, I must admit that they’re the reason I got into reading in the first place. Granted, I’ve outgrown their works, but I’m eternally grateful to them for introducing me to reading.
What I’m saying is that while picking your books, value interest over acclaim. At the end of the day, it’s better to read an engaging book by an unknown author than to quit a Russian classic halfway through.
(On that note, here's a list of books that you could start with)
Find A Friend
Now, I get it, humans are social animals. We tend to seek social connection in the form of late night parties, galas, fiestas, and whatnot.
But what if you swap a portion of that time and spend it with a fellow bibliophile instead? Pick up the same book, and see who can get through it first.
Or even better, join a bookclub where you get to meet like-minded people with the same goals as yours! That way, you’ll even have someone holding you accountable for your reading progress.
This may sound a little hypocritical if you’ve been an ardent follower of our blogs. I know I’ve made my stance on arbitrary reading goals very clear, (read that here) but that doesn’t mean they serve no purpose.
Having a fixed goal always acts as a motivation to get your nose into that book. It doesn’t have to be a mammoth number like 50 or 30. It can 5,10, or just about anything that seems challenging enough. Remember, the goal is to outgrow your comfort zone, and not to torture yourself with impractical ideas.
To sum it up, this is how I make time for reading:
Carry your book around
Reduce Your Screen Time
Find A Friend
Is there anything that I’m missing out on? Leave a comment to let me know! If this blog helped you, please like and share the post!