How Do You Make Time To Read?
When someone hears about this 101 book quest for the first time, I usually get the question, “How do you find the time to read that many books?”
It’s a valid question. After all, 101 books is a lot of books. I’ve got a full-time job, a wife, a nine-month old, a church I’m involved in, and an addiction to running in half marathons and marathons–all of which I would prioritize above reading novels. So when do I find time to read?
Generally, I read about 1-2 hours a day, and I don’t find making that amount of time all that difficult. I read 30-45 minutes at lunch, and I read for about an hour at night, after my wife and my boy are asleep, before I go to bed.
For me, I guess it all comes down to priorities. At lunch, I could read a newspaper. I could talk on my phone. I could refuse to come up for air and continue working. But that’s not healthy. So I read.
When my son goes to sleep, and with my wife usually already in bed, I find it easy to read at night. Sure, I could watch the television or play my Xbox. But reading is so much better for me.
So if you don’t think you have time to read, you’re probably wrong. Most of us have the time to read, we just don’t make time to read.
A study by the Jenkins Group said that 42% of college graduates never read another book after college. Not only that, but 80% of U.S. families haven’t bought or read a book in the last year.
How is that even possible? For some people, reading isn’t all that important. That’s a shame.
Mark Twain said: “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read.” That’s such an outstanding quote. But I’m not saying that you have to read Mrs. Dalloway or Lord of the Flies or Catcher in the Rye or even fiction at all–even though I think fiction is more inspiring and creative.
But read something. Read the newspaper. Read the Bible. Read Winnie the Pooh. Read Dave Eggers. Whatever. Don’t just sit around and stare at the television and a computer screen all day.
Now, I’m not an anti-television person—far from it, in fact. But comparing reading books and watching TV is like comparing sitting still and jogging. One of the two is obviously so much better for you.
To me, reading is like marathon training for my mind. When I read, I become a better writer. My thoughts are a little more clear and crisp. I feel energized. Seriously, I even sleep better.
If you’re reading this post—on a blog about reading—then, chances are, you are probably already a reader. So I know I’m preaching to the choir.
You understand the importance of reading. You understand how to make it a priority above stuff like television and video games—but hopefully not prioritizing above relationships, family, and the other most important stuff in life.
In our fast-paced world, we’ve got to make some time to read. Slow down. Take a breath. Read a book.
Pass on your love of reading, and I’ll do the same.
How do you make time for reading?