How to Find Time to Read (Even When You’re Busy)

Reading is an activity worth making time for. Not only is it good for your brain, but it’s an enjoyable pastime. But even book lovers can struggle with finding time to read. Day to day life is busy, full of long workdays, endless errands, and chores. Squeezing some quality reading time into your day can be a challenge. Try these tips to find time to read–even when you’re really busy.

How to Find Time to Read (Even When You’re Busy)

How to Find Time to Read in Your Busy Schedule

Build Reading Time into Your Schedule

Sometimes the issue isn’t that there’s no extra time, it’s just that you can’t quite make the time to read. Maybe you forget that reading is an option when you’re easily distracted by binging the latest shows. If you make reading a part of your regular routine, it will not only be easier to remember to read, but also become a natural part of your day. Reading before bed is a common choice for many people. It’s a great way to wind down and it’s better to stay away from screens right before sleep.

If you’re having a hard time finding the time to fit reading into your daily schedule, check out our next tips for ideas on when you can read.

Pick Books You Actually Want to Read

You’re an adult.* You can read whatever you want. Forget the book clubs, the classics, or the boring trendy books that everyone is reading but you have no interest in. If you’re not excited about a book, you’re not going to want to take the time to read it. Even if you’ve started a book and you’re not enjoying it, ditch it. You don’t have to finish it. Your reading time is precious and you shouldn’t waste it.

If you’re reading a book you’re excited about, you will find yourself picking it up more. You may even grab your book instead of grabbing your remote control. And throw away any preconceived notions about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” read. Love YA? Fill your TBR pile with tons of YA. Prefer comics? Get some graphic novels. Want to be swept away? Grab some steamy romances. Who cares. Reading time is for you and you deserve to read whatever you want.

*If you’re a teen or kid, you may have assigned readings from school, but you should definitely use your free time to read whatever you want.

How to Find Time to Read (Even When You're Busy)

Step Outside Your Normal Routine

If you find it hard to break your daily habits like watching TV after work or scrolling through social media, sometimes you need to step outside that routine to find reading time. Consider going to a cafe, turning off your phone, and reading a book while you enjoy a cappuccino. The park is another excellent place for reading time. Find a bench, absorb some vitamin D, and read a few pages from your book. And, of course, the library is a free, quiet place that’s perfect for reading time.

Listen to Audiobooks While You Do Chores

I love audiobooks because they make it easy to read while doing other things. Yes, audiobooks count as reading! And they can add hours of reading time to your day. One of the best times to listen to audiobooks is while doing household chores. Your hands can wash the dishes while your mind is transported into the world of the story.

Audiobooks are incredibly accessible these days thanks to our smartphones. You can get a membership with a service like Audible to access a variety of novels and non-fiction audiobooks.

Also, check with your local library. Many of them offer access to the Libby app where you can check out ebooks and audiobooks for free.

Swap Social Media Scrolling for eBooks

Social media addiction is a common issue these days. Sometimes I pick up my phone and automatically open Twitter or Instagram without even thinking. Time on social media is usually time wasted, so if you swap that time for reading you will feel better and have extra reading time.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to delete social media apps from your phone and download an eBook app instead. All of the major eBook stores have their own apps or you can check out what eBook options your public library offers. Whenever you’re bored or killing time waiting in line, instead of opening social media open your eBook and read.

Use Your Commute as Reading Time

If you commute to your job, that’s extra time you can use for reading. If you take public transit to your office, then you get the option of reading a traditional book or an ebook. If you suffer from motion sickness, you can listen to an audiobook instead. If you’re driving to work, you can make the time stuck in traffic a little more fun with a book to pass the time.

Try Reading Short Stories

If you don’t have a lot of time to read or have a hard time committing to a full-length book. Consider reading short stories instead. You can get short story collections by an author you enjoy or try a themed anthology full of stories in your favorite genre. There are tons of podcasts that specialize in narrating short stories, so you can even enjoy them if you mainly listen to audiobooks.

Check Out Books from the Library

Libraries are incredible resources on their own, but checking out books can actually help you read more. I know that seems weird because you probably already have piles of books waiting to be read at your house. Checking a book out from the library gives you a deadline–you will have to return that book by a specific date which gives you the motivation to read it before then. If you prefer to read eBooks, you can check those out from the library, too.

If you’re a writer, you may need help finding time to write, too.