School is out, work very well could slow down, and summer vacations away from the distractions of life present ample opportunities to bury yourself in a book.
We can create opportunities to increase the amount of time we read with a few tweaks to our habits.
(By the way, feel free to apply these practices appropriately to other activities you'd like to spend more time doing.)
- Put down the social media. Take the summer off of your personal social media use. Trust me, it will still be there when you get back — and chances are, it will be easier to use, less intrusive, and maybe even a little more civil.
- Can't step away from personal social media use? First, see a professional about this issue, then set limits for social media use:
- set a timer for only a few minutes, then stop when the timer goes off
- only read social media in certain situations that limit your time
- X number of stops on your train commute
- on the potty (to which you needn't admit)
- on your 15-minute breaks at work
- via certain electronic devices only (when you can access your desktop computer, for example, or at home on your tablet)
- For the record, "setting limits" includes this blog. Check in to see what's up and enjoy my delightful and entertaining posts, then get back to reading.
- Turn off the television — or whatever you use for "screen time," including You Tube, Netflix, and Hulu.
- Too radical? Then try Appointment Television, watching it "live" on the broadcast channel, or on a schedule (The Crown at 7 p.m. only on Thursdays, for example).
- Read aloud with a buddy, alternating chapters or voicing characters. This increases the time you spend with friends (in person or virtually) and you get your reading in!
- Get your family in on this deal: listen to audiobooks on road trips — or be like my friend Carole who reads aloud as her family motors down the road together. (She is hardcore.)
- Get a single copy of a book you want to read, and set a deadline to share it with a reading buddy.
- Join your library summer reading program, so you double the incentive for reading a lot. And if your library doesn't offer incentives for adults, talk to your librarians to change that.
- Visit your library regularly. Make a weekly date, or spend time there instead of at work when avoiding rush hour. Yes, this way is fraught with peril, snatching books to stack on your TBR pile, but how else can you find your next read if not at the library?
- Talk you your friendly neighborhood librarian and get introduced to books you will willingly put before other forms of entertainment.
These are just a few ideas, and no doubt you know of others that have worked for you. So, tell us: how do you make ample time for reading? Post your suggestions below, or contact me directly and I'll share with the rest of the class!