13 Ways Book Lovers Make More Time for Reading

Posted by Hayley on September 27, 2018

So many books, so little time? Every reader's been there. We asked on Facebook and Twitter: How do you make more time for reading? From savvy tips ("Listen to audiobooks while you drive!") to cheeky suggestions ("Just don't sleep!"), these are the ways your fellow book lovers fit reading into their busy lives.

1. "Throughout the day I play a little game. I read a chapter (just one) and then I get up and clean something. Example: Go and sweep the kitchen floor. Then read a chapter. Then fold a load of clothes and put them away. Then go read another chapter. I can do this all day. It works great for me!" -Shannon

2. "I always carry a book with me, so if I have to wait—like at a doctor's office—I can get some reading in." -Brigitta

3. "Get called for jury duty! Ha! Waiting can take hours. Get prepared to catch up on your reading." -Elizabeth

4. "I take the bus to work instead of my car, which saves me money and gives me lots of time to relax and read!" -Michelle

5. "Well, I stay up late reading, which has lead to a mild sleeping disorder…but, guys, books are worth it!" -Kyushu

6. "I wake up a little earlier each day and enjoy a book with breakfast." -Kaitlynn

7. "I am a huge fan of audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks while driving, taking a walk, cooking, and traveling…. Audiobooks offer huge opportunities to make the most of your time while you are doing something else." -Emile

8. "Instead of watching TV before bed, I read! You sleep better that way, too. -Raquel

9. "I actually 'plan' my reading time each day and night. Even if I have a hectic day, I schedule at least 30 minutes for myself." -Susan

10. "It's not the safest way to make time, but I read while walking to work." -Eliza

11. "I've actually called in sick when I've been reading something particularly good!" -Angela

12. "I watch TV a LOT. However, it finally dawned on me that the commercial breaks these days are much longer than they used to be. So I keep my book with me when I'm watching TV, and I can get several pages read during commercial breaks. I average about 30-40 pages per night this way!" -Sara

13. "Get old. Retire from your job. Presto! More reading time!" -Linda

How do you make more time for reading? Share your tips in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
Finding the 1,000 Books to Read in a Lifetime
Paulo Coelho's 'Hippie' Travel Tips
The Most Beloved WWII Novels of the Last Decade

(Top image credit: Beauty and the Beast)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 196 (196 new)

TheBohemianBookworm These are great reading habit to implement.

The Daydreamologist I take my book everywhere I could - including the bathroom- and whenever I find a moment to read, well , Bye-bye, reality.

MoodyReader2.0  Well it's like time has got wings now. There's soo little time to read. So i usually carry my book and read in the school bus, before sleeping, during the 5-10 min between classes at school. And alternate my studies with novels, like one chapter of school book then one chapter of novel...that keeps the boredom away for me atleast

message 4: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea If I am reading something really good I will carry my book with me all around the house or when going out so if I have a spare minute while doing something like while waiting for something to cook in the microwave or water to boil I can get in a few extra pages at a time. It is also handy to take a book with when picking up pizza in case there is a delay or they get your order wrong then you can read more while you wait.

message 5: by Mayke ☕️ (new)

Mayke ☕️ Such fun ideas !

message 6: by Daniela (new)

Daniela If I go on a trip, vacation, anything I try to bring my book(s) with me. It makes the waiting a lot easier, specially if you are trying to be not so dependent of social media. Instead of watching/reading unimportant matters I read something either interesting or that has meaning to me.

message 7: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I do number one all the time!

message 8: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones I go everywhere by train (or foot), and always have a book with me. That way, waiting time = useful time :)

I haven't dared to try reading while walking...

message 9: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight I read on my lunch break at work. Also, I've been known to bring a book to the restaurant when I'm invited out to eat with a group. If I get tired of the conversation, out comes the book. My friends are understanding of this, but it has gotten me some weird looks from waiters and other diners (though at least once a waiter has stopped to ask what I'm reading and share book recs!).

message 10: by Shawndra (new)

Shawndra I alternate between audio books I listen to while working, cooking and cleaning. Online books I read at work between tasks, on breaks and lunches. Then paper copies I read before bed, in the tub, using a cardio machine.

message 11: by Blake (new)

Blake Wang I always read before I go to bed, and now I try to read on trains as well. It is far better than waste your time on your phones all the time.

message 12: by Hannahrose (new)

Hannahrose I read my book on the way to and from school on the bus, when I get home I read when I eat my lunch and I always read into the night before I got to sleep :)

message 13: by WebkinzByN (new)

WebkinzByN I used to read while walking but stopped when I almost got hit by a car. I'm always reading.

message 14: by Otchen (new)

Otchen Makai I have been known to read while I'm walking my dogs.
People stop and stare all the time at the spectacle of it.
The dogs are tied on around my waist, at heal distance - so they can't get into trouble or get hurt, which also helps keep them focused on walking instead of whatever else.
I read with the book angled to where I can see the sidewalk directly in my path, the sidewalk up ahead, the dogs at the side of me and everything else around the book which is pretty centered in the middle of everything while still giving me a view of everything.
People have their opinions, and that's nice for them, but I know what works for me and this is the ultimate way to make sure everyone is happy ( for me, in my situation).
It's pretty much the only way I can make enough time to get my reading in mostly uninterrupted.
I also take the book with me to the dog park, but that never works out. lol
I do manage to get a little reading in before bed, but not really as the dogs feel this is also their time for getting pets. lol.
Hence my routine.

message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Definitely #2 and #8! However, I've found that when I take a book to read in line, there either is no line or it moves very quickly. But if I forget my book, there will always be a slow-moving line!

As for reading before bed, that is what I do instead of being on my computer/phone because it doesn't mess up your sleep cycles.

message 16: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Before I got married I always read before going to bed, but then my routine changed... A LOT! Mostly I did my reading at work (I had the bad habit of staying late), now I changed my job and I have to drive so what I do now is I read in the car for about 20 minutes before heading home.

message 17: by Anne (new)

Anne If you read 3 pages while brushing your teeth, you can read 2190 pages extra in one year - about 10 novels!

message 18: by Flora (new)

Flora Smith I manage to read while at work. I have two monitors so I have my ebook open on one of them.

message 19: by David (new)

David My list:

#1 Stop watching TV
#2 Never, ever go on Facebook
#3 Switch from physical to ebooks on my phone, because I always have it on me
#4 Have one audio-book on the burner for dishes and working out

message 20: by Ashley (new)

Ashley A few years ago I decided that I was going to detox from tv (I was watching an obscene amount and my DVR was always full) so except for 1 hour a week I cut out tv for an entire summer. I grabbed a notebook, wrote ‘Ashley’s Summer of Reading’ on it and proceeded to spend my time reading and keeping track of it (this was before I discovered goodreads!). I was the girl who used to bring a big stack of books on vacation and I rediscovered how much I love reading. When fall tv started back up that year I cut out a bunch of shows so I had more time for reading. Now I don’t watch any tv (news and Packer games aside) and people are always astounded when I tell them I don’t watch tv. I also listen to audiobooks while I work, am doing work around the house and sometimes when I’m in the car.

message 21: by Stefani (new)

Stefani Hunt I'm a teacher, and we really stress reading at my school. The last hour of the school day is free reading time. I use that time to read. I get to read plus I'm setting an example. My students ask me what I'm reading, and they get excited for me when I finish a book.

message 22: by Carla (new)

Carla I keep multiple books on me and in my bags wherever I go. Anytime I have a free moment I pull one out and read. I travel a lot so when I go to lunch or dinner/drinks by myself I read a book. It’s very relaxing. I have to be more creative with my reading time now that I have a 6 month old!

message 23: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Robyn I always have an audio book on hand ready to listen to while I'm in the car or working out. At home, I'll turn on the audiobook while I'm cooking or cleaning, or just lounging about. At night, to prevent myself from falling asleep while listening (and totally losing my place), I switch to physical books. Works great, and I end up getting a lot of quality time in with books!

message 24: by Dung Beetle (new)

Dung Beetle For a while, I had gotten so busy that reading fell by the wayside. One day I realized that I wasn't doing the only thing I ever wanted to do, and what sense did that make?
Since then, I've been getting up an hour earlier in the mornings just to read.

message 25: by Bethany (new)

Bethany Mead Similar to the gal who mentioned reading while brushing your teeth, I read while I'm blowing my hair dry. I also have been known to have a book nearby to read during commercial breaks! :D

I also have a physical book, and ebook, and an audiobook going at all times. That way, if an opportunity presents itself to read someplace unexpected, I have a book with me (ebook). The audiobook is for the car rides and when walking the dog.

message 26: by Michelle (new)

Michelle  Silva i always bring a book, i mean always, a paperback, on my kindle or even on my cellphone and read on the subway or bus every time i take one, which is usually 2 hours commute every day, i also try to take little breaks during the day so i can read one or 2 pages at a time, and i also read before bed, which can be easily an hour or 1 hour and a half jajjajaj

message 27: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana I like to read on my break at work, i listen to audiobook in the car and i also like to read before bed!

message 28: by Lee Ann (new)

Lee Ann I have a book in some format with me at nearly all times. The wait in the Costco line, at appointments, etc. all are more manageable because reading.

message 29: by Shellie (new)

Shellie Taylor AUDIOBOOKS. I listen to them while driving and working out which is approximately eight hours every week. When the average audiobook is between 6-10 hours long, you do the math :)

message 30: by Karen (new)

Karen I listen to my books in the mornings for an hour on my 3 mile walk. You'd be amazed at how many books you go through that way. Plus I listen to books in my car and before I go to bed at night (so as not to wake my husband who goes to bed early & wakes very early). I use audible so my books are with me at all times. I take physical books on vacation, when I have more time. I can't see my life without them.

message 31: by Sam (new)

Sam Lewis I always read on the bus journey to and from work - 2 hours a day of reading means I'm going through books like never before and loving it :)

message 32: by Shawndra (new)

Shawndra Anne wrote: "If you read 3 pages while brushing your teeth, you can read 2190 pages extra in one year - about 10 novels!"

And save yourself some cavities! This is a great idea. I'm going to try it!

message 33: by Hannah (last edited Sep 27, 2018 12:08PM) (new)

Hannah Smith I realized a few weeks ago that I had gotten too emersed in social media politics and that it wasn't making me happy and I had not even read 10 books this year. I decided to make a change. I started researching books on Goodreads and my library to have a good amount to choose from. Now I constantly have an audiobook and an ebook to read from my kindle and sometimes a paperback at the house. I now read during my lunch break and listen to my audio books while driving, cooking or hiking with my dog. I have finished at least 4 books in a month this way and feel so much lighter. Don't be distracted by this crazy world create time for yourself and the best hobby on the planet... READING!

message 34: by Kim (new)

Kim I read a lot more during the summer months and when I go to the cottage

message 35: by Jenny Baker (new)

Jenny Baker I'm usually juggling 3-4 books at a time and I take advantage of very free moment. I read a book during breakfast and lunch. I spend my evenings and weekends either reading or listening to audiobooks.

For digital audiobooks (Audible and Overdrive), I increase the playback speed so that it's closer to my natural reading speed, usually 1.75x - 2.0x. As an added bonus, this allows me to finish audiobooks quicker without the painfully slow narration. I can usually finish an average-length audiobook in two days.

I also have some of my Audibles on my iPod so that I can listen to audiobooks when I'm walking my dog, exercising, cleaning, etc. I have Audible, Kindle, and Overdrive apps on my cell phone so that no matter what, I always have something available.

message 36: by Carmen (new)

Carmen I've been carrying books with me for as long as I can remember. I read everywhere on the bus, in the café and even when walking :)

message 37: by Otchen (new)

Otchen Makai Hannah wrote: "I realized a few weeks ago that I had gotten too emersed in social media politics and that it wasn't making me happy and I had not even read 10 books this year. I decided to make a change. I starte..."

I totally agree with you.

message 38: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Smith Lee Bay wrote: "Hannah wrote: "I realized a few weeks ago that I had gotten too emersed in social media politics and that it wasn't making me happy and I had not even read 10 books this year. I decided to make a c..."

This crazy world of politics had taken over my life. I am glad we both found a way out of it.

message 39: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Everdeen No matter how late it is, I always read at least a few pages of my book before I go to bed.

message 40: by Heather (new)

Heather To Catch A Falling Star wrote: "I take my book everywhere I could - including the bathroom- and whenever I find a moment to read, well , Bye-bye, reality."

This is so me. My husband has actually come looking for me a couple of times because I will still be in the bathroom having gotten caught up in reading and forgot where I was. I literally take my books everywhere with me.

message 41: by Heather (new)

Heather Kenya wrote: "I read on my lunch break at work. Also, I've been known to bring a book to the restaurant when I'm invited out to eat with a group. If I get tired of the conversation, out comes the book. My friend..."

I hardly ever go out to lunch so I can just eat and read at desk. I can go through multiple books in a week this way, fitting in reading in any spare moment during day.

message 42: by Angie (new)

Angie So I have multiple books and I try to focus on one on my break, unless I know I will finish it I take two. Also I've been doing the Pomodoro techique. In my case I read for 25 mins get a 5 min break and then read for another 25 mins and another break. This has also helped generally. You set a timer and forget I like that idea,

message 43: by Kernisha (new)

Kernisha I’m so happy I read this. I read so much during my university break and now that I’m back out at school, I feel like reading has become an unaffordable luxury. However, I am going to MAKE time to read everyday, even if it’s just half an hour.

message 44: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear 2 4, 5, 8, 10, 12
I read while cooking and eating too. #1 doesn't work for me. Once I start a book I can not put it down. I've been known to read and walk at the same time too. I can not read in a moving vehicle except for an audio bus. My commute is short to allow me time for sleeping so I can read before I go to sleep. If I'm going on a long trip I download an audio book from the library. I arrive at work early and get in some reading, read on my lunch break, I read after work at the library for a little while until the next bus comes by.

message 45: by Derpa (new)

Derpa Bethany wrote: "Similar to the gal who mentioned reading while brushing your teeth, I read while I'm blowing my hair dry. I also have been known to have a book nearby to read during commercial breaks! :D

I also h..."

Are you kidding me? I do the same! Both tooth brushing and hair drying. At work we talked about it and everyone found is amusing, but hey.

message 46: by B.A. (new)

B.A. Wilson Audiobooks, and my house has never been cleaner, because I'll clean another floor, scrub another counter, do another load of laundry, or dust another shelf, as long as it is a valid reason to keep reading my book.

message 47: by Briee (new)

Briee I download books onto my phone, so that if I'm ever in a break between classes, or even just bored for a few minutes in an elevator or wherever I am, I can read for a bit!

message 48: by P.E. (new)

P.E. Life Hack #1 Always gotta have a book close at hand :)

message 49: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta I always, always, always have a book with me. Unthinkable to leave the house without one. Whenever there's any pause or wait time, out it comes. Train platforms/journeys, theatre intermissions, waiting rooms before appointments, etc. Never alone or bored that way.

Like example #12 I also read during ad breaks, or when I'm watching an HD Youtube video and have to wait for it to buffer.

Oh, and giving yourself a sleep disorder does work for getting more reading time... wouldn't much recommend it though. 😴

message 50: by Lee (new)

Lee Adams One audiobook on CD from the library in my car, one audiobook on Audible for when I run/clean/mow, and one paper book at a time. Also, I love to watch football on TV, however, plays only take about six seconds then you get about 40 seconds in between plus commercial breaks and halftime. Plenty of opportunities to get some reading in.

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