Goodreads Blog

Readers to the Rescue: 13 Ways to Make More Time for Reading

Posted by Cybil on April 26, 2017

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 Strickland-Brown)

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 M.)

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

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 Garcia Ortiz)

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

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

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 Armanious)

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

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 Master)

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

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

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 Foster)

13. "Get old. Retire from your job. Presto! More reading time!" (Linda White)


How do you make more time for reading? Share your tips in the comments!
(Top image credit: Beauty and the Beast)

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Comments (showing 1-50 of 108) (108 new)


message 1: by JoJoTheModern (last edited Apr 27, 2017 08:04AM) (new)

JoJoTheModern The audiobook tip is great; there's no better way to get reading done while washing dishes- and you don't have to get the book wet! :D

Ebooks are a lifesaver for me as well. I can get through so many titles while at the gym; it's easier to prop up my Kindle on a treadmill's control panel than hold a printed volume while walking at 3.6 miles per hour. And if you *really* need to squeeze in a reading moment here and there, stick that book on your phone. Check it throughout the day instead of Twitter or your email. Those minutes add up.


message 2: by Emmeline Joy (new)

Emmeline Joy #2 all the way. Since I was 10, I've almost always had a book with me when I leave the house. :) (especially useful when showing up early to a restaurant to put your name on the waitlist and wait for friends to arrive)


message 3: by Reanna (new)

Reanna Patton Instead of checking my Facebook or Twitter during my work breaks, I pull out my Kindle. That's when I get a lot of reading done.

I went on a cruise last week and spent a lot of time laying out in the sun with a good book. It was awesome.


message 4: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Audio Books saved my sanity! I have two hours in the car every day, my commute is BRUTAL! My daughter-in-law convinced me to try Audible...and it was a life changer! It has turned what was the most stressful 2 hours of my day, into "me time" and I look forward to it every day!


message 5: by Brittney (new)

Brittney Read during work breaks and lunch! It's a nice way to get out of the office without leaving. Also audiobooks really are the best, especially in traffic!


message 6: by Myles (new)

Myles #10 is not the safest indeed; I always used to read on my walk to college until I fell into a ditch, getting covered in sludge and ruining my book (I still have the warped edition of Tehanu).

That was years ago, I'm a big audiobook fan now and not had any reading mishaps since switching.


message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard I might keep a book in the bathroom. I also have a Kindle app for my laptop and smartphone, that way if I can spare a few minutes, I can turn a few pages and create a new book mark along the way as needed.


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy *Audiobooks in the car
*Kindle or Kindle app on my phone if waiting somewhere (doctor's office, child's practices, etc.)
*Audiobook when walking for health or to get somewhere
*Pick up a book to read when I find myself mindlessly flipping through boring FaceBook or uninteresting Netflix options
*Reading at bedtime as a necessary way to make my eyes tired enough to fall asleep


Jamie (The Kansan Reader) Number 10. I do that too. I started working out which cut into my reading time until I thought about audiobooks. Now I listen to a book while working out. I also read on my breaks at work.


message 10: by Janice (new)

Janice Bolick I read every chance I get. I've been a big reader, every since I first learned how, and don't plan to stop.


message 11: by Sonia189 (new)

Sonia189 #2 is truly the best. I always have the book I'm reading with me (too bad about those who don't read and interrupt me, but...)
I take it to work as well, during free moments it's easy to grab it.
I also always read before bed.


message 12: by Betsy (new)

Betsy I love #12 and #13. They are so me, only I tend to read while watching tv since I mostly watch baseball, hockey and soccer. (I turn the volume down though.)


message 13: by The Lit Bitch (new)

The Lit Bitch #11 is totally me HAHAHA
When Winds of Winter comes out I plan on being sick until I'm done with it! :)


✰☽♥✰  Unsolved Mystery ✰♥☾✰ I will definitely try #1.


message 15: by Ann (new)

Ann I always have a book with me to read: either a hard copy or on my smart phone. I am not a person who likes to wait with nothing to do so I read.
Also have listened to books for years - ever since they were on actual tapes!


message 16: by Hannah (new)

Hannah I have been hollered at by car-people more for reading while walking than just walking. "Who reads while they walk?!?!" my dudes, it was a really good book. don't @ me about audiobooks, I just can't focus unless I'm looking at the words with mine eyeballs.


message 17: by Smäug (new)

Smäug Glaurungsson stop eating, caring for yourself.. survive on single malt and Scott Lynch books, all three of them..

tots worth it.


message 18: by Rosa (new)

Rosa hm. I never have problems with finding time to read, but #1 would help me to actually get some work done as well...


Books and Berries I always have my Nook with me for when I have quiet time and can read. I also listen to an audio book when I'm doing chores around the house or driving in the car.


message 20: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl James I always have a book with me. I never leave home without a book. I read on my breaks at work. I read on the bus into work. I read at night before I go to bed. I read whenever, if ever I can, and love it!!!


message 21: by Amanda (last edited Apr 27, 2017 10:12AM) (new)

Amanda I try to read on my lunch break at work. But I also try to get a walk in too during that break! (Roughly little over a mile) The weather often affects how much or how little reading I'll get done. Also reading before bed, which does at times lead to a much later bedtime then planned.


message 22: by Sumeet (new)

Sumeet Mahendra Some tips are so good.


message 23: by Sean (new)

Sean O Just stop watching TV.

Or at least cut it in half.

I watched the first episode of "Game of Thrones" immediately after reading the first half of the first book. Turns out my imagination was better than the show. So I never watched another episode.


message 24: by Lorena (new)

Lorena I run my own store so when I have no customers at that moment I just grab my book and read. It happened that few days I barely had customers since it was a cold rainy day and finished my book faster than I thought. I also try the audible versions, but I don't want to appear too not focused on my job in front of the customers. I also download the ebook in order to read as soon as I'm home on laptop. It's good to have both the print and ebook version.


message 25: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte The Gym! Reading makes cardio so much less boring. Though I admit its not as easy to do this on a rower as it would be on the bike.


message 26: by Ella (last edited Apr 27, 2017 11:15AM) (new)

Ella Hah. I travel only by bus so lots of reading time (but i have to be careful of peepers and over-the-shoulders readers! Rude!)
I also teach so aftr i explain a chapter i make them sit and learn while I read
And...i have called in sick on days when im reading an exceptionally good book *bows head in shame*
Also, when i need a break from studying, i read.. my mom thinks im nuts ;)


message 27: by Angel (new)

Angel I think I need to try #6 and #12. One of my favorite ways is to read when I take a bath, However, I don't do this every night.


message 28: by Kayla (last edited Apr 27, 2017 11:38AM) (new)

Kayla Or, the method I usually (somewhat intentionally) use: Ignore all other responsibilities.


message 29: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Kayla wrote: "Or, the method I usually (somewhat intentionally) use: Ignore all other responsibilities."

LOL yes!! Girl after my own heart. Find the best hiding space and read lol


message 30: by Quinn (new)

Quinn Isn't this a repost from a while ago? Anyways, this is a great article!


message 31: by Ginger (new)

Ginger So many great ideas! #2 is so me! I take a book (kindle) everywhere I go. You never know if you're going to encounter a long wait in the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor's office, and traffic. I used to drive an hour & a half each way to work and often, I would get stuck in tunnel traffic (I can't listen to audio books, my mind wanders), so I always had a couple of books in the car.
I now work as a house/pet sitter, so thankfully, I have lots of time to read. :)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

At this current stage of my life at 26 I still have tons of spare time to read books. I have taken various different approaches over the past several years. My current approach is I have a goal of reading just 5 books a month and 50 pages a day, no more, no less and that has been a very efficient way to approach my love affair with reading. I’m not much of a TV guy and I don’t play Video Games at all, so that isn’t a problem for me like so many other men within my age bracket. So that in a way has afforded me more time to read. But something I really, really like to do much like the first option stated but with a different twist is I read 10 pages at a time and then listen to 10 minutes of several different podcasts and may ride my bicycle around the neighborhood one time and continue on to the next ten pages and since I only read 50 pages a day I tend to space it out all throughout the day so the excitement level can stay fresh all throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong, I could read for hours upon hours but I just choose not to because I like to keep up with other things I enjoy as well. I know in the blog it mentioned that some of you who shared stated that you read on work breaks but this to me has never worked. I just can’t seem to stop looking at my phone’s clock long enough to get a few good pages in. But I have attempted it and seldom do I work a full 8 hours because I’m only part-time at my place of employment. But as someone stated in the blog, in the past I’ve been known to plan out my daily reading schedule. Back when I was college and did not have a job I used to read a chapter each morning and take a walk, read another chapter and take another walk and then when it was time to head to school I packed up my stuff and went. But now due to my unpredictable work schedule in retail I read at all different times but still am to read quite a lot. I don’t ever plan to stop reading ever. It’s just super relaxing and very, very fascinating and there’re so many options to choose from.


Michelle Elizabeth I stay up late every night, and, though I often have the TV on, I don't entirely devote myself to watching it (I just like background noise, something contrary to most readers).


message 34: by Katherine (last edited Apr 27, 2017 12:30PM) (new)

Katherine Hayward I love audiobooks and listen to one anytime, but also when planning my own novels or blog posts. It really helps me get inspired for my own writing projects. They say the best preparation and practise a writer can have while planning a project is reading.

I always listen to an audiobook before bed. Books before bed have been a habit of mine since I was young. If I don't listen to an audiobook before bed, it'll often mean I take longer to get to sleep.

I use my iPad's or iPhone's VoiceOver so I can have the books read to me. That way, I can relax and reduce eyestrain when listening to an ebook or NetGalley ARC, or required reading for one of my Goodreads groups before the deadline day.


message 35: by Alice (new)

Alice Why does #5 relate to me too much?


message 36: by Ying Ying (new)

Ying Ying The Lit Bitch wrote: "#11 is totally me HAHAHA
When Winds of Winter comes out I plan on being sick until I'm done with it! :)"


Just make sure your boss is not reading this! ;-)


message 37: by Bichlien (new)

Bichlien Truong At least I am not alone for #1.


The Enchanted Library I always bring a book with me when I go to the university because most of the time I get bored, so I just grab my book and read for like two hours until the lesson is over.


message 39: by Ying Ying (new)

Ying Ying Kayla wrote: "Or, the method I usually (somewhat intentionally) use: Ignore all other responsibilities."

Haha, you must be a hard-core dedicated reader. Bravo!


message 40: by Ying Ying (new)

Ying Ying Quinn wrote: "Isn't this a repost from a while ago? Anyways, this is a great article!"

Great observation! I also thought I read this somewhere.


message 41: by Marta (new)

Marta 1. Audiobooks. Especially when doing chores. A Bluetooth ear bud works great!

2. Read instead of TV.


message 42: by Heidi (new)

Heidi I listen to audiobooks between calls at work. I finish on average a book a week this way. I listen to a different audiobook when I drive.


message 43: by Nora (new)

Nora Perrier Marta wrote: "1. Audiobooks. Especially when doing chores. A Bluetooth ear bud works great!

2. Read instead of TV."


Audiobooks are also awesome if you spend a lot of time in your car.
My librarian always helps me out when I'm on the hunt for something good.


Olivia "Don't Blame Me I Voted for Hillary" Whenever I go to the doctor I always bring a book with me. So I've plenty of time to read. I also read when I'm on a long bus ride.


message 45: by Kim (new)

Kim I've done number 1, 2, and 5, but this is how I make time for reading.

Get up early and try to quickly do all the house chores. Then you have more time for reading. Also, don't sign up for a lot of activities. I suggest only one or two a week.


Latanya (CraftyScribbles) I give myself a daily reading count by page. No less than 50 pages.


message 47: by BriAnna (new)

BriAnna Smith Cooper #2 definitely! I always have a book in my purse. Last week I read about 50 pages waiting to see the doctor. It makes the time go fast.

I want to try the audiobooks on the way to work.


message 48: by Gabby (new)

Gabby Doo I try to complete all my chores (on weekend) and homework, like clean my room, make my bed, organize my closet... And then I magically have a lot of time for my books!


message 49: by Robert (new)

Robert "Being a little anti-social helps. ... You have fewer people at your funeral, but you get more reading time." -- Robert James Waller


message 50: by Carol ꧁꧂ (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂ 2,8,12,13 apply to me - other than I don't watch much TV now. Still read during the ads or if the programme bores me!


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