6 ways to sneak reading into your day

6 ways to sneak reading into your day

In For the Love of Reading by G.G. Andrew

6 ways to sneak reading into your day

Readers often dream of having several hours curled up with a fantastic book. Yet, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to carve out long stretches of reading time amid a busy schedule. But we don’t need hours to read, we can read in short bursts.

In fact, if you want to read more books, one of the best ways is to sneak in short periods of reading in your day. Here are six ways to squeeze more reading into your day. You’ll be surprised by how much reading you can get done in these short bursts — and delighted by the benefits of reading every day.

1. Wake up and read

Instead of jumping out of bed to start your day or grabbing your phone to check social media, try reading for five minutes as you wake up. (Snooze your alarm if there’s a chance you’ll fall back asleep.) It’s a calmer way to wake up than checking the 47 notifications that have accumulated on your phone. Plus, reading early helps set a peaceful tone for the day. Good choices for a morning read? Consider a meditative book of poetry or something inspiring and uplifting like the nonfiction book The Good Life, which shares lessons from the longest study on happiness ever conducted.

2. Listen while you’re driving

Most audiobook fans know the secret of listening to books on a commute. If you have a long commute and you’re not already listening to an audiobook, give it a try. Not only will it make the drive go smoother, but, depending on the length of your travel (or your listening speed of choice), you may be able to finish a book a week (or more) by driving alone. Choose an audiobook with a subject or story that keeps you engaged, like Lisa See’s new bestseller Lady Tan’s Circle of Women, which follows a female doctor in 15th-century China and her challenges once she’s married and forbidden from working.

3. Escape during your lunch hour

Instead of eating lunch in front of your laptop and continuing to work, give yourself a moment to open your latest novel for a few minutes. Reading while you eat is a great ritual to establish to relax and help your brain unplug from work, your to-do list, or life’s challenges. Even if it’s brief, a journey to a world like in Jes Battis’s King Arthur-inspired fantasy The Winter King will get your mind off the real world as you turn pages to discover who killed one of the knights of the round table in modern-day Vancouver.

4. Make use of wait times

You’re waiting for that Zoom meeting to start. You’re in line with a package at the post office. You’re on hold with a customer service representative. Whatever the situation, if you’re waiting, stop scrolling through social media and read a few pages of your book instead. It’ll make the waiting less tedious, and you’ll progress through your book that much quicker. Especially if you’re reading a nail-biting suspense like Harper Shaw’s No Peace, No Quiet, you might find yourself forgetting that you’ve been placed on hold.

5. Book while you cook

The process of preparing and cooking meals, snacks, and beverages often leaves time open that’s perfect for reading. Toss a casserole in the oven and read some of former child actress Mara Wilson’s new memoir Good Girls Don’t while it bakes. Brewing a cup of tea? Read while the kettle heats to boil, add some tea to your hot water, and read some more while it steeps. For uninterrupted reading, put on an audiobook while you chop, mix, or sauté.

6. Have a novel nightcap

Reading or listening to a few pages of your current book will help you sleep better. Reading is a calmer, more healthy way to drift off to sleep, as it allows both your mind and body to relax. Pick something that holds your interest but isn’t too intense, violent, or frightening for nighttime — or something that’s going to keep you up too late (unless you can sleep in). A short story collection like Patricia Engel’s The Faraway World means you can read a tale each night and fall asleep with a feeling of literary satisfaction.

About the Author: G.G. Andrew

G.G. is a freelance writer and author of romance and women's fiction, including the short story "Everything Left Unsaid" in the collection A Million Ways: Stories of Motherhood. A Texas transplant, she lives outside Houston with her husband and two sons, both of whom are on the autism spectrum. In her spare time, she enjoys browsing bookstores, yoga, paper crafts, cooking, genealogy, and anything related to Halloween. She's probably drinking tea right now.

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