"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Literature in the News: Making Time to Read

You know I don’t really care for The Huffington Post.  But I have to say they have occasionally good posts on books and reading.  Here is a post by Lauren Jensen on how to make time for reading.  She provides ten tips.  You’ll have to go over and read the details (it’s only fair) but I will list the ten and tell you which ones I already do. 

First let me say I’m not sure I would typically post this, but since frequent visitor here Victor (I call him Victor #1, since there are two Victors that frequently stop by my blog) in a comment the other day wondered where I find the time to read.  Well, first of all, I really don’t read as much as other voracious readers who love literature.  I know people who also have full time jobs who read at least a novel a week.  I’m really satisfied if I can get in one per month.  So out of these ten tips, I employ seven of them, which allows me to get a decent amount of reading in.

Here are the ten.
1. Read first thing in the morning and/or before bed.
2. Don't leave the house without reading material.
3. Make the most of your commute.
4. Start small.
5. Find books that are of interest to you.
6. Set goals.
7. Start or join a book club.
8. Exchange shows and movies for books.
9. Block out time in your calendar.
10. Set reminders for yourself.

The ones I don’t do are nos. 3, 7, and 10.  I car pool, and even when I don’t drive it’s too hard to concentrate on reading.  Normally I’ll just put my ipod and try to catch some sleep.  I don’t really like book clubs because I have set desires on what I read, though I did just join a Catholic Book Club on Goodreads.  We’ll see how that works out.  Finally I don’t need reminders on when to read.  If I’m not doing anything, I’ll look to read.

The ones I sort of do are Nos. 1, 4, 8, and 9.  Reading in the morning is absolutely impossible.  I am out the door for work at 5:30 AM.  But even on days I don’t work, I enjoy taking the dog out or getting up and making coffee.  I do read the news in the morning.  But I usually reserve a bit of time at night before going to bed.  I enjoy bedtime reads.  I really don’t start small, but I do mix in a fair amount of short stories in reading list.  It allows me the time to finish something within one or two sittings.  I irregularly block out times for reading, if that makes sense.  I’ll intend to read at lunchtime, unless someone asks to go out together somewhere.  Or sometimes if the weather is pleasant I will go out for a nice walk.  So my blocked off time is not strictly kept, but still it helps to know this time could be spent reading.  Finally I don’t watch much TV anymore and almost no movies.  I do watch some sports and occasional news discussion programs to my political bent.

The remaining three are the ones I absolutely advocate, Nos. 2, 5, and 6.  I never leave the house without a book I’m reading.  I have one or two in my briefcase and if I’m off to anywhere that requires a wait, such as a doctor’s office, I have a book with me.   Obviously books that interest one will make one persevere.  And finally as you can tell from my blog, set goals.  I’m a project manager in my real work.  Without goals and a plan you only accomplish a fraction of objectives.

Three other tips I can think of that help me.

1. Juggle reading more than one book at a time.  Now to some that might not be a good idea.  It’s a matter of preference.  But long books bog one down and to prevent brain drain, a change of pace helps me.

2. Use audio books.  I can’t just listen to a book being read, but many people can.  What I do is read along with the audio, and by doing that I read so much faster, get the entertainment of a talented reader, and it makes the book come alive.  I think there is power in doing that.  But I’ve heard from many that both audio while reading throws them off.  It’s probably not for everyone. 

3. Carry an electronic book reader.  My wife swears by it and I think reading a book electronically reads faster.  I don’t prefer it.  I don’t concentrate as well with an ebook.  I do sometimes use an electronic book since it’s so much cheaper and easy to carry around a whole library.

I hope that helped someone.  If you have any tips to offer, I would love to hear them.


  1. My reading schedule on a good day: wake up, read, go to bed. On a bad day there is a smattering of cooking, cleaning, and laundry in-between chapters.

  2. I wish I could have a whole day reading. Thanks. :)

  3. Sadly I find it more difficult to read books these days. No patience. Reading from a computer screen is a little better though.

    I've been told I have a very short attention span ... what was that I was saying? I forgot ...

    God bless.

    1. My attention span is not the greatest either. That's why I go with more than one book at a time. Thanks.

  4. I have a difficult time with audio books- just don't care for them. Kindle is good for freebies and cheapies, but give me the real thing any day. Half of the fun of reading is holding the book. I juggle alot as well. Always have daytime and nighttime reading going on.

    1. That's a good way to put it for the kindle, for freebies and cheapies. :)

  5. I read a ton in the summer, it's kind of like fitting things in around my reading, lol.

    1. I would have thought that summer when I would get the most reading done. Now that I have a blog on this and I keep track, I've found both years that summer is the season I get the least reading done. I'm not sure why. Thanks Kelly.