“How do you find time to read all those books?!” It’s a question I get asked a lot. Given that I read over two hundred books a year (not counting anything I reread) it’s a fair question. Over the years my answer seldom varies beyond one simple truth: I don’t find time, I make it.
We all know that we should read more, yet most of us don’t. Usually the excuse to not read more boils down to one simple phrase “I’m just so busy!” While I’m sure that’s true, the same could be said of us all. Goodness knows I feel busy, but that pales in comparison to others. Know who was really busy? I mean super, crazy, unbelievably busy? Churchill. There he was, rallying his country from falling apart during the blitz, under attack, bombs flying- yet the man still found time to read a book every night. Even I don’t read that much. Talk about a passionate bookworm!
Wanna know a secret? While books will certainly help you be brilliant, you don’t have to be a brilliant world leader to read more. There’s lots of resources out there, including some excellent written guides (I know, try to contain your shock that I’ve read them). Over the years I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to squeeze in more reading time into my life. As promised earlier, now it’s time to share them.
Because it’s time. Time to make room for joy, wonder and adventure in your life. After all, that’s what reading should be all about.
Tips & Tricks
So, let’s get down to business shall we? My friends, I give you (dramatic flourish)…
Five Tricks to Read More
From the screen that is. Media can be a huge time hole. Rage against the machine and dare to go off grid from time to time. Switch off the power, walk away and pick up a good book.
2. Simplify Stuff
Sometimes you have to say “no” to intrusions on your time. Be strong, you can do it. This is more than simply having time to read- it’s so you actually have the energy to do so. Just remember the following mantra: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that right now”. No excuses necessary.
3. Stock Up
Assemble your reading stash. You never know what you might be in the mood for, or what will tickle your fancy. On a budget? Never fear! Thanks to libraries and other resources, even us penny pinchers can have a veritable treasure trove of superior books.
4. Sever Ties
This isn’t for school. You don’t have to finish the book. Life’s too short for mediocre books, we’re making time for the extraordinary! Unless you love it, don’t bother.
5. Sally Forth
Just as you shouldn’t enter a battle of wits unarmed, never leave home unprepared. Bring a book where ever you go and suddenly, while your body might be stuck waiting at the doctor’s office (picking up from school, train commute, etc.), your mind is somewhere fabulous. Like Hogwarts.
Time to Begin
Life can feel so overwhelming sometimes; which is exactly why we need books in the first place. They help us see beyond ourselves, whisk us away on mental vacations, surround us in a cocoon of peace, and can inspire within us the bold and beautiful. That is why I read. Why I carve out time from from my own busy life to devour books. Why within a single year I will read hundreds of them. Not simply because books are fun (which they are), and not only because I want to be a better person (which I do). No. Ultimately, books make me smarter, kinder, and best of all… happy. I do not read because I want to. I read because I need too.
That’s why it’s worth the effort to make the time to read. May you find the same joy too.