The most common question I get over on Detroit Moms on the Same Page is, “How can I make more time to read?” As busy moms it can be hard to find the time to do the simplest things, let alone an activity that feels like it should be done in peace and quiet. But it doesn’t have to be that hard, and it definitely shouldn’t be something stressful. I’m here with my best tricks and tips to help you kick off your reading resolution on a high note and keep it rolling through the entire year.
If you’re not currently an avid reader and just starting out, I would recommend making a time or page number goal. Something simple such as ten pages a day or 15 minutes each night is a great way to get started. These smaller goals are easy to attain and once you find a rhythm or schedule that works for you, it will be easy to meet your goals each day.
For those of you who enjoy reading and want to try to add more to your schedule, consider participating in a reading challenge. Most reading challenges have you set a goal to read a certain number of books per year. My favorite reading challenge is through Goodreads because you can easily track your books directly on the app or website. Be sure to set a realistic goal for yourself, but also one that pushes you a little bit. If you read three books last year, maybe shoot for six this year, not twenty.
Finally, if you’re already a reading wizard and you’re looking to expand your horizons, try a reading challenge that offers various genres, authors, or fun challenges. This will help you vary your reading and find some new favorites, all while still reading towards your goal.
Selecting a Book
For your very first book selection I want you to pick up the book you’ve wanted to read for so long it hurts. Or the one that just came out and you really feel the need to dive in to it. Skip the books you feel vanilla about right now, the beginning of the year is when you need to start off strong. If you choose a book you feel passionately about, you’ll be more interested and excited about reading it.
If you’re not sure where to start genre-wise, think about the things you like to watch on TV or listen to on podcasts. Maybe you’re more into non-fiction reads than romances. By figuring out what you do and don’t like, you’ll never be at a loss for what to read next.
If you’re looking for a great read to start off the year, check out my top ten favorites from 2020.
Making Time to Read
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. You have to make the time to read. Yes, I know, we’re all super busy. We have jobs, kids, significant others, adult things to worry about, people to take care of, and generally not enough hours in the day to make all of these things happen. But if you can start by carving out 15 minutes of time just to devote to reading, I promise the rest will follow.
Here are some great times to fit in a few pages:
- Get up early before everyone else. Have a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the stillness of the morning.
- Read while your kids are doing something else. If they are occupied with independent play or watching a TV show, crack open your book. It’s so good for kids to see their parents reading not only because it solidifies that reading is a positive life skill, but it also shows that you’re taking time to do something you enjoy.
- Take a book everywhere you go so you can get a few pages in while waiting for an appointment or in the school pickup line.
- Read a little bit while the water boils or you’re waiting for the oven to preheat. You’re already setting aside time to cook, but it’s not always active.
- Get the audiobook and listen in tandem with reading it. Then you can listen a little while driving or vacuuming the carpet and pick up on the pages where you left off.
- Finish your day reading in bed. We already know screens are bad for our eyes and have no place in the bedroom. Who cares if you doze off with a book open?
We already know this but it’s worth repeating: don’t compare yourself with others. Just because someone else can read at the speed of light, doesn’t mean you have to. Just enjoy your journey with reading, take your time, and kindle that love for the written word.
Consider joining a book club. It will give you a built-in group of people to chat about the book and will also help keep you accountable for your reading schedule.
Ask people for reading recommendations to add to your to-be-read list. Then you will spend less time reading books people didn’t like, and more time reading ones other people think you will love!
Book hangovers are real. It’s totally normal to feel like you don’t want to read after you’ve finished a book and that’s okay! Give yourself space and time to come back to it. In the meantime, you can read a magazine or newspaper to help reach your daily goals.
This isn’t college. If you aren’t enjoying a book, stop reading it. If you binge-read every word an author has ever written this year, that’s awesome. There aren’t any rules to reading for pleasure other than you should be enjoying it. No stress, just read.