Suggestion/Advice: Finding time to read

Posted By on June 22, 2011

Posting something marked as “advice” is rather egotistical, don’t you thinkreadingbooksimage_5041but then I’m not sure how else to label this?

Reading for pleasure (and personal edification) is something many of us do and yet feel guilty when we take the time. It is a private/personal activity that closes one off from family, spouse and friends. It can be seen as a time ‘waster’ (often depending on what is being read) taking precious hours away from work and home; reading can feel as if we are stealing time from more productive tasks or more importantly, from those we love.

How should we manage our ‘alone time’ and properly manage the time spent in self-absorbed reading? Although I can’t claim success, here are a few suggestion that work for me.

  1. Budget personal reading time to one chapter of a book per day (30 minutes if you would rather use time). This may sound ridiculously stringent to hardcore readers, but it all but eliminates the guilt of reading for hours and ignoring people we love and often more pressing issues.
  2. The one chapter a day pace keeps a person structured and moving through the number of books we often acquire. For example, I tend to purchase a couple of books at a time … and the chapter a day ‘budget’ enables me to read most of what I purchase and to keep up with subjects of interest.
  3. Use travel time “away from the family” as catch up time. I have found that this ‘can be’ the most productive reading time IF one keep other media turned off. When traveling I try not to turn on the TV in a hotel and use the excuse that the hotel hotspot is often too slow/busy for a good Internet connection. Reading a couple extra chapters seems more productive.
  4. Vacations are often times people love to read. If it is a family passion, then taking some personal time to read is welcomed by all. Still, recognize that the book will remain ready “anytime,” but children are often going to be available for a very finite time.
  5. Don’t waste your time struggling through a dull book. If by chapter two it has not captured your interest, put it aside and move to the next one on your list.
  6. If you are a favorite author reader, make a top ten list and stick to best sellers from them. The restrictive list will make it far easier in budgeting your time in reading fiction, enabling you to reading from that pile of used books you’ve been collecting.

Being disciplined with your time still enables a person 15-20 books a year. For most this is a reasonable goal and do-able with the one chapter/30 minutes per day strategy, especially if you find a few more free reading hours during travel and vacations.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog