Monday, April 11, 2011

a reading question, answered.

  Um, where can I find a t-shirt like this?

After I posted last month’s reading recap, my blog friend Jessica left this comment:

Will you tell us how you go about your reading? I know we all have the same amount of time in a day, but how exactly do you use your time to fit in reading? Like do you read a little here and there or do you set aside chunks of time or what? I am needing a system or something to get myself back on track with my reading. Do you forgo TV or...I don't know...will you help a girl out?

- Jessica, from Becoming

There’s an episode of Gilmore Girls (I’m pretty sure it’s back in season 2) in which Rory is trying to make it to the bus on time. She’s standing in the kitchen with an open backpack, trying to decide which books will fit and which will have to stay home. Lorelai tries to convince her that she doesn’t need all of the books; she can just take a few with her on the bus ride and be fine. Rory looks at her incredulously. She’s got a biography, a novel, a collection of short stories… and she has to take them all, because she doesn’t know what mood she’ll be in on the bus.

Basically, this is me on any given day.

I used to be one of those people who read one book at a time, and was satisfied. I still think that may be the better way, but it’s no longer the method I subscribe to. Now I mostly read two books at a time, one fiction and one non-fiction. I typically finish fiction fare more quickly; non-fiction books take me a while, which is probably why I now read two books at a time. I’m not patient enough to wait to finish the non-fiction book.

As far as finding the time to read, I agree: It’s tough. I carry my books with me in my purse; you just never know when you’ll find a spare moment! This way I have a book ready to go when I’m stuck in traffic or when I’m on my lunch break or when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office. If the book I’m in the middle of is a page-turner (like last month’s Room), I whip it out at every available moment.

Most of my reading time, though, is done at home, in the evenings. Sometimes — though not nearly enough — we turn off the TV and each read our books (Jordan has a goal to finish one book every month this year). Other times, I wind up staying up way past my bedtime reading in bed. (This is probably when I read the most.) Sunday afternoons are another time when a lot of reading takes place.

The truth is that I’m just an avid reader. I read when I really should be doing something else (cleaning the kitchen, folding clothes, working on graphic design projects). My tips for finding time to read?

1. Take a book with you everywhere. (I used to keep “extra” books in my car and in my desk at work.)
2. Turn off the TV.
3. Set a reading goal. (This is what Jordan did to get back into the habit, and so far, so good.)

Hope that helps a little!

So, blog readers, do you have any other reading tips for Jessica? Leave yours in the comments!


Staley Mc said...

These tips are really helpful!! It's so hard for me to read for fun lately but I might could use these!!

paula said...

great tips. I love to read, but have slacked up a bit. I did just pick up water for elephants. I think I will go through it quickly!

Lori said...

Typically I read right before I go to sleep and get in as much as I can. This is how I know when I have a reaaaally good book-- I'll stay awake until 1am to finish it!

Laken said...

I definitely agree with reading more than one book at a time. Some books need to chewed and others need to be devoured -- so by reading more than one, I stay interested in all of them.

And I used to carry around books everywhere, but I stopped for some reason. I'll have to start again so I can finish off some of the books I've been hoarding.

And is it wrong that I still want to be Rory? Or at least be best friends with her?

our home to yours said...

I love to read, but usually have to hide in my bathroom to do it. With 3 kids and a husband, that's the only locking door in the house. lol
- ourhometoyours

monster cakes said...

Firstly, yey for Gilmore Girls!!! Oh my gravy I love that show, and Rory is my hero for how many books she carries in her purse. I always have a book in my purse, and like you, I'm usually reading 2-3 at one time. While I used to be focused on the speed and gratification that went along with reading one and finishing it quickly, I've realized that that's just nonsense and reading is about enjoyment for me, not prestige. And I am SO glad I'm not the only one that chooses books over cleaning, laundry, and cooking dinner. We have patient husbands, no? And for Jessica, if you are a busy person like me, I actually schedule a few hours a week to just read. That helps me.

danielle @ take heart said...

i agree with your tips! i replace computer time with reading when i am in my reading phases ;)

ps: we were in cocoa beach…next time we need to meet up!! far are you?

Emily said...

Great tips! I really enjoy reading but it's hard since I'm adhd. Oh well! And btw, I want that tee too!

Kim Humes said...

Yes I would say these are good tips too. I also find it hard to fit reading in. I used to have a 45 min bus ride to work and I would read the whole way and would get SO much reading done! But now I only have a 10 min ride, which is great, but I can usually only get a few pages of my book read. I still do this though, and other than that I carry my book with me for whenever I have time to read (e.g. I have a couple of hours between work and choir on Wed's where I don't bother going home so I usually read to pass the time at that point). I also sometimes read before bed but I need to get better with that bc I often watch tv instead. I think setting yourself a goal is a good idea - I think I will set myself a goal to read before bed for at least 30 mins 3 times a week! Thanks for the motivation!

Kim Humes said...

BTW here's that t-shirt! It's so cute, I want one!

Anonymous said...

I've recently "re-discovered" how much I love reading. I love checking up on what you're reading - you usually have some great suggestions and I've been trying some of them :)

DaisyGirl said...

I just came across you blog through another and was reading old posts. This post sounds!!!

A friend and I joke that an acceptable purse to purchase is only one that is big enough to hold a book!

Now, I carry my Kindle with me everywhere. Sure helps in the purse's weight department. hehe!

DaisyGirl said...

oh. and ps....I'm a big fan of Gilmore Girls!!!