How many of us have uttered the phrase: “I just don’t have time to read”.  It’s such a shame when we have trouble finding time to read for pleasure.  I know firsthand that finding that time to read can be a struggle.  We all have so many things that keep us from reading for pleasure…our children, jobs, housework, and countless other obligations, to some it might even seem pointless to try to find the time.  I have gone through periods in life where I thought I was too busy to read for pleasure, but I always end up finding the time, even if it’s only for five minutes a day.

Here’s why I think that finding time to read for pleasure is important:

  • Reading helps you grow and learn.  That’s right, at any age, opening a book is an education.  Even if it’s a fluffy love story.  Reading keeps your brain moving.
  • Reading sets a good example.  Do you have children?  I tend to think that one of the things that made my children into book-lovers is the fact that they see Michael and I reading every day, and that we make it a priority to read to them before bed.
  • Reading is relaxing.  Reading always calms me, so much so that when I’m having trouble falling asleep, reading is the only thing that helps.  Reading a good book makes me focus on something besides the ever growing to-do list, and seems to provide a distraction so that my brain can stop going at full-tilt after a busy day.

Here are a few ways that I “sneak” in time to read:

  • At the Doctor’s office:  You know there’s always a wait, so bring a book!  Put the devices away, ignore the emails and just read a chapter.  When I was pregnant with Henry I would get annoyed when my OB was early or on time, because I wanted more quiet time away from the kids so I could read!
  • After everyone goes to bed: Yes, I know you are tired too, but after everyone is asleep treat yourself to a chapter!  As I said before, reading before I go to sleep helps to calm my mind.
  •  In the Carpool Line at School:  Sometimes when I’m picking the kids up from school I’ll show up just a little bit early so I can squeeze in a chapter or two.  I’ll bring a book for Henry too so he can read…and often-times he’ll just fall asleep in the car, so it’s a win-win situation!  I’ve even been known to keep a magazine in my car so if I ever find myself waiting in a parked car for some reason I have something to read.
  • During Meals: Sometimes things get crazy in mornings at my house, so my kids now have a habit of reading while they eat breakfast, which keeps them calm while I pack lunches and make breakfast.  Then after they are off to school I make myself breakfast and read while I dine alone.  It’s such a treat, to eat by myself and to read a chapter or two of whatever book I’m into at the moment.
  • While the kids play outside: In the warmer months I let the kids run around outside while I sit and read a book in the shade.  Michael’s been known to do this as well…lay in the hammock reading while the nerf gun wars go on around him.  If the kids are getting a break to play outside why shouldn’t we get a little R&R?

So there’s my two-cents about the importance of reading for pleasure and ways to find time to read.  Do you have any tips for finding time to read?  I’d love to hear them…