Saturday, September 7, 2013

Finding Time to Read

I've read several blog posts recently on the importance of writers finding time to read. A couple of them had me shaking my head because the poster (the person with time to read) took it as a personal attack when someone else said they wished they had time to read as well. Apparently saying something like that is an insult to the poster's time management skills or saying they aren't busy or they're lazy or . . . something.

I guess the reason this frustrated me is because with my schedule and responsibilities (and I can't be the only person in this type of situation), there are a lot of times I really don't have time to read, and, when I do, it's usually a choice between reading, writing, or listening to my teenage daughters/son or my husband talk about their day or whatever is going on at the time. That last choice usually wins, but if I do choose reading, I often just fall asleep. The words are so soothing. ;) So I'm not really sure what the desire to have time to read has to do with another person.

Anyway, it got me thinking, and I guess I do find ways to read, though not the way I prefer it, which is to dig in and read cover to cover over a day or two. With my current schedule, I can usually finish one book over a few weeks by reading a scene or two at night before I go to sleep. Definitely not my preferred method, but it's something.

And the way I've gotten the most reading done has been from something I thought I would never be able to get into. Recently, I discovered my local library has started carrying audio books. I can download them to my phone and listen to them while I cook and clean, and, even better, I can download them to my work computer and listen to them while I'm doing data entry, processing/calculating time cards, working in Photoshop, or anything else that doesn't require my full and focused attention (Excel spreadsheets, I'm talking about you. ;))

I don't know the actual number, but, over the last few months, I've read at least fifteen books this way. It's definitely not the same as holding a book and seeing the words--I'm a very visual person--and the library doesn't have a huge selection of audio books, but I'm reading books I thought I wouldn't get to for months and some I thought I'd never get to. It's been really nice to have it as an option.

So, what about all of you? How do you find time to read?


  1. I'm with you on audio for the exact reasons! Plus, without having the text in front of you, it's so much easier to enjoy the book without falling into edit mode. :-)

  2. I didn't read the said comment you're speaking of, however I can see how someone might take offence to the "if I had time I would..." expression. If I earned a dollar for every time someone has told me, if they had time they would WRITE a book, HA! As if time is all that it takes. Whether people read or not, I think is more about where it falls on someone's priority list. For a writer it should be high on the list. And busy writer's should find a way. I'm notorious for reading a good book in one sitting, but when I'm busy, I squeeze reading in whenever I can: In the car while I wait for my kids to get out of school, soccer, or swimming. Before bed. First thing in the morning. So on and so on. And audio books are great for the gym, but reading text is important. Enjoying a story is nice, but being able to dissect it is invaluable for a writer.

  3. I just finished "Jane Eyre" last month on audio, and am now listening to "House of Mirth", since my kids will be reading it in Literature class. I am so thankful I have finally found a way to catch up on all the classics I've been wanting to read. Now, times in the car, and minutes running errands are not lost!

  4. Pretty structured with my reading actually. Write in the mornings then have lunch and read (little nap afterwards LOL).

    Maybe write some more in the evening if I haven't hit my word count target. Revise second novel and keep worrying about query the first novel... if worrying too much pick over first one and try an remove a few more words to get word count down :)

    Finish evening reading until I drop off.

    Rinse and repeat.

  5. I read on the treadmill. Of course that means I'm sacrificing my health because I can only walk, but I'm okay with that. :)

    Years ago when I'd drive back to my parents house from where we lived, (5 hour drive), I listened to audio books on tape, but haven't since then. That's a great idea though for either the treadmill or just out on a walk. I need to check into our library. I know they have them, but don't know how good the selection is.


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