Finding Time To Read is Hard

I Love Reading!

photo: Rafaela Vilchez

I love reading books since I was a child. My grandma gave me my first Bible (illustrated, of course). My father bought me comic books after school (in Spanish, of course) and I borrowed (and never returned) my titi Zory’s copy of The Iliad when I was nine.

My love for speculative fiction began in high school and I never looked back. Reading is more than a hobby. Reading is a passion.

Reading is as essential as breathing and my ideal home have lots of bookshelves.

But I Have More Books that I Can Possibly Read

Photo from Valeriam Emar WordPress blog

My problem (and it may be your problem too, reader) is that I buy more books I can possibly read. And I keep buying even more.

I tried to get to them and catch up. But finding time to read is hard. Between the work, that awful four letter word, family and other responsibilities, not to mention my writing, it is getting harder to find time to read.

Also, with me volunteering for the Hugo Panel, my to-read list becomes second since all the Hugo nominees become a priority. (But you get free books as a member of the Hugo panel, and better yet, as Hugo nominees, they are high quality!)

Finding time to read is not easy. But it is not impossible. What to do?

Make Reading a Priority

photo: Shutterstock

‘Too many books, too little time’, may sound like a first-world problem. But guess what? It is not a bad problem to have.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I rather have books around to read than not.

I said before and I will say it again, good writers are avid readers and they need to read in their genre.

You do that by making reading a priority. Which means, you put the remote down. And the cell phone. And the video game controller.

Read During my Commute

photo: El Pais

I don’t know how feasible this is for you, since you may drive, but I read daily during my morning and afternoon commute.

I joke that I love my job but hate my commute, but at least it gives me 30 to 40 minutes each way daily to read.

Granted, there are lots of distractions. It is Philly for God’s sake. People are loud and rude. Still, it gives you precious minutes to read. Just ignore the panhandlers and teens.

Read Before Bedtime

photo: Dormitienda

This is a habit since childhood. Who does not have a book by their bedside table?

How many times have I fallen asleep with a book in my hands and my eyeglasses on? Not ideal, but there is something to cuddling with a book in bed.

Extra benefit: a good book will help you relax and sleep better. Just make sure not to read ghost stories before bedtime. Trust me.

Read in the Bathroom

photo: Salud360

Me time in a room just to yourself with no distractions? Is this possible? Yes, it is true, your toilet is your throne. Your reading throne.

This recommendation works better with magazines and newspapers. And do not look at me funny, I am sure you do it too!

Just don’t get so caught up you forget to flush.

Too Many Books, Too Little Time

image: Flicker

Once again, ‘too many books too little time’ may sound like a cliche. However, it is not a bad problem to have.

Yes, sometimes I feel I should read what I have at home before buying that novel. But I am afraid it may be sold out or out of print by the time I get to it.

In conclusion, as hobbies and addictions go, I much rather be addicted to reading. Reading makes you smarter. The other stuff makes you dumb.

What about you, reader? Do you find yourself with the same problem? Too many books to read and little time for it? What are your strategies to find time to read? Please share.

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March 2023