Jan 16, 2010

Finding Time To Read

READ? What's that? I've tried to read the same book 3 times now and can't seem to find time to get more than a couple chapters into it before it disappears. I found it in the back seat of my car today and wondered if I even remembered what was happening with the characters when I put it down. I see my fellow writers blogging their book reviews, one after another, and wonder how they do that AND find time to write. How do they juggle it with their families and work and taking care of the house and going to lunch with friends and church callings and and and and.....

What am I doing wrong?

I mean, it's obvious (because I found the book in the car) that I took it everywhere with me, in hopes to catch a spare moment to read it. And I don't think it's the book, it came highly recommended by a friend and I do vaguely remember enjoying what I'd read so far. So why am I having such a hard time finding time to read? Isn't reading part of writing?

So, please tell me how you squeeze in your reading time. I'd love to hear how, where and when you find the time.


  1. This is such a good question. I'll be interested in hearing what other people say. My main problem with finding time to read is, I read a lot of manuscripts, so finding time to read the novels that are being released in my genre is hard.

    BUT, like you, I take my reading with me everywhere.

    I take it to bed and read some before I fall asleep. I read while eating my breakfast. I read while eating my lunch. I'd read during dinner too, but I expect the boys to participate in dinner conversation, so I guess I should too. ;)

    I read at doctor's offices, sports activities . . . just anywhere and anytime I can.

    I'm much slower reading MSs when I'm critiquing. But if I can get a novel in my hand, I can go at a decent clip. And usually when I'm at least a third into the book I either LOVE it, or I don't. If I don't, I just might give it up. I value my time more than I do an adequate story.

    Give me something MORE than adequate, something truly wonderful, and the need to read it will grow beyond the computer or phone and I'll forgo those things in favor of the BOOK.

    And THAT's when I curl up on the couch, close to the fire, wrapped in a blanket and read, read, read until I've finished.

  2. The truth: I take a break from writing or editing.

    Also, Sundays, but only for certain books.

  3. You probably don't want to hear from me because I'm horrible at balancing this as well, but I take things in spurts, go with my passion for the time. Right now it IS reading. I'm devouring as much as I can when my little ones are sleeping. But give me a few weeks and I'll be back to writing. And when I do, I'll be all the more inspired after learning from the Masters. I wish I had time to both read and write during the day but that probably won't happen until my kiddos are in school. Thanks for posting about this! I get frustrated with it myself.

  4. I'm not a writer so I obviously have a different situation than you but figured I'd comment any way.

    I find that it's such a ebb and flow sorta deal with me. Like you said, it's not really the specific book. And like you, I ALWAYS take it every where I go. Including, upstairs, downstairs. When I go upstairs to get clothes for my son I take it with me. If he's in his room playing quietly with his sister I'll lay on the floor and read for 3 minutes until they tackle me and we start playing games.

    Through out the day I catch snipits where ever I can, because 3 kids demand a lot of attention. Sometimes I'll even leave 15 minutes early to pick up my daughter from dance just so I have the two younger ones buckled down so I can read. :)

    I read a lot night. I put the kids to bed, I do an hour usually of chores or work or blogging or networking. Then by 8:30ish or 9 if I can peel myself away from the computer I'll read until bed.

    I think for me, the main thing is goals. Last year I never made one because I was finishing my bachelors and knew I wouldn't want to not reach my lofty goal. This year I am doing the 50 in 52 weeks thing. I'm 16 days in and 4 books down.

    Good luck!

  5. For me, I make the time. Why? Because I don't feel comfortable in my own skin if I don't have something to read. Even if it's just the back of a shampoo bottle, I need to read. Sadly, this probably just doesn't help. =[ Sorry.

  6. I'm with Laura. I make time just like I make time to write.

  7. I came over here to read Laura's post and wanted to say hi!

    I won't be of any help to you. I read when I'm holding my baby because there's not much else I can do!

  8. I'm struggling with this myself at the moment, but I know it's a matter of prioritizing more than anything. If I fill my time with other things then there's no time to read, obviously, and I miss it. Guess it's time to stop playing games and pick up a book. Good luck in finding an answer that works for you.