How to Make Time for Reading

Tips for reading - Val Marie BlogAfter sharing my book list for 2015, I got a lot of questions about how I could possibly have time to read 25 books in a year. The truth is: 1. I haven’t actually done this in the past, but have been making more time to read. I’ve already read 5 books and am halfway through about 5 others so I figured I was off to a good start and 2. I am a big nerd and this is what I do with a lot of my free time. 🙂

I wanted to share a few tips for how I am able to make so much time for reading while running a business and being a mom to an active little toddler.

1. Get up earlier. Blah blah blah. Oh, you have heard that one before? It’s because it works. ; ) Easier said than done though so below I have a few a tips (and my secret weapon!) that might help. But what if you aren’t a morning person?? Simply reverse this advice and make it happen at night!! There are significant studies that do show working out or quiet times in the morning do help our whole day so if you can train yourself to be a morning person, give it a try. If you’ve tried and it didn’t work, stick to what actually works for you.

  • Set yourself up for success. Every night, I set out my tray that has my Bible, notebooks and books I’m reading. It’s ready to go as soon as I wake up. Even if I’m in a fog. 
  • You have to want the time to yourself more than you want to sleep. And this is big for me. This alone time refreshes me and gives me strength for the day. Without it. I am grumpy and have trouble focusing so it’s easy to push myself out of bed because the OUTCOME IS CLEARLY DEFINED.
  • Figure out your ideal hours of sleep. I did this a few years back trying 8 hours, 7 hours and 7.5 hours. I found out I was less sleepy if I got 7.5 than if I had 8 or more.
  • Go to bed earlier. I am in bed most night by 9:30 so I can wake up at 5. If I go to bed at 10, I adjust my alarm to 5:30 and alway bummed at my morning time lost which helps motivate me to go to bed earlier the next night.
  • Wake up with the sun. This is nearly impossible if you are waking up at 5 AM. Nearly. We got an alarm clock for Christmas that simulates the sun rising and I wake up with ease now. No stumbling around in the the dark. It is pricy, and I think their are less expensive model, but has been so worth it!! This might be the single greatest reason why I’m able to wake up early so if it’s really a struggle for you, definitely look into investing in this. 

2. Plan to have a no TV night atleast once a week if not more. This has totally made a difference for me. I used to be in the habit of hopping on the couch each evening. Now I will head to the bedroom if Tyler wants to watch something and I’ll read. I always feel much more refreshed than those nights I do watch TV, too!

3. If you have kids, have a set time where they play independently while you read. I have recently switched to mostly real books and Vivi will play or watch a cartoon while I read. Every afternoon around 4, we have about 45 minutes where I can sit on the couch and read while she plays. This is not uninterrupted time of course, BUT I am able to read more than I think normally. She didn’t do this when I read on the iPad because it was just too entertaining. And I love that she is SEEING me read. Some days, she will go get one of her books and come sit by me so she can be like me and if she sees one of my books and highlighter lying around, she’ll always come bring it to me. 

4. Always have a book with you. This tip I was reminded of while reading The Fringe Hours and now I make sure to always have a book. It seems obvious but I didn’t realize how many pockets of time to I had to read and absolutely love it!! And bonus: I am even trying to get places 5 minutes early so I CAN read. 

5. I multi-relax. 🙂 It’s like multi-tasking but for relaxing. I LOVE to take a hot bath at night after Vivi goes down and always take a book with me! This time refreshes my mind and body!

Any other tips for how make time to read??

And these Currently Reading totes are almost gone! Only 9 left! 


Leave a Comment!!

  • Great tips! I too am always reading multiple books and always, always have a book with me. I am full-time working mom who also happens to be in grad school, so a question I get asked a LOT is how I have time to read for pleasure in addition to works/school reading and writing. It’s simple – I want to read, so I make time for it. Other things don’t get done, like mopping 😉 I am NOT a morning person, though, even though I’ve tried for years. I may have to look into that clock!

    • Oh, and I meant to say – as a reading teacher, I love that your daughter sees you reading 🙂 During my little one’s nap on the weekends, my five year old and I will lay on the couch and read. It’s such a special time! And I realized last week that if my daughter is up before 7 am, she’ll grab a book and read in her bed until it’s time to get up! This makes my heart swell!!!

  • I LOVE this post! I love reading and always try to fit it in during the day or at night but I love the idea of getting up earlier to read. I just found your blog and am in love. Thank you!

  • This is good. I think the getting up.early thing is where it’s at for me. I homeschool my 5 kiddos & like to spend a little time with my husband in the evenings. I’m a natural morning person so if I can get my body out of bed I enjoy it. My hubby is a night owl so that’s always been a challenge:) Just trying to make do with less sleep so I can have more read! Great tips!