Recently, my dad asked me a question about a book I read a few years ago. I kind of chuckled and said, “Dad, I can’t remember specific details of a book that I read over 150 books ago!” My dad knows I love to read, but I don’t think it really struck him just how much I read until I threw that number out. I’ve already read over 100 this year, and as a mom of a 4 year old and 10 month old, I often get asked, “How do you have so much time to read?”
The answer isn’t simple. I could talk ad nauseam about how belittling it feels when someone asks me this question (cue the mom guilt), but I digress.
This post is not for the people who ask me that.
It is for the mom that feels buried and like she will never have time to read a book again in her life. To the new mom who can’t figure out how to balance the necessities in life with her hobbies. To those of you who spend so much time being a caretaker that you feel you cannot catch a break. I see you, and I promise there’s a way for you to squeeze in a little bit of reading each day.
HACK #1: AUDIOBOOKS
Audiobooks have been an absolute GAME CHANGER for me in 2020, helping me to read probably 1/3 of my books. Get yourself a good pair of wireless headphones (I have several pair, but my over the ear Sony’s are probably my favorite and are very reasonably priced) and listen to audio whenever you can – folding laundry, washing dishes, running the vacuum, pushing the stroller on a walk, etc. I also LOVE my JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker because it gives me the ability to listen to books while I’m in the bath or the shower – gives me all the more reason to take my time while I’m bathing.
HACK #2: SMALL GOALS
I try to set a small goal each and every day – 10 pages, 10 minutes, 1 chapter, whatever I feel like I can handle. I encourage anyone who wants to read more to try to do this for yourself.
HACK #3: EREADERS
If you have been on the fence about getting an e reader, I am here to tell you that they can be a game changer for sure. I use my kindle when I am in bed at night and my husband wants to sleep, but I still need a little more time to wind down. I have had many kindle models over the years (the Kindle Fire, the Kindle Paperwhite, and the Kindle Oasis) and have loved each for different reasons. I think the Kindle Paperwhite is the best bang for your buck (and is often on sale on Black Friday, so keep your eyes peeled for that) and is easy on the eyes. Most library systems allow you to check out ebooks too, so you can rent library books from the comfort of your own home and never have to put on real pants to get a new read!
HACK #4: BOOK WEIGHT
This seems like such a useless item, but I use it ALL THE TIME to keep my book open while I’m doing other things (usually while drying and flat ironing my hair). I know a lot of people say they use their phone to hold their book open, but I find that I get distracted by my phone, so this works much better for me. You can get these at bookstores or snag one from Amazon if leaving your house feels too daunting.
HACK #5: JOIN A BOOK CLUB
This may seem crazy, but I find that if I feel like I HAVE to read a book for book club (in real life or online), I make the time to read that book. There are tons of book clubs hosted online that you can partake in, and Instagram is a great place to start. I personally host a monthly buddy read with my friend Danielle (which is just the internet way of saying book club) and we have a great time! Anyone can join in (bookstagrammer or not) and we laugh a lot.
I hope you can take some of these hacks to heart and maybe implement them. Did I miss one of your favorite hacks? Let me know!