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‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx

How to Read with a Busy Schedule

Guest post: Stephanie Tran

As we head into NaNoWriMo, here are some tips from Book Blogger Stephanie Tran about how to get your reading fix, even when you’re busy writing.

I think it is safe to say that sometimes our lives are so jam-packed that it seems like there is never enough time for reading. Well, that’s how I’ve felt recently anyway. Reading used to be my stress-reliever, but my stress levels have reached a point where when I have free time, I don’t feel like doing anything. When I realised that I had been reading less, I worked out some small steps to get myself to read more. Here are the changes I have been making – I hope they can help you, too:

1. Bring a book everywhere, I literally mean everywhere (to an extent)

I know this is a given, and most of you probably do this. But you have no idea how many times in the past I’ve sat somewhere waiting for something and doing nothing, when that time could have been used to read a couple of pages. I read when commuting, waiting for an appointment, and during homeroom or breaks.

2. Set yourself a goal

Goals have always helped me to achieve things. I’m the person who likes creating lists and ticking things off, so it’s only natural that I write down the number of pages I want to read on a certain night and then do it just so I can tick it off. When I say goals, I mean small goals. Like one chapter or twenty pages. That way, you’re not pressured into reading too much and it doesn’t bring on any stress. You can also be an overachiever this way, and it’ll feel like you accomplished something!

3. Read eBooks or audiobooks

eBooks and audiobooks are very convenient. I know this tip is useless to many people because eBooks are bad for their eyes or hurt their eyes or they cannot concentrate on audiobooks. But for me personally, eBooks have been a lifesaver. Yes, they take me longer to finish because I can’t stare at a screen for too long, but they’re always there if I happen to forget to bring an actual book with me. Audiobooks are something I don’t particularly care for, especially since my mind gets distracted easily, and I’ve learnt to tune noise out, which makes it hard for me to absorb what the audiobook is saying – but I do know that audiobooks are especially good for car rides or whilst doing chores.

4. Allocate a reading hour

I usually allocate twenty to sixty minutes a night (depending on how tired I am) to read. I set an alarm to remind me so I don’t forget. I haven’t been doing this recently, because of exams, but I definitely will start doing this when exams are over and my life is back to normal

5. Join a reading challenge or Buddy Read

I find that buddy reading (buddy reading is when you read a book with a friend and discuss it as you both read together) or reading as a way of participating in an online challenge helps motivate me to read more. It’s much more fun reading alongside somebody else, or ticking off challenges as you read. If you are looking for a reading challenge, I suggest searching #YearOfReadathons on Twitter as they keep up to date with upcoming reading challenges.

6. Life is too short to read books you are not enjoying

I use to find it difficult to DNF books, but now I do it without guilt because I don’t want to spend my time on a book that I’m not enjoying when I could read something else. If you’re halfway into a book and are not enjoying it you should put it down, otherwise you’ll find less enjoyment in reading and are more likely to fall into a slump.

7. Don’t sleep

Only kidding, please don’t do this. Sleep is important. Although, I spent most of my summer nights reading and falling asleep at three to four a.m. and waking up early, and that is never good. Not only did I lose sleep, but I was grouchy too and no one likes grouchy people! But if you can’t sleep, I do suggest you read. Reading is very calming and since you’re not staring into a glaring screen, it’ll help your mind and eyes relax.

And that’s all I have for you today. Thank you for reading! I hope you found these tips to be helpful.

My name is Stephanie (aka @literaryreads) and I am a 17 year old Australian bibliophile who dreams of travelling the world. I enjoy reading novels and aim to read a variety of genres. My favourite genres are: Fantasy, Contemporary, YA, Dystopian and Historical Fiction and any diverse book but I still read a mixture of other genres. Besides reading, I also love to listen to music, write stories, daydream and swim during summer. I also enjoy meeting new people so feel free to talk to me.

Where you can find me:

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/literaryreads

GOODREADS: goodreads.com/literaryreads

EMAIL: ignitingpages@gmail.com

TWITTER: twitter.com/literaryreader