Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How to Maximize Your Reading Time

A few weeks ago, I confessed that I was having a bit of a hard time keeping up with my blog and asked if anyone wanted to guest post. I've been fortunate enough to have a few volunteers, and here today is the lovely Charlotte of Gypsy Reviews. Have you been to Gypsy Reviews? If not, get thee to her blog. As this post implies, Charlotte reads so much and so fast that I'm left in awe but also happy because I get to discover a bunch of new books from her and discuss favorites too (i.e. she wrote this fantastic post about The Lumatere Chronicles aka reasons why you should read that series if you haven't already). She also has been running a feature called Life of a Blogger that discusses unsavory truths about the blogosphere that not many would have the courage to write. Her discussions are always genuine and honest, ringing with the sort of truth that reminds me of why I love the blogging community and why I'm privileged to call her my friend. If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, make sure to look at the Writers Unite support group that she and another blogger have founded. Continue reading to see her fantastic tips on how to maximize your reading time!

(All pictures I took from my Pinterest board. They do not belong to me.)

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Whenever I post my wrap-ups, I get a lot of shock over how many books I'm able to read in one month. Frankly, I'm surprised myself, I don't count the number of books I read right until I compile it altogether. I thought I would share what I do to read so much and a few other tips to maximise your reading time :)

1. Read daily

This is so important to me, I read daily no matter how long or short, I make sure to get at least a few pages read each day. I usually get this done once I head to bed and I read for around half an hour. It doesn't have to be long, as long as you're reading, it's progress.

2. Read during any breaks you can get

You don't have to make time to read, make use of the time you already have to read. If you're studying, take a break and read during that time. If you're back from work and exhausted, let yourself take a break and read a bit. But remember, if you need to use your time for other things, make sure that you can make yourself close the book. So definitely don't read a book you know you will need to finish before you do something.

3. Read on the way to something


I take my Kindle with me whenever I go out so I can read on the train or bus. If you're driving well, this doesn't really apply but if you take public transport, take this opportunity to read! If you read on the way to school or to work daily, you'll be surprised at how much you're going to get read.

4. Set reading goals

I don't usually do this but sometimes when I really need to get as many books read as possible, I set goals for myself. So let's say, I'll try to get 100 pages of this book read today and try to finish it tomorrow so I can start on another book.

5. Make time to read

Okay I would really go for this as a last resort if you really don't have time but sometimes you can make time to read, it really doesn't have to be long. 10, 15 or 30 min, any progress is progress! You don't have to sacrifice your entire day to read but short amounts of time can still count.

I hope some of these tips will help :D Thanks so much to Christina for having me here!

Thank YOU, Charlotte! So what say you? Do you already do some of these things? Which tips did you find most useful? I know that I probably should set some reading goals...

33 comments:

  1. This is a great post Charlotte, especially now as I seem to be so behind on my reading, I used to be the kind of reader that used to sneak in reading whenever I could, but lately it's been the case that nothings keeping my attention or that I'm too tired and want to fall straight into bed. But I think setting myself reasonable daily reading goals is definitely a great way to get back into it. I'm going to try and have a go at a couple of these and hopefully I will be able to fall back into my reading rhythm! :)

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    1. Hey, Jasprit. I too am behind on my reading and am finding Charlotte's tips quite helpful. Sneaking in reading is so hard, especially when you're tired, but I agree that the daily goals are really, really helpful. I've been on the verge of DNFing a few books just because I'm in a reading slump too; having small goals to get through those books could help. Here's to hoping both of us get back into our rhythm!

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  2. I seem to be very good at forgetting my kindle when I'm travelling. I sometimes get up to an hour of time to do whatever I want when I'm on the train, for example, but NEVER seem to remember to pack my kindle beforehand. Waiting rooms are another one. I'll sit there staring into space and kick myself knowing that I could be reading instead! I think reading every day is something that I try to do myself, even if it is just a page or two. But if I'm ever stuck for time, I do just wait till I'm in bed. Who needs to sleep, right? ;)

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    1. Sam, you're lucky you can read when you're on the train//traveling. Even if you forget your Kindle sometimes... though maybe we ought to get you a phone reminder or something ;). Waiting rooms are a definite read-zone. I do that on my phone; if you get a kindle app but have your phone, you could continue potentially? A page or two is better than the slump I'm currently in -- you've got some great habits already :).

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  3. Stephanie VerhaegenOctober 29, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Great post! I agree that even if you only read for about half an hour a day, you can get far with that. And also reading on your way to something is also always helpful. I do that, even if I'm traveling somewhere that only takes 10 minutes I get my Kindle out. :D

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    1. Right? I feel kind of bad complaining about my slump when it's obvious that 30 minutes of reading a day can do so much good. You're lucky you can read while traveling! That is definite time well spent.

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  4. Great post, Charlotte! I've always been asked how I find time to read and my answer's always been, I make time to read. I don't read daily nor during breaks (I study during those times) but I do catch up on blogging-related things when I'm waiting in line or on public transit.

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    1. Yes, haha. I was exclaiming surprise over some blogger's goals of 200+ books and I realized that maybe I just don't make as much time to read as they do or I'm just not as great at time management as you so clearly are :). Using transitional periods for catching up on various things like blogging is a great way of managing the to-do list.

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  5. Lauren, Love is not a triangleOctober 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Thanks for this post! I feel like I struggle to balance reading with everything else as well. Though I struggle more with the blogging, taking time to writing reviews aspect. However, my favorite reading discovery was the kindle app on my iPhone. I can't always carry around a kindle or a paper book, but I always have my phone and can read in little snippets throughout the day. That said, unless I'm deep in a book and am reading every second to keep the story going, I prefer longer chunks of time to read, which don't always materialize. But I love the momentum I get when I get into a reading groove.

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    1. Me too. Blogging is a lot harder to manage than finding the time to read, though the best part about Charlotte's advice is that I think it could apply to blogging or any hobby we have :D. The Kindle app is fantastic! I don't have a kindle and don't remember to carry a paper book most of the times, so using the phone to read is a great little way of sneaking reading in... even with I'm also with you and also prefer the longer chunks of time to read :).

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  6. I too am in awe of how much Charlotte manages to read each month. Her and some other blogger's seem to read at an impossible speed. I do already follow some of her tips. I normally read every day for an hour before bed. If I get to read more throughout the day then that's a bonus. And I always carry my current book around with me (kindle or physical) - that way if I find a few spare minutes I can read!

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    1. "Her and some other blogger's seem to read at an impossible speed." So very true! But we all do what we can, right? Reading before bed is what I'm usually able to manage too, and the rest is also a bonus. we have similar habits, helen :D.

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  7. I read everywhere and every chance I get, too. The only thing I don't do is set reading goals, aside from the GoodReads challenge, of course! Reading is just second nature to me, I always have something with me in case I'm waiting for someone, waiting in line, etc. Kindles, physical copies, my Kindle app--totally doesn't matter. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. You're doing a great job with your Goodreads challenge as it is now. Wish I could make reading as second nature to me :P. I like it but can't seem to manage if I'm waiting in line or doing something else.

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  8. This is such a great post! They're all really great tips and I'll definitely have to do some of them. At least I do the first one already, if barely :) The treadmill is where I do it, but unfortunately, I'm not there for the longest time... :)

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    1. Haha, I need to get better at going on the treadmill and reading and staying on longer too :P. And doing most of these tips! Here's to hoping we both get better at maximizing our reading time!

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  9. Love this post! I've really been doing some of these things lately and found it helped a lot. I transitioned from being a full-time student to a full-time employee, and while I was infinitely BUSIER as a student, I also had more free-time--because I often got to set my own schedule. I don't have that luxury anymore, unfortunately, and my reading really suffered at first because of that. But lately I've been doing things like reading a chapter in the morning before I go to work, because I normally get ready ten or fifteen minutes early. And I also love to read while cooking! Doesn't work all the time, depending on what I'm making, but if it's something that needs to bake in the oven for a little bit, I use those 20-30 minutes to read! And the kindle app on my phone is wonderful for reading in lines, etc.

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    1. "while I was infinitely BUSIER as a student, I also had more free-time--because I often got to set my own schedule. I don't have that luxury anymore, unfortunately, and my reading really suffered at first because of that. " -- It's really interesting comparing how your time as a student and an employee changes your reading habits. I almost prefer the regulation forced by jobs because it's so easy to sneak in reading and feel proud for doing that. I need to make better use of the kindle app and read a bit more while cooking too :D.

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  10. I read at least a few pages (luckily Throne of Glass has short chapters rather than so incredibly long as Starcrossed (Josephine Angelini) for instance during which I can't even take a bathroom break becaus the chapters are 30-40 pages long and I do NOT under any circumstances finish in the middle of the chapter. Unless it's something HUGE I need to turn my attention to.) Just as Charlotte, I always read when I ride to uni/work/cinema/to see a friend--you name it! Or, I listen to audiobooks while at work since what I do right now in an office is quite mundane and multitasking isn't hard there. Lately I've had so much to study that I've been reading my materials for class before I arrive to school, so.. yeah. Not much reading in my life lately. Goals don't work at all for me O.o I always think I should read to this page or this far, but when I do, I always end up reading less. When I don't set goals, I usually work by the book a lot faster. I also read Lauren's comment and I agree 100% with you girls. Blogging is what I struggle with, especially lately since I'm having such a hard time keeping up with school, but I'm working my butt off to get my marks (grades lol) before the exam session so I'll only end up doing one/two exams rather than 4-5. More time for reading in January then ;) Heh.

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    1. "I do NOT under any circumstances finish in the middle of the chapter." -- really??? I definitely stop whenever I can. I'd like to finish chapters, but if it's inconvenient I don't mind it. Listening to audiobooks while you work definitely helps too. I try to do that when it's busy work and driving too.

      "Lately I've had so much to study that I've been reading my materials for class before I arrive to school, so.. yeah. " -- Yeaaaah this is where the school bits, even if they give you more free time, end up screwing you over. They're definitely less predictable about letting you fulfill your goals and the like. I hope your exams and grades went well!

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  11. GAH CHRISTINA WHY ARE YOU SO SWEET? <33 *dies from sweetness*

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    1. CHARLOTTE YOU ARE SWEET AND AWESOME AND THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS POST <333.

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  12. I can identify so much with the second point, "Read during any breaks you can get." That's pretty much me at school!


    After the test, read a little before the teacher makes everyone pass the papers. We're doing nothing, grab the book. I strangely even end up reading even more during school days than days where I'm at home, because I'm inseparable from the laptop then.


    But at home, once I can put aside all the distractions, I can really read. Even more so if the book's just so engrossing I can't stop. But once I get bored, I go to my tech distractions. :)

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    1. I strangely even end up reading even more during school days than days where I'm at home, because I'm inseparable from the laptop then. --- So, so true. There's something about having a schedule of doing other work that makes it easier to slip in the time during those routines than devote whole chunks of it when you're at home, with your free time.

      once I can put aside all the distractions, I can really read -- that's the key. Getting past all the distractions.

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  13. 1. Read Daily-- I always read attempt to read at least twenty pages of a book every day. I normally read more than that, but twenty is a good number to aim for, if I'm busy.
    2. Read During Any Breaks You Can-- Haha, I admit that it's hard for me to read during breaks when people are around. I'm quite the chatterbox. But yes, reading during breaks can make a huge difference.
    3. Read On The Way To Something-- Reading is one of my favorite things to do during the driving part of going to an awesome place :P
    4. Set Reading Goals-- I do these a lot, especially now that I blog and really like posting reviews. I guess I could say that my blog offers many possible goals for me to make.
    5. Make Time To Read-- Every reader does this :)

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    1. Reading 20 pages a day is a really good goal! Reading during breaks mostly works if you're alone, but if there's other people around... I find it really hard to do myself, too :/. Ahhh I can't read on the way to someplace - motion sickness - you're so lucky you can!

      "Make Time To Read-- Every reader does this :)"
      --You'd be surprised ;).

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  14. Great tips. I definitely do most of the things: read daily, read during breaks and on my way to school :D I think I could make more time, but I also like to do other things (like keeping up with my TV shows!)

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    1. "I think I could make more time, but I also like to do other things (like keeping up with my TV shows!)" -- Me too, and that's the struggle I have with reading and blogging in general. Devote more time to be better or spread thin into other areas? :)

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  15. Nice tips about reading whenever you get a chance

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  16. Great post! I always read in breaks and on the way to something/in a waiting room if I can. It's great even to escape for only 10 minutes or so, and helps you to achieve your reading goals.

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    1. I'm really going to have to take this hint from you all to take books with me and read in waiting rooms or waiting in line. That is, if I'll ever get to achieve my reading goals :).

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  17. I try to make my lunch break reading time. I have two to three books going at one time, so I also try to read int he evening. I make myself go to bed early to get in some much needed reading time.



    When I was going to school, it was so much easier to find reading time. Working a full time job makes it very hard to squeeze it in. We should go to change.org and petition four day work days, with the extra day off strictly for reading.

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    1. Lunch breaks are definitely good for reading too. I got into that habit at school, and it was both peaceful and useful. Reading before bed is a definite good habit to have.

      "We should go to change.org and petition four day work days, with the extra day off strictly for reading." -- how about an eighth day made specifically for reading? :)

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