I know finding time to read is something that is hard for everyone, especially college students. I’ve heard so many people say “I used to love reading, but now I just can’t find the time”.
I’m so excited to be sharing my first post in my new series “Reading More with a Busy Schedule”. Over the next few months, I will be sharing posts with ideas and strategies that can help add more reading into our busy lives.
I know better than anyone that although reading may be your favorite hobby or even passion, it can seem nearly impossible to find the time or energy to fit it into your life.
(Disclaimer: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links, which just means that if you decide to purchase an item I may receive a small commission that contributes to the running of my site! All opinions are my own and I only share content I stand behind).
There’s no doubt that school and cleaning and paying bills eat away at the hours of the day, but I’ve been pondering on how much time I spend on my phone or doing other useless things. If there’s a minute in my day when I’m not busy, why am I not spending it doing something I enjoy?
I’ve discovered if you really think about the time you may waste doing things like driving, standing in line, or waiting at the doctor’s office, and try to replace it with some type of reading, it can make a big impact.
Here are some apps I keep in a folder on my phone that help me squeeze in those few precious moments of reading into my day:
The Goodreads app seems to be pretty underutilized as far as I can tell! I had never heard of it until I was introduced to it a few years ago by one of my professors, and I haven’t stopped using it since.
Goodreads is an app that allows users to review books, track their reading activity, find books they would like to read, as well as interact with other users.
It’s really useful in finding new books to add to your to be read list, not only because it suggests books to you based on your past ratings, but it allows you to see reviews and ratings from other users.
For example, I could type in The Great Gatsby and it would show me a short synopsis of the book, the average rating in stars, as well as detailed reviews from other users. This always helps me decide if a book is worth my time.
(you can find me on Goodreads here)
It allows me to see what my friends are reading as well as sort my own books into three categories: “To Be Read”, “Currently Reading”, and “Read”.
You can also set and track yearly reading goals. This year I made it my goal to read 24 books, and every time I mark a book “read” it adds it toward my goal!
This app really saves you time by allowing you to gauge your interest in a book before you show up to the library or bookstore and helps you set realistic goals when it comes to your reading life.
This app is probably a no-brainer for lots of people, but when I finally got a Kindle I had no idea that your books could also go straight to your phone.
You don’t need to have a Kindle to use the app on your phone. You need only to purchase a book from Amazon and have it delivered to your library. In theory, you can use your smartphone or tablet in lieu of the actual device.
Books are delivered to your library immediately, and I find that this saves a ton of time when you can’t visit the bookstore, library, or wait for a physical book to come in the mail.
Most importantly you can pull this app up anywhere. Instead of scrolling through social media as I wait in line at the store I can pull up this app and read a few pages on the go.
I have found that if I take the time that I spend doing mindless things like refreshing Instagram and apply it to reading a few pages, it can really add up.
If you read 20 pages a day for 7 days, that is 140 pages in a week!
Audiobooks have been the most life-changing thing for me. As an English major with a minor in History, I do more reading than anything else. However, I’m also a wife and have two dogs, so on top of doing homework I am usually walking my dogs, grabbing groceries, or doing laundry as well.
I’ve found the best way to multi-task is to listen to some of my assigned reading as an audiobook on Audible or Youtube while I work on other things.
It’s also been a game changer when it comes to getting reading in the mornings or commuting. I can listen to at least an hour of audio in the mornings as I get ready for class. It not only keeps me entertained but gets in some much needed “reading” time 😉
You can buy books on Audible (through Amazon) individually for full price, or you can purchase a subscription for $14.95/Month here.
I have also found some audiobooks are available on Youtube for free! Generally, the ones available on Youtube are more classic works. For example, I was assigned the majority of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories last semester for a class, all of which are available on Youtube and helped me save a ton of time.
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Do you have any tips for fitting more reading into a busy schedule? Drop a comment down below!