Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finding Time to Read

READ? What's that? I've tried to read the same book 3 times now and can't seem to find time to get more than a couple chapters into it before it disappears. I found it in the back seat of my car today and wondered if I even remembered what was happening with the characters when I put it down. I see my fellow writers blogging their book reviews, one after another, and wonder how they do that AND find time to write. How do they juggle it with their families and work and taking care of the house and going to lunch with friends and church callings and and and and.....

What am I doing wrong?

I mean, it's obvious (because I found the book in the car) that I took it everywhere with me, in hopes to catch a spare moment to read it. And I don't think it's the book, it came highly recommended by a friend and I do vaguely remember enjoying what I'd read so far. So why am I having such a hard time finding time to read? Isn't reading part of writing?

So, please tell me how you squeeze in your reading time. I'd love to hear how, where and when you find the time.


  1. Thanks for this post! I have been having the same problem this fall. I started a book review blog, hoping to read and review a book a week. Then I was called to be the Primary President. AH HA HA HA HA *CRY*! And then I was asked to do another major overhaul of my manuscript *urp*.

    So I've been too busy to read. Don't get me wrong, I love being Primary President, but I spend a lot of time reading the "Church Handbook of Instructions" and the "Outline for Sharing Time" instead of all the hot new titles in MG fiction. And I'm so grateful that I was asked to do a rewrite of my novel instead of being cast off into the void again, but revisions take a lot of concentration. There seemed to be no room in my head for words other than my own.

    But then, last week, after I finally finished that revision of my novel, I felt a sudden URGE to READ some fiction that I hadn't written myself. Up in my library I found six or seven books my husband had bought that I hadn't read yet, plopped myself down on the couch, and got through four of them in three days. Ah! Refreshing! It also helped that I had the stomach flu so I had a good excuse to lie on the couch and read.

    So, maybe when you get to a point in your writing when you need to take a break, you'll find time to read again.

  2. For me, I make the time. Why? Because I don't feel comfortable in my own skin if I don't have something to read. Even if it's just the back of a shampoo bottle, I need to read. Sadly, this probably just doesn't help. =[ Sorry.

  3. I've been feeling the same way. My biggest problem has been that I have a hard time enjoying to read lately. GASP! How could that possibly happen? I am not sure, could I just be so critical in my reading now, or just so depressed that my own book isn't done that reading other people's books are depressing? I'm not sure, but just yesterday I found a light at the end of my tunnel. I started reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I found myself once again lost in a book. So lost that after I finished it I went straight to the book store and bought the second one. This morning I have already finished that one as well. Reading is suddenly fun again! I don't know if this is a solitary event but I will enjoy this breath of fresh air as a reminder that I DO love to read!! And that I can find the time if I am so enraptured.

  4. I go through phases. When I'm in a writing slump, I read a couple books a week. When my writing is flying onto the screen, my reading suffers. But I do find that reading inspires me. It also teaches me to be a better writer.

  5. It is so tough to fit in reading when I can hardly fit in writing time, but then I'm messing around reading your blog so it must be a matter of priorities.
    Seriously, I always have a book in my car, one by the toilet (sorry that's gross), and my 11yo and I spend at least half an hour a night reading something fabulous.

  6. I also have a hard time squeezing in reading. I have so many goals and it's so easy to get distracted. Also, once I really start to get into a story, I struggle with putting it down, so I have to give myself permission to spend the whole evening reading (or the majority of it), knowing I won't get a ton of cleaning, any editing, or anything else on my list done. Some people can read for a bit at night to settle in, but when I do that I find myself up reading still at 2 a.m.--which is not terribly conducive to a great day on the morrow. Pick an evening (or afternoon) set that time aside as time for you (draw up a bath and lock yourself in if you have to) and take a break. Reading IS as important as writing, so try to make some time for it.

  7. I am a huge audio book fan, I use my MP3 player and download books to listen to. I listen when I exercise, clean, drive etc. I have a 'real' book that I try to read just before I go to bed at night. We also do a family Read-Aloud each night.

  8. Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I love the MP3 idea. That would really work for me. And I need to take my book to bed and go to bed earlier. I have a nasty habit of staying up late chatting with friends online. I would benefit from cutting some of those chats short and curling up with a good book.

    I'm off to read, now.



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