Many, I have found, desire to read but find that actual reading winds up on the scrap heap of busy schedules, falling victim to the tyranny of the urgent. Others become frustrated over what to read. So, what secrets can a read-a-holic like me offer up?
I’m glad you ask. I’ll give you my answer in two parts: first, the how.
It was a few years ago that I made, what was for me, a life-altering observation. I noticed that most often the busiest and most hurried people you see are among the least productive. We can argue the validity of my observation some other time. The point is that I don’t want to be like that. I wanted to slow down the hustle and bustle in my own life and so I made the decision that I would try to begin each day with a little reading. Many days it is in my den before I start my day. Sometimes it is a short trip to a coffee shop or diner, and a few pages over coffee and toast. On some days it is a half hour scouring the many blogs and news aggregates I read. For me it’s about an intentionally slow start to my day.
From there, I picked up the habit of always carrying something to read along with me. Many times I’ll have a few minutes arise that surprise me during the day, waiting for someone who is running late to an appointment, having someone cancel, and so on. These kinds of things turn into a last minute, spare few minutes. A Kindle App on my iPad and smartphone have been invaluable on those occasions.
Finally there are those last few minutes before I go to sleep at night, when it is good therapy for me to wind down a bit. For me there is nothing like a quick read to help make my eyelids heavy as a prelude to a snore. There are books on my nightstand.
The key is being intentional about it. Think about meals. We always eat. Sometimes we grab a quick bite on the run. Sometimes we combine a couple of meals into one–brunch anyone? But no matter the method, we don’t fail to take in nourishment. We make it a regular routine in our day. I decided to consider reading like I consider eating. It’s a part of my every day, just like food. I believe that if something is really important to you, you will make time for it.
So, how badly do you want to read?
Do you have any reading strategies to share?