When I Read (and Some Tips for Reading More)

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If something is important to you, you'll make time for it (within reason and with exception). I frequently get asked how I read so much, and the simple explanation is that I prioritize it, since it brings me a lot of joy. I kept a log of when I read for a week, both with Sawyer and by myself- consistency is key for both of us! He reads a lot by himself, too, but when he gets older and has his own damn blog he can handle those particulars. I love tracking time- it helps me reflect on my efficiency and troubleshoot any areas that I could be more productive during. I think right now, when it comes to reading, I'm doing a pretty good job of fitting it in, but, like with anything you love, I wish I could do it more often! 

Note: I didn't count anything less than 15 minutes and I also don't consider listening to audiobooks as time spent reading

Monday 1/4
3-3:20 Three picture books with Sawyer that he brought down and read to me after his independent room time
7:35- 8:00 The Unlikely Thru-Hiker
8:10-8:20 James and the Giant Peach with Sawyer at bedtime
9:45-10:15 The Unlikely Thru-Hiker

Tuesday 1/5
3-3:20 Junie B. Jones with Sawyer (we take turns reading pages)
2-2:20 Reviewed some Plath Poems for the upcoming week
8:10-8:20 James and the Giant Peach with Sawyer at bedtime
9:45-10:15 The Unlikely Thru Hiker

Wednesday 1/6
7:30-8:00pm The Unlikely Thru Hiker
8:10-8:20 James and the Giant Peach with Sawyer at bedtime
9:45-10:25 The Unlikely Thru-Hiker
(plus alllllll the news allllll day)

Thursday 1/7
12:45-1:00 Junie B. Jones with Sawyer
5:15-5:40 The Unlikely Thru-Hiker
8:10-8:20 James and the Giant Peach with Sawyer and bedtime
9:45-10:30 The Unlikely Thru-Hiker (finished)

Friday 1/8
2:55-3:10 Parties, Pain and Work
3:30-3:45 Junie B. Jones with Sawyer
8:10-8:25 James and the Giant Peach with Sawyer
9:40-10:15 Parties, Pain and Work 

Saturday 1/9
8:00-8:40 AM Parties, Pain and Work
1-1:30 Parties, Pain, and Work
3-6pm (intermittently, between chores, walks, etc...) Parties, Pain and Work
7:15-8:00 Parties, Pain, and Work
8:15-8:30 James and the Giant Peach with Sawyer
8:40-9:05 Parties, Pain and Work (finish)

Sunday 1/10
1:30-1:45 Junie B. Jones with Sawyer
8:10-8:20 James and the Giant Peach with Sawyer
9:45-10:10 The Bell Jar

Total w/ Sawyer 2 hours and 45 minutes
Total by myself 5 hours and 40 minutes
Total: 8 hours and 25 minutes

So, based on this and just, you know, a life full of reading, here are some things that help me read more: 

1. I find a time of day that works best Right now, it's mostly at night, since work and home consumes my day time.

2. Get your kids on board I don't count the books I read with Sawyer in my yearly total, but the time we spend reading is an investment in lots of ways. It's gotten him into the hobby, which is also important for his emerging literacy, but it's also now fun for him to sit on the couch and snuggle with me while we both read out own things.

3. *Brace yourself* Watch less TV! I watched about two hours of stuff last week (an episode of The Great British Baker and the documentary The Weight of Gold). I have limited time and there's no way I can read the amount I want to if I watch things as well. That's a personal preference, though, as I know there are lots of great things to watch that people really love! 

4. Always have a book handy I didn't record these little snippets, but if I'm early to pick up a takeout order I try to have a book with me instead of sitting on my phone. If Sawyer is taking forever to get ready for bed, I'll read a few pages. This doesn't always work for every book, but I tend to be reading two at once, with one's purpose to work for these sorts of moments. 

5. Join a book club! I am currently in two, both of which meet once a month. That guarantees me two books right there. It's something to look forward to and also keeps you focused on getting through what you need to.

6. Have options readily available! I take this a bit too far, clocking in at over 100 unread books, but I have found that sometimes I'm not in the mood what I had planned to read next, so having alternatives is nice. 

7. Add it to your to-do list I've written about this before, but I am very driven by the accountability a to-do list requires, so if I add "read 100 pages" on my weekend list, I best be getting it done. 

8. Read at breakfast (or lunch or whatever) I can't do this on weekdays, but I really love sitting down with my coffee and cereal with my book on Saturdays and Sundays.

9. Have a reading date! Sawyer and I have done this a few times before, but we'll go sit at a park or a coffee shop (pre-COVID) and read for awhile. It feel so special and almost luxurious to leave the house with the purpose of just reading. 

10. Commit to ten minutes One days where I'm super swamped or feeling to antsy to sit and read, I'll plan on just giving it ten minutes (this tip is super applicable to working out, too). Chances are ten minutes will come and go and you'll get in a solid reading session.

11. Plant a tree Okay, not a real one, but consider downloading the Forest App if your phone gets in the way of your reading time. I will plan a tree for thirty minutes and it really helps me focus on my book and not the news, email, or social media. If you don't want to spend the few bucks on the app, put on a timer stick your phone in a different room on silent. 

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