We are wrapping up our three week reading series this week and I’m excited to talk about three of the questions I get the most often: “how do you find time to read, how do you decide what to read, and where do you find your books?” In the beginning of 2017 I set a goal to try and read thirty books. Like anything else, I approached this new idea by diving into some research. I ended up finding the resources that led to me reading eighty books this year while working as an elementary teacher and a full-time grad student. Let me tell you all about them.
1. How do you find time to read?
Like anything else, you have to decide what matters to you. If reading does not matter to you, no guilt. Don’t ever do things because you feel like you have to, but prioritize hard things because you know they make you feel alive and they feed your soul. Reading, and by extension learning new things, makes me feel most like myself, so I knew I would make finding the time to read a priority. The first step is to claim back your minutes. If you have ten minutes waiting in the grocery store line, whip out your kindle app on your cell phone and read a few pages of your book instead of catching up on your instastories. The next step is to name your time. I named my workout time as my reading time, so while I’m running or on the elliptical or cycling or whatever, I’m also reading. Since I know I’ll be working out thirty minutes a day, I also know that I’ll get in thirty minutes of reading a day. The last step is to only read what you want to read. It will take you all year to get through a book if you hate it. But if you can’t put it down, you might fly through a book in a day or too. That leads us to how we can find books that we absolutely cannot put down.
How do you decide what to read?
I get my book recommendations from about three places. I’ve settled on these three places because I trust their tastes to match mine. I love to read literary or historical fiction, really great and accessible non-fiction, and mostly new releases. These three sources recommend mostly that kind of material with the occasional random choice that will challenge me. Most of my reading from this year came from either Anne Bogel, of the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and What Should I Read Next Podcast, Annie B. Jones (@anniebjones05) of The Bookshelf Bookstore, and The Book of the Month Club. I listen to Anne’s podcast religiously, never miss one of Annie’s instastories, and have a subscription to BOTM that brings me some of my best reading.
It takes a little time to find to find the voices that speak best to your tastes, but having smart and dedicated people do the recommending work for you helps make sure you spend your reading time on only the best books.
3. Where do you find your books?
So if I were to buy all eighty of the books I read this year, Ben would not be happen about my Amazon spending. Instead, I’ve found creative ways to get my hands on books for free. First of all, I am very well acquainted with the Columbus Public Library system. I have an educator card, which allows me to check out an absolute ton of books and gives me a free book if I were to lose one. Columbus Metropolitan Libraries very recently got rid of late fees so it takes away the stress of trying to keep track of multiple due dates. I use the Overdrive app, again through my local library, to rent ebooks and audiobooks for free, and the Kindle Lenders Library to get a free book through my Prime account every month. It takes a minute to get adjusted to the multiple systems, but using all your resources allows you to read whatever you love and read it for free.
I hope you have loved this series as much as I have! It has been so fun to talk about books and reading and I’m in the brainstorming process now for another three part series over the month of March. Feel free to reach out if there is anything you want to learn about!
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."