“How do you read so much? I don’t have time to read.”

The Robbins Library teen librarian read this Book Riot post “12 Ways to Sneak in Extra Reading Time” and took it as a challenge. Surely we, as librarians, had our own tips to offer? After all, despite the popular misconception, we don’t spend our time at work reading. So, without further ado, from the mouths of librarians…

Tips for how to fit reading into a busy schedule

StaffPicks_Aimee“My favorite tips are listening to both the audio and print/e-book version.  That way, I can listen to a book while at the gym or on the bus – I get motion sick very easily – then I’ll read a book when I’m waiting in line, perfect for the doctor or RMV, or during my lunch.  If I can’t get an audio version of the print book I’m reading, then I’ll get an audio book of something from a completely different genre.  This helps to decrease confusion between the books.  I am a huge fan of listening to audio books while I’m washing dishes, dusting, or cooking.  It just makes these chores more enjoyable. If you aren’t a fan of carrying a book with you everywhere, then e-books are a great option.  Most e-readers have an app you can download to your smart phone, that way when your quick errand turns into a waiting game, you are prepared! It also makes life less stressful.” –Aimee

StaffPicks_Linda“I don’t switch back and forth between reading and listening to the same books, but usually have both an audio book and print book going. I listen to audio on the bus (and walking to the bus, and at the bus stop). I read during lunch breaks, on the T, in waiting rooms, or at a restaurant/bar if I’m waiting for someone.” –Linda


StaffPicks_Rob“My tips are pretty much the same as ones they posted [in the Book Riot piece] – I show up to classes/appointments/work early (on purpose) and use that time for reading.  I bring some kind of book with me everywhere and read anytime I have to wait for stuff.  Commuting.  Lunch break.  During lectures (something I did more as an undergrad/in high school than I do now… Honest!)
One I don’t think they mentioned [in the Book Riot article] is that sometimes I’ll trade on and off with school readings – read one article assigned for class and then I get to read a chapter or two of my leisure book. And reading to your significant other (as a way of spending time with each other).  We tend to do collections of short stories so there’s a lot of easy stopping points.” –Rob

StaffPicks_Rebecca“Hmmm.  I have to make an effort to read these days.  Having a child has forced me to get crafty with what I read, when I read it, and most importantly, how committed I am to reading it. For example, I’ve had to give up massive tomes [waves goodbye, wipes a tear].  I just don’t have the attention span for a really long, involved story these days.  Sure, I might pick up some of the George R. R. Martin books later, but for now, I’ve accepted watching the TV show when it comes to the library.
Yes, I take my books in little bites these days.  Graphic novels at home, because I can model reading for my child (which is both a slightly selfish treat and good parenting, all rolled into one).  I usually have one book going in the car for the commute, the book I’m reading during lunchtime at work (bliss!), and the book I should be reading for my two book groups.
Carving out time for reading becomes easier to do when you’ve made a commitment to do it.  My hometown book group meets monthly, the Queer Book Group I run at the library discusses a book every other month.  I’m almost always listening to a book, and I’ll usually blow through a couple comics or graphic novels.  Is this as much reading as I did before having a child? Definitely not. But, by my very scientific calculations, all that reading comes to about 4 books a month (and we’re not even counting the journals, review magazines and professional blogs). Which is almost a book a week. And that’s not too shabby.” –Rebecca

StaffPicks_Jenny“I always, always have a book with me – a print book or e-book in my bag, an audiobook in the car. That way, waiting time = reading time. I also read while eating, a habit my parents tried to discourage (they eventually gave up). I read one book a month for a book club I run with friends, and every 3-4 months I run the Staff Picks Book Group here at the library, so I read that too. If I don’t like something, I put it down; we’re talking about reading for pleasure here, after all, so why force yourself through something you hate? Put it down and find something you love instead – you’ll be more eager to read it, and you’ll read more that way.” –Jenny

Those are our tips – what are yours? Which of these will you try? Tell us in the comments!

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4 Responses to “How do you read so much? I don’t have time to read.”

  1. Pingback: The book is always better than the movie…or is it? | Robbins Library Blog

  2. Pingback: Half Magic, Half Real: Reading in childhood and adolescence | Jenny Arch

  3. Pingback: Quick, a book! | Robbins Library Blog

  4. Pingback: Quick (nonfiction) books | Robbins Library Blog

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