Friday, August 03, 2012

Time to read

There are two basic ways to find time to read (and this, of course, applies to all other activities). On the one hand, you can assign a fixed period of time to read this, such as a half hour just before bedtime. But if you really do not think you cannot do that, you can try to steal time from other activities.

1.    Think of all those little things that don't really give you anything. Count down the time you spend on social networks, for example, you may be surprised of how slowly it builds up and you will probably find that you spend a lot more than what you would like to admit. The same is true for email, mobile, or TV. Are you sure you would not spend ten minutes of that time reading?

2.    Keep a book at hand. Find that there are a lot of small moments everyday in which you can read while doing tasks that require little of your attention (boiling water, wait for a bathtub  to fill, to brush your teeth!). Or read while walking.  For all of this these they  are books either small and easy to handle, or a electronic reader.

3.    Another good idea is to convert the reading into something familiar, whether with a partner (read each other a paragraph or a couple of verses before bedtime can be fun and interesting, or use the time spent together  watching television to read a book) or children (this also promotes a healthy habit of reading them from an early age).

4.    Some people spend time reading when going to the gym. Sounds great to exercise the body and mind at once, either on a stationary bike, an elliptical or a treadmill, but I wonder if this allows us to make a proper cardiovascular exercise. It might be better to take an audio book, which is also highly recommended for walks or car. And of course the way to and from the work done by subway or bus is well suited to reading, either on paper or electronically. If you are a student, take advantage of the quiet moments between classes, it is clear that everything is useful to take the book everywhere we go, that we have on hand at any time.

5.    It is also helpful to remind ourselves from time to time what we've read and what we want to read, to motivate us to keep the habit of every day reading. You can have a list you carry on you or on your computer, share your most recent readings on the Internet or, better yet, form a book club with your friends. Make reading a social act is a very efficient way to re-incorporate into our lives.

6.    On the other hand, there are places that cry out for the company of a good book (and if the book is something we really want to read, something to enjoy, not that serious and highly recommended book we all have on the shelf to look good but we never open, we will be more encouraged to do so). Highlights for, of course, the bathroom, which could do with having a cabinet or shelf just for our daily reading.

7.    If you still cannot encourage yourself to pick up a book now, bring it up as a challenge to start slowly, with just five minutes a day, then you can go casting an ever greater amount of time. You can also challenge friends and family to get a certain number of books read per month or a year, and find out how many minutes a day you would need to achieve your goal.

As you can see, the excuse "I have no time" is no longer valid, so grant yourself the privilege of enriching your day with a good read. You will not regret.

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