Reading in the Chaos–5 Ways To Sneak In The Reading

Last night on Facebook I posted that I’d finished book #31 on the Jon Acuff Empty Shelf Challenge.

Say You're ONe
Say You’re One of Them is undoubtably the most important book I’ve read. It’s emotionally and spiritually painful. But it is one that, I believe, is a must read.

Within moments, my high school friend Susan VanSyckle had posted on my wall.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.27.03 AM

Fair question. Here’s my quick answer.

I just do.

Now, I’m not going to get into why I read so much. I wrote about that in a blog a few months ago (you can read it HERE).

However, I am going to tell you the 5 ways I make time to read. Susan, I love that you used the word MAKE not FIND. If I searched, I wouldn’t find. However, making is an intentional act.

1. I Always, ALWAYS have a book with me. You never know when you’ll have 5 minutes here or there to read. Waiting rooms, pick up lanes (for school, not night clubs), lines at the grocery store…we all spend a lot of time waiting, don’t we? Use that time to get a chapter in!

I love reading in my van. It's comfortable and I can adjust my seat however I want. I read 5 days a week in the pick up lane at my kids' school
I love reading in my van. It’s comfortable and I can adjust my seat however I want. I read 5 days a week in the pick up lane at my kids’ school

2. I read while cooking. I’ve done this for years. It keeps me from over-stirring the food. Plus, it’s comfortable to read while standing. I’ve memorized my kitchen so I don’t have to take my eyes off the book to grab a spoon…just so long as the knives are facing the right way. Oh! And I’ve never burned anything doing this.

Just be careful to keep the paper clear of the flame!
Just be careful to keep the paper clear of the flame!

3. I rarely watch TV. I know myself very well. I can get pulled into a TV drama/comedy pretty quickly. That can be a big time drain for me. So. I just don’t watch much. If I do, it’s Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show/Colbert Report. But those viewing times are rare and usually after I’ve done a big day of writing and need to numb my brain a bit.

4. Well…this…

We all do it. Enough said.
We all do it. Enough said.

5. I read with my kids. A lot. So far, because of school reading/assignments, I haven’t posted any of our “together reading”. But this summer, I’ll make a point of reading chapter books to my kids at lunch every day. It’s one of my very favorite things about being a mom. Also, that said, I never feel guilty reading around my kids. They see that reading is important and, because they witness me reading, they see it as a positive way to spend time. Besides, they’re always welcome to approach me. I might make them wait until I finish my paragraph first, though.

How about YOU? How do you make time to read? What are you reading right now?


17 Comments on “Reading in the Chaos–5 Ways To Sneak In The Reading

  1. Yes! Thanks for this post! Although #2 just doesn’t happen around here (since I don’t cook!), these are great reminders. And #4? Fantastic that you posted this. My next blog request is your reading list with your kids!


  2. I love having my Kindle! I keep it in my purse. I try to squeeze in reading whenever I can. I can’t wait for my classes to be done so I can read more with the girls also. I have several chapter books picked out and loaded on my Kindle.


  3. I always feel exhausted and kind of sick after dinner. I finally realized that my husband would do the dishes and I could crawl into bed and read for an hour. I do have a hard time being interrupted though, it makes me mad.


  4. Coming over because Amelia Rhodes shared a link. I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with reading all the books I’d love to read and actually just posted a stack of unread books on Facebook this week joking about my addiction to buying books. This was very helpful. Another way I’ve found to get through books is to use an audio app. Helps you make use of that time in the car. 🙂


    • I think I’ll have to look into audiobooks. I’m a visual person, but a lighter book would be fun on audio, I think. Maybe it would be good motivation for me to work out? Thanks for stopping by, Beth!


  5. Agreed. Thank you for this. I need to make more space to read. I often find that I want to read/have time just before bed, but then I end up staying up late and if it is a heavy subject matter, have a hard time turning my brain off to sleep. Not sure if I’m able to read while cooking…that is true talent…but can definitely try some of the other suggestions. 🙂


    • Holli, I didn’t mention the reading before bed thing. But I’m with you. I read before bed almost every night. Sometimes that gets me so riled that I can’t sleep. I hope you’re able to make more time for reading. It’s what makes us mommies sane!


  6. Audio books are the best! On my phone I have a Kindle app (which syncs to my proper Kindle, so I always open it to the right place), and the Audible app, so whether I feel like reading or listening either book is right there. Because my day job is time consuming but not mind consuming I can listen to a good, rich book every week, and I LOVE it. Because the audio books I choose are rich and deep I’d never be able to read them as quickly as I can listen to them, and I can list ways my writing is improving because of my listening. Audio books are a busy mum’s dream come true. Love them!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I listen to all kinds of books, but the two last ones I’d recommend highly to anyone: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce, must be the most wonderful book EVER: and as soon as I started listening I knew I’d find it hard to stop. I kept looking for jobs to do that would allow me to keep listening. The other is quite different, and I wondered at first whether it’d be too heavy for me to listen to while doing other things (foreign names, much concentration), but I let it skim over me, and within half an hour I was deeply engrossed in the characters and their stories. Interestingly, had I been trying to read it I possibly wouldn’t have persevered due to tiredness and distractions, but I’m so glad I did. That one is Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent, set in Iceland in the 1800s. WOW.


  7. I used to read while walking through the hallways on my way to classes in High School. I read during commercials which are shorter now that we have a DVR. I read while sitting next to my husband who is watching football, it’s shoulder to shoulder bonding time. I read while my husband drives. I once read while I was driving, well, while I was stopped at stop lights. That was probably not the best idea. I always take a book to school with me and I’m mad at myself when I forget. As a substitute teacher I don’t usually have a lot I have to get done during prep time and I can pull it out when the kids have DEAR time and when I teach older grades they do a lot of independent work and I get to read. I often play a game with myself. I read a chapter then I do 10 minutes of housework, then I can sit and read another chapter. I’ll do that all afternoon. I’m weird. 🙂


  8. Pingback: Time to Read | Susie Finkbeiner

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