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Books are one of the best ways to relax, forget about real-life stress, and travel without ever leaving the comfort of your own home, yet many of us struggle to find time to read. With so many good books coming out this fall–and so many different e-readers available to read them on–it’s a shame not to at least try to carve out time in your busy schedule for them. Here are a few of the best ways to do just that.
Keep one on you at all times
Stephen King once said that he never goes anywhere without a paperback, because you never know when you might need to wait–at the doctor’s office, in a traffic jam, in that long line at the DMV. These days, you don’t even need to carry a physical book with you; e-readers are surprisingly affordable and are light and durable enough to slip into a purse or backpack for easy access. Having something to read not only comes in handy during those boring, having-to-wait times, it also allows you to work on your to-be-read list instead of playing a game on your phone. The trick is to keep at it and train your brain to soak in what you’re reading during those short breaks rather than meandering to work and life distractions.
Take on jobs that give you flexibility
Many people–especially students–require part-time jobs to make ends meet, and between work, school, and kids, it’s almost impossible for anything else. Flexible jobs, however, are a benefit for those looking for extra time to read or be creative, and can be anything from making and selling jewelry online to walking dogs.
Self-care can be anything, as long as it is dedicated to something that makes you feel better. We all need to find time for it, because the days are hectic and the weekends are short, and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up a frazzled, stressed-out mess by the time Sunday rolls around. Look at your schedule and try to find an area that could hold you-time, such as a long hot bath, a workout at the gym, a swim, or just a half hour to curl up on the couch. You can work in a book with all of those, as long as you don’t mind being a bookworm while you walk on the treadmill.
Use apps to your advantage
Most of us keep our phones on us at all times, and when boredom strikes, we reach for that pocket-sized time-waster before anything else. It’s hard to break that habit, so consider downloading apps that will remind you to read, like Goodreads. Here you can rate the books you’ve read, create a to-read list, follow friends and fellow like-minded readers to see what their recommendations are, and track your progress so you don’t fall too far behind.
Read what you want
Don’t be tempted to choose a book based on the fact that so-and-so chose it for a book club selection, or because it’s a classic that you haven’t gotten around to yet. Those are great in their own right, but when you’re battling to find time to read, it’s best to pick a book you’re really interested in, otherwise you’ll be more inclined to set it to the side and pick up that phone again. Start by narrowing down the genre you’re in the mood for, then look for recommendations online or ask your local librarian.
Fewer and fewer of us are reading these days, which is a shame because books are a wholly unique pleasure. Set a goal for yourself and stick to it; you’ll be glad you did.