8 easy ways to find time to read

Knowing why the dinner was late - reading while cooking
Category: Reading

This Book Week Scotland, we’re asking people to make a reading pledge. Our pledge wall reveals that many people have difficulty finding the time to read around their busy routines (‘I will read instead of watching TV’, ‘I will not do the ironing all week to read a book during Book Week’ and ‘I will read instead of playing Xbox’), and research carried out for Scottish Book Trust this year shows that a whopping 60% of people wish they had more time to read.

We all know that some people like to read on their commute, in the bath or in bed, but we’ve come up with some more unusual time slots than the old bath–bed–bus routine. And they don’t involve putting aside your Playstation all the time either.

1. Forget breakfast TV

Read while you’re having breakfast. Some peculiar people use this time to watch something called breakfast TV. You can squeeze in at least fifteen minutes while masticating.

Can you find other reading spots in your morning routine? How about while drying your hair or cleaning your teeth? Or on the toilet? We know people who read whole novels this way, although they do cause a bit of a queue for the loo.

If you carry a book with you, no time is wasted. You can read a page in just a few minutes.

2. Read at work

Reading during the working day is a challenge, but nothing’s impossible. Lots of people read at lunchtime, but think outside the box a bit. Got a tea break? Travelling to a meeting? If you carry a book with you, no time is wasted. You can read a page in just a few minutes. It’s less frustrating than trying to get your phone to load Facebook.

3. Listen to an audiobook at the gym

Be careful about trying this one in the pool, and consider an audio book instead of a paperback. Replacing the small insistent voice in your head that says ‘I’m tired’ with the plummy tones of Stephen Fry could have a great effect on your workout.

4. Chill at home with a novel

In that half hour when you’re chilling out before starting to cook or going out, pick up your book. Reading has been proven to be more de-stressing than watching telly, and nobody says you need to read brain-stretching literature all the time. Indulge your knackered mind with something light.

5. Keep a book in the glove compartment

Ferrying your kids around? Take your book with you in the car and the time sitting waiting for them to emerge from their afterschool activities will fly by. With some practise you can perfect your encouraging parent wave from the sidelines while fathoms deep in a story.

6. Put reading on the menu

You can get through a number of pages when you’re cooking. The trick is not to try this with a knife in one hand, but to carry your book with you to the kitchen and use it to keep you entertained when you’re waiting for something to boil, roast or ping.

7. Dive into a story during dinner

Curl up in a corner of the sofa, put the book in one hand and balance your plate in the crook of that arm, and you’ve still got the other hand clear for using a fork (tried and tested). The prepared reader will take the time to cut up any unwieldy food into bite-sized pieces before sitting down.

Other bibliophiles use their laps, but watch out for dripping food down yourself at unexpected plot twists. If you usually sit at the table and converse with your family over meals, this one may not be for you, but it’s no worse than watching TV or playing with your phone if you’re usually chowing from the couch.

8. There’s always the evening

If your night isn't fully booked with channel-surfing, buying things online, or browsing through Facebook, you could crack (open) a mystery, fall in love with a romance or get sucked into some sci-fi.

Follow our lead and rack up some unusual reading hours! When will you be reading this Book Week Scotland?


Find your next book with our book lists, get inspiration from our reading pledges, and remember to share your reading plans with us on #bookweekscot!

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