Before I became a wife or a mom or a teacher or an entrepreneur... I'm talking way back, back in the day... I was just a girl, studying English Literature, because the thing she most enjoyed doing was reading.
Honestly, that hasn't changed much. I can still read a book in a single sitting (if I can kind the time) and I still sign out books like the library might burn down and it's my job to protect them. But the time I have to read? It's significantly less than it used to be; however, I still love to read, to immerse myself in anything from young adult literature to self-help books. So, what's a girl to do when she needs more knowledge in her life?
Here are my top tips for fitting more books into your busy schedule!
1. Listen to audio books
I never appreciated audio books until I became a mom and suddenly, every book I tried to sit down and read (in the 10 seconds of spare time I had) got ripped or covered in sticky fingers.
I discovered Audible about 2 years ago and it completely changed my life. I know, that sounds dramatic, but I'm serious. Audible is an Amazon company that costs $14.95 a month, after the first month. Each month, you get 1 credit to exchange for a audio book, no matter the price. You can listen anywhere, anytime - the gym, while you're doing laundry, in the car... Anywhere I drive, you better believe I'm listening to Grant Cardone, Robin Sharma, or Gabrielle Bernstein. Plus, listening to an author read their own book is amazing.
Get your first month free here.
2. Use the library, y'all!
Last Christmas, I won a $5,000 gift card to Chapters and I went on a book-buying frenzy. When the money was all gone, I went through New Book Withdrawal Syndrome (it's legit, even if I just made it up).
The library saved me.
I mean, it's free. You can put books on hold and they'll bring them to the library closest to your house. If you feel like you cannot afford to get a new book or you're struggling to commit to something, the library is the place to go.
3. Schedule reading into your life
"What gets scheduled is what gets done."
Want to read a book a month? Schedule time each week when you plan to sit down and read. Just like basketball practices and parent-teacher interviews and business meetings, write down on your calendar when you plan to read.
Hey, maybe you'll get up a little bit earlier twice a week to read with a hot cup of coffee. Maybe you'll read every night in the bathtub with a glass of wine (I mean, a girl can dream, right?). Maybe you'll bring a book with you to read in the car while you wait for your kids after school. Schedule it for yourself, whenever you can.
4. Join a book club
Whether it's online or in person, book clubs are a great way to encourage yourself to read more AND connect with other like-minded ladies. Whether it's a murder-mystery book club or a personal development book club... whether you start it yourself or you join one with a friend... You should seriously consider it.
Am I not convincing you? Check out Bustle's List of 11 Reasons Every Woman Should Join a Book Club. This list is perfection.
I hope this doesn't sound harsh; I promise, I have your best interests at heart.
But sometimes, you just have to prioritize. Pick your book over Netflix. Pick your book over video games. Pick your book over mopping the kitchen floor - I mean, if it's not really dirty, it can probably wait, right?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. You want to read more? Make it a priority.