Mind, I’m not suggesting you must finish three books today. Though I personally would find that to be simply a wonderful day!
I often get asked how it is that I read so much. It’s funny to me because I never considered that I really read more than most. I tracked all my books last year for the first time on Good Reads so that I would know how many I do read. I was surprised at the total myself. Good Reads doesn’t have a way to count rereads so my total was actually higher than listed.
Basically I finish a book every other day.
I typically have at least three books I am reading through at any given time. I read across genres and have a variety of interests. I try to keep books going in certain categories of reading.
I am usually reading on book that somehow relates to growing as a person. This may be a self-help book, a devotional book, or something like that. This is often a slow read, something I want to have sink in and be absorbed. I may take weeks, or months to read through one book.
I read to educate myself. My current area of study these last two years has been Permaculture. It’s something I’d never heard of until I moved back here two years ago. Now it’s one of the lenses I use to filter all of life through.
(I expanded my Permaculture studies beyond books by taking an online course this Autumn for beginning Permaculture Design. I have become passionate about Permaculture. I want to share this way of living and growing to everyone, even those without any land at all! Lots of future articles on this idea to share. Stay tuned.)
I read for entertainment. I keep at least one novel within reach at all times. I love the classics. Somehow, I missed many of them in my formal schooling. Those I read then, I do not particularly recall enjoying. Now, I devour them all. Austen, Dickens, Doyle, and the Brontes are my constant rereads. And while I have a shelf of late 1800 editions of all of Dickens’ books, I prefer keeping them on my Kindle via The Gutenberg Project, if for no other reason than that I can enlarge the font.
I don’t just read the classics. I do read all sorts of other novels as well. I prefer mysteries to romances. I read nearly anything anyone recommends to me. And if I find an author I enjoy I will probably read everything they’ve written. For example, I started X by Sue Grafton last January not ever having read A-W. I liked the book just fine, but was even more excited by the fact that I had a new and really long series I could dive into. (That keep me busy until April.)
I read to teach. I homeschool my kids and that involves a lot of reading. Most of those books didn’t end up on my Good Reads. I did list some simply because I spent a lot of time reading ahead of my oldest to preview books for him. His reading ability greatly exceeds his maturity.
By having so many different books at my disposal at all times, I am able to grab something to fit the mood I’m in and the time I have. I also always keep a book with me. In line at the grocery? I’m reading. Early for an appointment? No problem. Wondering if the line at the Post Office will go down before it’s time to vote again? I’m good. Everyone else swiping their phones? I’m turning pages. Red light? It’s been known to happen, though I probably shouldn’t admit that.
We also don’t have television and I believe that helps. At the end of a long day, I open a book. I can read an average novel in a few concentrated hours, so it’s like watching a movie would be to most people. Best part? No commercials. Or noise.
I don’t personally do a lot of audio books, though I think that’s a wonderful alternative. If I had a solo commute each day, I totally would listen to something. (I wish I could listen sometimes, but I don’t have a working player for our van.) And at home it’s usually just too noisy and there are too many interruptions. I’d be forever rewinding. I’ve tried it and found it to be an exercise in frustration for everyone.
Because we homeschool I do usually have a set 45 minutes in the middle of the day for quiet reading. It’s for everyone. I could use that time to do work, but I’ve learned the value of just enjoying the quiet and reading myself. I pour a cup of tea, light a candle and relax. When the timer goes off, I’m ready to get back to work.
It’s also helpful at other times in the day as something to look forward to, or to remember. Because I know that there will be a set time to read I can be more diligent and push through unpleasant tasks. Like teaching the third math lesson of the day, or scrubbing the toilet.
Also, I rarely buy books. I make extensive use of our library, both for regular books and electronic books. I couldn’t afford to do otherwise. Sometimes I get a book from the thrift store or a used book sale, but not that often. Our home is already swamped with the books we own.
What about you? What do you read? How do you find the time?