Maximizing Reading Time

Ever wonder how busy people manage to read more than one book per week? For the past 15 years I’ve been reading an average of 3-4 books per week while working a full-time job, having a family, and engaging in other hobbies (it’s true reader’s can have more than one hobby!). I don’t know how the rest of the world does it, but I’ll let you in on my secret to maximizing reading time so that you can enjoy as many books as possible. After all, there’s so many books and so little time.

My secret? Audiobooks! Before you freak out and stop reading the rest of this post, hear me out. I understand the initial hesitation to try an audiobook. I used to be hesitant too. I thought I would hate all the narrators. I thought I would get distracted, or not be able to follow along like I must when I’m actively reading, and I would miss out on parts of the story. I thought I would miss the feel of a physical book in my hand, or that I would miss tapping the screen of my iPad to advance the digital page. And, I thought it was cheating. That I wasn’t actually “reading”. I was wrong. About all of it. Incorporating audiobooks into my reading regime enabled me to go from completing 1-2 books a week to finishing 3-4 books a week.

Listen to an audiobook during times when you can’t read a physical or digital book

  • Showering: I use a Bluetooth speaker in the bathroom while I shower. Some people listen to music while they shower- I listen to my audiobook. I gain 30 minutes of reading time.
  • Getting ready for work: I can’t physically read while I put on my make-up, do my hair, or get dressed in the morning. So, I listen to my audiobook instead. I gain 60 minutes of reading time.
  • Work commute: Instead of listening to the radio while I drive 45 minutes (one way) to work, I listen to my audiobook using an AUX cord that I plug one end into my iPad and the other into my car radio. I gain 90 minutes of reading time (round trip).
  • Cooking: I listen to my audiobook when I’m cooking. Let’s just take dinner preparation, as an example. I gain at least 60 minutes of reading time while cooking dinner.

In a single work day I gain 4 hours of reading time by listening to an audiobook. In a five day work week I gain 20 hours of reading time. That’s about two more books I was able to enjoy that week. Sweet!

What areas of your day can you maximize your reading time? How about when you go walking, or jogging, or bike riding? How about when you’re cleaning the house or folding laundry or working on projects around the home? The possibilities go on and on.

Note: I digitally borrow audiobooks from my local library using the Libby app. Before that I used the Overdrive app when borrowing books. Friends of mine have a subscription to Audible.

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