“I Don’t Have Time to Read”

so-many-books-so-little-timeI meet so many people that, once they find out I love reading, say something like “oh, that’s cool – I don’t have time to read.”  The implication is that I have tons of free time, sit around reading all day and have no life.  I’ll be the first to admit, I have no social life but that doesn’t mean that I have copious amounts of time to read.

I’m a college student and for a lot of people that means oodles of free time to frolic about at parties or what-have you.  And I do have quite a bit of free-time but it’s only a precious extra hours between attending class, doing homework, studying (exams and group projects are the bane of my existence), doing the out-of-class readings (yes I am that random student who does the readings in the textbook that the professor never checks), attending clubs, sitting on association and planning boards, and working jobs. Between that all there are still time for things like sleeping, making food (another favorite pastime of mine), family, friends, and the like.

My life, like the lives of many others, gets hectic quickly and I have to purposely make time to read. Throughout my day I find time where ever it might be: between classes, on the bus, on my lunch break, or when I need a 20 minute stop from studying or looking at schoolwork. Because I never really know when I will have time to read, I always carry a book with me.

Once, my roommates, fed up with me bringing books on my dates, stole the book I was reading at the time before I went to the movies. Turns out there was 15 minutes before the movie I could have read but, without a book, I was forced to sit there and slowly get more and more frustrated with my dear roommates for their well-intended actions.

Sometimes this means forcing myself to read even though all I want to do after a busy day is sleep or zone out. I know that like mediation, sitting down to read just 15 minutes can calm me and refocus me. One big help for me is my apartment doesn’t have a TV – yes I still can watch shows online with my computer but that’s allowed me to limit the number of shows I watch.  It helps me better track where my time is actually going and how I’m using it.

Another thing I’ve begun: if a book is boring and I have no interest in it by the 30th page I’ll leave (put the book down and throw it into the give away pile).  This is new for me and I know if might cause some waves with book purists but hear me out: I have a limited amount of time any given week to read and why should I waste that on a book that if painful to read?  For me the choice was clear, if it’s putting me to sleep then it goes. I need a book that captures my attention and makes me want to read it.

So how do I make time to read? Simply by finding the time between other things and being a little picky about what I read. Yep, that’s honestly it.

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