I’ve always had a great love for reading. When I was a kid, I didn’t have any problems with making time for reading. For me, reading was better than watching TV. It allowed me to use my imagination and discover my creativity.
I remember I used to love checking out books from my school library. It was my favorite place to be in school. Sitting in a comfy chair, reading a favorite story, and surrounded by the bookshelves felt like a second home to me.
By the time I was in middle school, I was reading young adult novels by writers like Lois Duncan, Judy Blume, Mildred D. Taylor, and L.J. Smith. The Sweet Valley High series was another favorite of mine.
I was a fast reader, too. I would fly through novels, finishing them in 2 to 3 days. Sometimes I’d even get in trouble with my teacher for reading during a class lecture. I liked to hide my novel behind a folder propped up on my desk or hidden in my textbook in hopes the teacher didn’t see me reading my book.
Now that I’m older, I often find it a little challenging to find the time to read. The kids keep me very busy and there seems to always be 1,001 things to do.
This year, however, I made it a personal goal to read more books. I’ve had to get a little creative with my reading time, but it’s been working for me so far!
Here’s how I make time for reading:
I set an alert on my cell phone to remind me to read at least 30 minutes. I created the alert on my Google Calendar and it’s been a handy tool. Sometimes I do forget to read, but when I see the reading alert, it encourages me to pick up a book or read a few articles.
I like to read when the kids are playing independently. This gives me a little downtime to dive into a book.
Sometimes I will download a book from Google Play Books. I honestly prefer to hold a book in my hands and read it, but having a book on my phone has been useful for when I am on the go.
If I’m waiting for an appointment or I forgot my book at home, I can pull up a novel on the app. Right now, I am reading Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider on Google Play Books.
If I’m not too tired, I try to read before bed. I find reading before bed to be relaxing and it reduces my stress.
Something else I’ve noticed about my reading style is I now enjoy reading nonfiction books. There was a time that I only preferred fiction, but over the years, I have been reading a mix of both fiction and nonfiction books.
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall and Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. I’ve been wanting to read Hood Feminism for months, but every time I checked to see if my local library had it, someone had checked it out again.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Just Mercy, including that it was turned into a movie starring Michael B. Jordan. I like to read the book before watching the movie so I had to get it.
I’m almost finished reading When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors. I highly recommend Bandele and Cullors’ memoir if you haven’t read it yet!
How do you make time for reading?
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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.