CULTURE, FEATURE STORY

Monday Motivation: Four Ways to Make Time for Reading

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. 

Monday Motivation: Four Ways I Make Time for Reading

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. 

Monday Motivation: Four Ways I Make Time for Reading
These are the three books I’m currently reading.

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!

Monday Motivation: Four Ways I Make Time for Reading

How do you make time for reading?

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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

3 thoughts on “Monday Motivation: Four Ways to Make Time for Reading

  1. I love all the books you listed! And that Black Lives Memoir is such a powerful read! I want to add the others to my list. I really enjoy listening to audio books as well, because I am often on the run. But there is something also deeply beautiful about holding a book in your hands. 🙂

  2. So I’m also someone who likes to read the books before seeing the movie/tv show (I’m currently reading Little Fires Everywhere before I watch the show in Hulu), and didn’t know Just Mercy was a book! I’ve added those 3 you’ve suggested to my wish list. I also made it a goal to read more, but it’s still a struggle I liked your suggestion of setting a reminder to read for 30 minutes, as well as reading before bed!!

    Thank you for this post

    1. Hey, Shenise! I didn’t know Little Fires Everywhere was a book, too! I haven’t seen the show yet so I’ll definitely get the book first. I understand about it being a struggle to make time for reading. I hope the 30-minute reminder is helpful for you. It’s been helping me keep up with my reading.

What are your thoughts?