reading habits and how to make time to read - Bubbablue and me

My reading habits and how to make time to read

I love to read, and always have done. It’s one of the reasons I despair at N not being that interested in reading himself. He loves books and having someone else read him a story, but I’m still trying to find the book that is going to be the one to get him to read to himself.  I’ve always had specific reading habits but have mostly managed to make time to read.

As a child, I always had my nose in a book, with several on the go at once.  My mum would tell me to go outside and play because otherwise I’d be happy to sit indoors alone with a book.  I was a big reader of series – Nancy Drew, Sadlers Wells ballet series, Drina Ballerina, Jill’s Gymkhana pony series, St Clares and Mallory Towers, Famous Five and Trebizon.  Then I quickly moved on to my mum’s Inspector Morse, Dick Francis and Jeffrey Archer books.  I would read at the breakfast table given half a chance and there were always books on my Christmas list.

Apart from a few years at uni when I did English literature in my first year and didn’t read much that wasn’t a text book, and post uni when I read a lot of magazines, I’ve always had a book on the go.  Once you have children it does get hard to fit in reading.  Add blogging to the mix and it’s nearly impossible if you’re working in the day, blogging at night, and inbetween have children and housework to deal with.

But it’s so important to have books around the house, and for children to see their parents reading.  And there are so many people who love to read but don’t.  We should all try and make more effort to fit in even 10 minutes of reading a day (and reading to your children doesn’t really count).

reading habits and how to make time to read - Bubbablue and me

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Reading habits

My reading habits are not the best, but I read for me not to impress others.

I read for escapism. To feel emotion. To laugh.  To cry. To learn.  To enjoy.  To broaden my reading wings.

I love real books, but I tend to read on my Kindle now.  It means I don’t interrupt others when I’m reading late at night because I don’t need a light on. I can pick and choose books easily, and take it in my handbag when out and about, rather than lugging paperbacks around. And because I read late at night when I’m tired (and I’m getting old), I can increase the size of the text.

I’ll admit it.  I read trash.  Not always, but it’s light easy reading that doesn’t need much brain power late at night.  I read crime – fast moving, US authored books usually, with maybe a bit of psychological drama mixed in.  And chick lit.  And romance.  With a touch of contemporary fiction if something draws the eye.  I also go for speed not always quality.  I’m not embarrassed to admit I read Mills & Boon books. It’s escapism, and my best friend and I often have a laugh about them. But even my male fuddy duddy English A level teacher suggested everyone studying literature should read Mills & Boon, so they can appreciate good literature afterwards.

I’ve read literary classics and prize winning books in the past, and I’ve slogged through them even if I’ve not really enjoyed them.  Now if I don’t enjoy a book within the first few pages, it’s given away.  I’ve got other things better than to read a book because others say it’s great and it’s a must read.

I buy a lot of free and very cheap books.  Before my Kindle I bought a lot of books.  I would buy every new book from my favourite crime writers, even stacking them up because I couldn’t read fast enough (even though I read fast).  But preferring to read on my Kindle where they charge VAT/tax, my favourite authors cost a lot more money.  Instead, I can read books that are a lot cheaper, and only spend more when there’s a particular book I really want.

It means I read a lot of books I wouldn’t normally choose, because 99p is a bargain.  As long as the synopsis looks ok, and the reviews don’t slate the writing, then I’ll give it a go.  I’ve actually discovered a few authors I’d probably not have noticed in the shops, and there’s a few reference books I wouldn’t have touched in hard back because there was a good price on them.  It does mean my original pile of ‘to read’ paperbacks has continued to grow because I’ll still pick up a few books in sales or the shops.

I do still buy duplicates by accident.  Even though I have Good Reads on my phone it’s not great without wifi, and it’s a slow app.  So checking it for books I already own while in a supermarket or shop which has no data signal is difficult.  So it does mean I’ve continued to buy books without realising they’re on my to read pile.  Of course, charity shops or friends do well out of my then, but I really should check better.  Or just get through my to read pile before buying any more.

girl reading

How to make time to read

When you’re a mum, it’s hard to find time to read.  There’s so many things to get done, and often parents don’t give the time to themselves after sorting out children and home.  But even giving yourself 10 minutes a day will get you into a habit.

Here’s my tips for making time to read:

1, Block time in your day

If you book it in, you’re more likely to do it.

2, Read in places you wouldn’t think of

Bath, sitting on the toilet, when cooking, at the gym (although I’m never sure how people manage this one)

3, Have family reading time

Once the children can read for themselves. Have a reading area, or have a regular time where everyone reads what they want at that time.

4, Take a book with you all the time

If you’re on public transport, on holiday, sitting in a café. Make the effort to read instead of playing on your phone.

5, Read before bed / when you wake up

Get a book light or Kindle if your partner gets disturbed by the light, and set children’s expectations that between a certain time in the morning that’s reading time.

6, Read while you’re eating (outside of family meals)

A bit anti-social if you’re eating with others (and probably not that great for checking what you’re eating), but if you’re just grabbing something when you’re the only one eating, then use it to read

7, Do a challenge

I do the Goodreads challenge each year where you set a number of books to read, and you can join in specific book challenges too. It can get demoralising if you get behind with reading, so be realistic until you’re back in the habit of picking up a book regularly.

8, Join a book club

If you know you need to read a specific book it might encourage you to fit in reading. At least, it gets you thinking and talking about books.

9, Get a cleaner or get the children to do it

Free up time for yourself to give yourself the time you want.

How do you find time to read?

Why not take a look at these similar posts.

buying cheaper books
use old journals
book tag


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  1. I love to read but I seriously dont ever have time anymore. I have my blog which is now my job, I also have maternity appointments, physio appointments, parenting Ben, running the house (attempting) being super pregnant with twins and attempting to start nesting whilst suffering from SPD!
    I am just going to collect books i want to read until the kids are 18 and when they leave home I can catch up! hahaha #globalblogging

  2. Some great tips here! I love reading and as an English teacher I used to get to read every day while trying to inspire a love of reading in young people. I don’t read as much as I’d like to now I’m a mummy so will definitely try some of these. I recently read A Country Escape by Katie Fforde which I really enjoyed.

  3. I am in the habit of reading in bed. I love it and I look forward to going up stairs sometimes a bit early so I can manage a few more pages. I have a whole shelf of unread books because I love buying them and can’t pass one by if I like the look of it. Like you I’ve bought duplicate ones before! x

    1. I’m the same with buying books. I used to be terrible for the number I’d bought. I really need to read some of my to read pile before I buy some more for the Kindle.

  4. i love reading – mostly i read on the loo (!) or in the bath. I do have an e-reader but i only use it on holiday to cut down on baggage weight At home its always a real book . there is nothing like turning the pages, looking forward to see how fa to the end of a chapter , turning over the corner of the page (i know its naught but i love it) and looking at the book as a whole and seeing how much there is left to enjoy #globalblogging

  5. These are really good tips. I love reading. I don’t think that you should beat yourself up for reading trash either. I read a lot of trash – it is escapism. Pen x #globalblogging

  6. I’m exactly the same – I devoured books as a child,I always had at least 10 out from the library, and then romped through all my mum’s books too when I was older. Like N though, Max has not inherited the reading gene! I do really struggle for things to read nowadays – I’m going to take your advice though and start carrying around my kindle in case I get the opportunity. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  7. I love to read and always have done. I have a really active mind and find reading is the only thing to get me to relax before I go to sleep. My kindle saved our marriage as I don’t need the light on!!! I also now read when Holly is in her ballet class, it’s only 30 minutes a week but I love it. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. I’ve only recently rekindled my love of reading and it’s thanks mostly to the facebook group Bookish Mamas. I’m ‘up to date’ with my reading and make sure I read at least 10 minutes a day which is working really well. I love reading for the reasons you mention at the start of your post. I’m toying with the idea of a kindle again so I don’t disturb hubby and also have some screen-free time before bed but do much prefer an actual book! #TheListLinky

    1. Ah that’s a good idea having a set time to book in to read. Yes, there’s nothing like a real book – the feel and smell. I’m still longing after a proper library although I rarely reread books so I did declutter pretty much all read ones, and only left the 40 unread ones!

  9. I hardly ever make the time to read these days, until I start a book that grabs my attention and then I devour it! Love all your tips here to fit more reading time in each day, especially the one about carrying a book with you all the time to read while waiting for things rather than just playing on your phone. x #TheListLinky

    1. I still do the phone thing too, but the best chunk of time for me is waiting at N’s tennis lessons. We used to be able to all sit inside or outside and all the mums would chat, but now it’s in a sports hall we can’t, so it’s good reading time.

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