Where do you find (make) the time to read?

For those of us that write, reading is part of the equation. You have to read to know the art of writing, and the more you read and expose yourself to, the better your own writing becomes.

A teacher of mine once said, when the class was drawing seashells in pen and ink, that we should spend as much time studying a subject as producing it. I think the same holds true for writing (though the balance may not be a strict 50/50).

But life is busy– and writing is a time-consuming effort. Where are we to find (or make) the time to balance our writing with reading? I have my own answers, but I’m curious to hear yours: Where do you find and/or make the time to read?

Triple-berry bonus points for answers in Dr. Seuss/rhyme.

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20 thoughts on “Where do you find (make) the time to read?

  1. There will be no triple berry points for me as there is no Seuss in me. But … I find time to read because I always have. There is no down time for me. If I’m watching TV, I have a magazine or book or Kindle in my hand. If I’m at the doctor’s office, I have reading material with me. Today I met a friend for lunch. I knew I was going to be early. I took reading material. To me, reading came before writing and without the former, I don’t have the latter.

  2. When I was young I would read absolutely everywhere. My bus ride to school only took 15 minutes and I would read right up until the door opened…Now, due to university/blogging/the real world I am struggling to find the time. I usually read while I’m eating breakfast/lunch, cooking dinner, watering the garden….I’m serious.
    I won’t attempt to mess with the brilliance of Dr Seuss so I will steal one of his quotes instead:
    The more that you read, the more things you will know.
    The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

    • Jadye, I LOVE that Dr. Seuss quote– and I have been meaning to read that specific book forever!

      I think it can be especially hard to get reading time in as a student: you’re already reading so much for classes and many have jobs to boot! I remember a fiction course I took in which we read a novel a week and I didn’t know how I would find the time at first– but I managed! Hope you are able to read for pleasure inside your busy schedule, too πŸ™‚

  3. I read anytime I have 15 minutes to myself, or even when it’s not to myself and people are around – I ignore them and read. It’s unfortunate, but true. : )

  4. I have been very inconsistent in my reading (beyond blogs) lately. I did a series of posts on Sylvia Plath’s journals and made it through a hundred pages or so before I lost steam. I saw an 11-page essay on William Cowper (one of my favorite poets) and thought to myself, “I’ll come back to this.”

    I simply have to set up a schedule for myself. To paraphrase the Bible, “There is a time to read and a time to write.” Many of the most prolific writers were vociferous readers. Ray Bradbury, for instance.

    • Tony, the prolific writer/vociferous reader relationship makes absolute sense to me. Something about the input vs. output just adds up! A schedule sounds reasonable, too (who doesn’t appreciate a bit of structure?).

      On a side note, Sylvia Plath’s journals? THAT sounds interesting! I know something of her background and a taste of her poetry…I imagine her journals make fascinating nonfiction.

  5. I like to read while I eat breakfast and dinner, though it does mean I chop up my food before I sit down so I can just fork bite sized pieces while I hold my book in my other hand haha.

    • Jess, that is ADORABLE! πŸ˜€ I often read while eating, too, but I usually don’t go so far as to make things into individual bites first (then again, I guess I don’t eat a lot of steak or anything). I feel like this is the perfect “You know you’re a writer when ~” sort of thing…

  6. Julieeeeee πŸ™‚

    Okay, so as you know I go to uni and work. Sometimes, it is rather hard to find time to read let alone write. But I find it easier to accomplish the former rather than the latter. At work and at school, whenever I have a spare minute, I whip out my book and start reading. It may be for half an hour or 10 minutes, but at least it’s something. Then, when I’m home I try to read whenever I have free time. Now that it’s the summer I can read whenever I want! πŸ™‚

    For writing it’s a little more difficult. Lately, I’ve had to tell myself to DO IT. I haven’t been in the mood to write (other than book reviews). It’s a struggle.

    I think to have the time to read and write is to MAKE time for it.

    Sorry for such a long response! Hope it helps! πŸ™‚

    – Emma

    • Emma! YES and YES, I totally remember hectic student life (it hasn’t been THAT long ;)) and agree: it was WAY easier to read than to write in a spare moment. When you’re going into somebody else’s book, it’s all laid out for you: all you have to do is move your eyes and take it in. But when the pressure’s on you to produce…well, that’s another story!

      Maybe summer will be a good time to write πŸ™‚

  7. I slowly began replacing things I do with reading. On the train to University, instead of listening to music I read. At work on my lunch break, instead of flipping through a newspaper or refreshing Facebook 1000 times, I read. Then before bed. I use reading as a time filler, although I do enjoy it thoroughly, so It’s more than just filling time. It also depends on the book. If it’s something that I love so much I will ignore everything else just to read it.

    • Jake, I’m just the same. Reading has gradually muscled its way into daily life and activities since I became serious about being a writer. And so quietly! Like a NINJA! But I’ve loved every page.

      Reading before bed is interesting. I’ve heard that when we sleep we commit things to memory, so often the best time to memorize/instill/refresh something in your head is shortly before you go to bed. That said– have you ever found your dreams influenced by your reading? (Ain’t gonna lie…I’ve defo had an ‘accio, firebolt!’ dream before!)

      • I’m totally with you on that, since I started being serious about writing, I read all the time. Years ago I would maybe read one book a year. If that. Hhaha. So different now

        Reading helps me sleep too. Once I start to get tired the pages start to blur and I’m forced to put it down and fall into a very deep sleep haha. But yes I’ve had my fair share of Harry Potter dreams haha.

  8. I leave books all over my apartment, it’s a constant visual reminder.

    I’m also a fan of reading e-books (because I like that I can highlight) so I carry my iPad with me almost everywhere — it doesn’t take much space in my bag and I always have a bunch of newly downloaded books that I can choose from. The only downside is that unless they’re classics (which I also enjoy to read), I have to spend $9.99 per book. I see it as an investment into my education πŸ™‚

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