November 18, 2013

5 Tips for Finding Time to Read (Even When You Have Small Children)

5 Tips for Finding Time to Read (even when you have small children!)

Since I love to read so much (and since I sometimes get paid to write book reviews), there was no way I was going to quit reading, just because I have two kids now. But honestly, it took me about ten days to even crack open a book after Juliet was born, because picking up the tv remote seemed a lot easier in my sleep-deprived state.

Once I did pick up a book, however, I quickly fell into a groove, and thought I'd share my tips so far. (Although, granted, my second child is barely a month old. I hope that some of you with older kids will share your tips in the comments!)

  1. Be willing to be interrupted. There's no way I'm going to get to sit and read for an hour. But if I'm willing to keep picking up and setting down my book, I can get 10 minutes here, and 15 minutes there, and by the end of the day I can have read as much as 2-3 hours some days.
  2. Read while nursing. I'm still working on being able to hold a paperback with one hand. I'm finding it easier to read hardbacks and prop them on the boppy as Juliet nurses. I guess this is where an e-reader could simplify things (although I read a book on a friend's Kindle Touch, and again was not a fan).
  3. Have multiple books going. I have a book in the living room, next to my usual nursing spot. And I have a book in the bedroom, in case I end up getting a few minutes to read there. And I have an audiobook going on my phone, so that if miraculously both girls are occupied, or if Noel is watching them, I can listen to a few minutes while I do the dishes or go for a walk.
  4. Read fun books. I'm not reading any parenting or theology or heavy historical books. I'm going for fun mysteries, quick-reading young adult stuff, and light nonfiction. I don't have the brain power or attention span to really focus right now, and that's fine. I can get back to more serious things later, as long as I keep myself in the habit of reading!
  5. Read next to bigger kids. If Juliet happens to be willing to be put down, I've found that if I sit close to Eleanor, she doesn't mind if I read while she plays. She'll prattle on, and I'll occasionally answer, and we're both happy. I know that some people also read next to their older kids while the kids are reading their own books, but Eleanor still barely sounds out words, so I can't quite manage that yet.

How do YOU find time to read?