How to Find More Time to Read

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Courtesy of MCC

For many people few activities are more enjoyable than nestling up with a good book. But even the most devoted bookworms sometimes have trouble finding time to read.

In a 2017 survey conducted by the market research firm YouGov that focused on trends regarding New Year’s resolutions, 18% of respondents indicated they were committed to reading more books in 2018. That’s a lofty goal, and one that can do more than just provide readers with some daily escapism. Studies have shown that reading can develop neural networks in the brain that can help readers understand more complex thought. In addition, a 2013 study lead by neuropsychologist and researcher Robert Wilson found that a mentally active lifestyle may make it less likely that the presence of plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease will impair mental functioning. So picking up a good book and finding time to read may protect readers from some of the neurological issues associated with aging.

If you’re among the masses resolving to spend the year ahead reading more than you have in the past, consider these tips to find more time to cuddle up with a good book.

  • Turn off your devices. Think of how much time you now spend each day fiddling with your devices. If you’re a parent, the statistics might surprise you. A 2017 survey from Common Sense Media found that parents of children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of nine hours and 22 minutes each day in front of various screens (e.g., smartphones, tablets, televisions, etc.). While not all of that is downtime, chances are a good portion of it is. Whether you’re a parent or not, turning off your devices is perhaps the single most effective way to find more time to read.
  • Schedule time to read. Clear your schedule to read much like you might do to watch a favorite television show. Both books and television are forms of entertainment, so why clear time for one form of escapism but not the other?
  • Turn books into travel buddies. Carry a book with you whenever you leave the house, whether you’re going to a doctor’s appointment or to get work done on your car or even to go to work. Time spent in waiting rooms or commuting via mass transit provide perfect opportunities to read books.
  • Read first thing in the morning. A recent survey from the global market research firm IDC found that 80% of smartphone users check their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning. Instead of scrambling to read your alerts or overnight messages when you get out of bed, spend the first 10 or 15 minutes after waking up immersing yourself in a good book.

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