Too busy to read?

3 ways to rekindle your love of reading amidst your busyness

Image Courtesy: Haley Truong for Unsplash

It is Thursday afternoon lunchtime and, I am brimming with excitement, waiting for the school bell to ring, signalling the start of the afternoon classes. I was a typical eight-year-old like any child when the lunch break was their favourite time of the day. You could eat hurriedly and then play, chat and have fun with your friends.

But Thursdays at school were different because, after lunch, we had our weekly Library hour. The school library was the place where I would devour book after book. The Librarian would tease me that she had to order newer books every month with my reading pace. My love of reading began there. As I grew older, while I had changed in many ways, the only constant thing was my love for reading.

I read with passion, found time to read even during exams. Therefore, it came as a shock when I realised that my reading habit was slowly disappearing. It did not happen overnight. It happened slowly but steadily. I would drop off to sleep as I was reading. I started giving excuses to myself for not being able to read. I had also transitioned to e-books despite being dead against it initially. My reading for pleasure waned into a routine just for the sake of reading and then stopped altogether. I got too busy to read. I could not complete even one book for a whole year.

A few years back, I was determined to rekindle my love for reading. I decided that while I may have lost the habit of reading, I still love reading. So, I set about finding ways to do what I love, and that is what I am sharing with you.

1. Keep the E-reader or a book in places that are easily accessible:

One of the struggles I had to get into the reading zone was when I had to go into my workspace for reading. When I finish my work, I tend to relax in a space away from work. I found myself reluctant to sit in the same workspace to relax and read. I moved all my reading books to a different area, and few books moved to my bedside table so that they are easily accessible. I also put away all distractions that would hinder my reading time. As a child, I would pretend that I did not hear my Mom or sisters speak when I was reading. I deployed the same strategy now for reading. I ignored all the notification sounds and just stayed with my reading.

2. Reading time:

While I enjoyed reading in the evening and through the night as a teen and young adult, as I became older, I was too tired to read late in the evening, and I had lost all the enjoyment of reading. So, as I was an early riser, I moved my reading time to the morning. Once I started reading in the morning, I got an uninterrupted, quiet two hours to read and kept me excited during the day, and I started finding time to read and complete even during the day. I would speculate that just setting aside some uninterrupted time when I was fresh, without being bogged down by the happenings of the day, helped me read ten books last year.

3. Slip a book or E-reader in your bag:

I also noticed that there were times when I am waiting for a meeting to start or when I am free between sessions or meetings. I went back to my habit of carrying a book or e-reader in my bag, and whenever I found time, I started reading. When I pick a book, it also stops me from browsing aimlessly or using social media. It reduced my screen time, and I was doing what I loved, reading.

It may feel a bit difficult at first to rekindle your joy of reading, but it is worth the effort. One thing that helped me stay on track and read regularly was thinking and reigniting memories of how I used to feel while reading a book and how enriched I felt after reading. That is what brought me back to books. After all, Books are a Man or Woman’s best friend.

“Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and fill up my heart.” — Oprah