Where Do You Find The Time To Read?

I’m currently reading ‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn. It’s a fantastic read. Eerie, edgy and beautifully written. The twists and turns of the plot leave me none the wiser as to how the story will turn out. It ticks every box as far as I’m concerned, a real page turner. Well, it would be if I didn’t keep falling asleep every time I picked it up. Page 221….check….Wow!….I never saw that coming….I wonder what….zzzzzzzzzz.

Books such as this I would normally devour within a week. Ten train journeys to and from work and it would be in the can and on to the next one. Except I’m not. The reason? I’m writing. And editing a lot. Meaning the only sliver of my day when I have an opportunity to indulge in my love of reading is when I go to bed at night. Whoever said authors needed to read a lot obviously hadn’t three kids and a full time job.

In order to read more, something needs to give. Give up running? Nice try, but I’m afraid that’s a non starter. Running is a physical and mental necessity in my life. It purges me of the many toxins which regularly pollute my body and soul. Running while listening to an audio book? Don’t even go there. It takes every ounce of my concentration to put one foot in front of the other, let alone digest a novel. I don’t want to end face down in a ditch.

I could give up work but there’s the irritating matter of the mortgage and numerous other bills to pay. Plus the thought of me getting under Fionnuala’s feet all day at home, is not a recipe for a blissful marriage. My dream is to become a full-time author, but if that day ever comes I will need a shed at the bottom of the garden to protect my long suffering wife from the temptation of strangling me.

I’ve been reading all my life but, at this rate, it will take the rest of my life to finish ‘Dark Places.’ Meanwhile, the backlog of untouched books on my bookshelf and Kindle continue to grow unabated. Just because I can’t finish a book shouldn’t impact on me continuing to buy them, right? I’m the eternal optimist and constantly convince myself I’ll get caught up soon. Which never happens.

It’s a Gordian knot, a Catch 22, my own personal Brexit. A conundrum which I’m no nearer to resolving. Writing and reading? It’s akin to pouring two litres of water into a one litre bucket. So I’m throwing it out there this morning. Fellow writers, where do you find the time to write? Answers on a postcard please. Or alternatively, you can leave a comment below. I might even reply. If I can find the time.

43 thoughts on “Where Do You Find The Time To Read?

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  1. The only time I can read is either before bed (which ends poorly, too. zzzzz) or when I am cycling on the trainer at home. Sadly, I used to read much, much more. Four kids, 2 jobs, training….it just doesn’t happen as much as I’d like.

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  2. As my stack of unread books might ultimately rival the Shanghai Tower and my chain of unfinished projects stretch to the moon and back, I am sadly the last person you should ask. None the less there may be someone out there with the answer. Unfortunately they may not have the time to read blogs as well.

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  3. I’m struggling, too, and I am a retired empty-nester! Yes, writing and blogging (I do try to follow blogs I SAY I’m going to follow.) take an enormous chunk out of my day, not to mention a husband, five grandchildren, volunteering with the church, working out, etc. I read the Bible in the mornings (MOST mornings…) but as for reading other things, MAYBE in the waiting room – if I’m not doing my physical therapy on my hands …>sigh< Let us know if you find an answer.

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  4. I am happy to have found your blog. Your life seems a lot like mine…..I have my first book in the works and have had my beta readers read it and provide input and am now revising…….and I appreciate your dilemma when it comes to reading. I am a recently retired teacher. Prior to this past June, I did not have the time to read much nor, to write with any consistency. Working for a living simply takes up too much time. My only suggestion to you is to retire, as I have done. What a wonderful life I am now living! I am blogging and reading and my book is finally being given an honest chance at coming to fruition. If you can’t retire then, read shorter books, news articles, poetry, whatever. Reading is important, I know you know so, squeeze it in, in small manageable doses and life will still be workable for you. Good luck with your book.

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  5. I read “between the lines.” In other words, whenever I can make time. On the train to work and back. In the parked car while waiting to pick up kids from activities. In bed, if I’m not too sleepy. Unlike you, I also listen to audiobooks while running, but only if it’s a really, really good audiobook. I’d rather focus on the story than on how exhausted or sore I’m feeling.

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  6. I feel the same way. Something has got to give in order to read as much as I would like to. I feel jealous of people that have time to do book reviews on their blogs. I think I read maybe 2 whole books this year. But with the demands of work, family, and running…there is just a little time left over to write on my own blog not to mention stay up to date on the blogs that I am following.

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  7. I was just writing about this same topic the other day. Getting used to my new job and adjusting to a new schedule leaves me little time to do the things I truly love. I’m in no way complaining – I wanted all of this. I steal the time where I can. I read and write in the metro, on buses and even in the street. I try not to waste my time and I love my phone because it makes this possible. Warm hugs to you and your family. Glad I finally found some time to read your posts. Greetings from Istanbul 😊🌺

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  8. It’s a struggle, isn’t it. I’ve really enjoyed the couple of Gillian Flynn books I’ve read. Now I might have to add Dark Places to my growing pile of books I don’t have time to read!

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      1. I loved Gone Girl, which of course was made into a good movie with Ben Afleck and Rosamund Pike. Sharp Objects was good, although I didn’t like it quite as much. I hear it’s just been made into a TV series with Amy Adams.

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  9. Time management. When to read, when to write, when to work, when to visit my grandchildren, when to spend time with my wife, when to visit with friends, when to walk the dogs, when to garden, when to fish, when to worship, when to pray, When to head to the doctors, when shop and the list goes on. I have to really pay attention to my time management and slip things in whenever and where ever I can. Some days, I read at work, when it is slow and the network is behaving itself. But that is also my prime writing time too. I use to audio books on my hour drive in and out of work, but I have switched to my kindle for most of all of my reading. I steal time and read first thing in the morning when I rise. I have hours before work. I work evenings til midnight. Some days after work, I come home and either read or write. I had one book that drew me into it enough that I read it before bed. I read a chapter or two every night before I fell off to sleep. This resulted in my dreams centering around the book I was reading and the one I was writing but I was fine about that, (even though my book has some dream connections in it.to dreams). On the topic of reading, I have heard it said we should read what we write. Is anyone doing that?

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    1. That’s a lot of ‘when’ and you seem to be cramming a lot into your day. Well done. I am reading a lot of YA Fantasy, which is the genre my book would most comfortably fall into, so I would agree with you on your last point. Thanks for the great comments 👍🏻

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  10. I can relate to all this except I have two kids and a husband who acts like a third child sometimes. And I don’t run. I wish I did maybe that’s help especially seeing as writing is such a bad for your health sort of hobby and profession. I sit and don’t move for hours and that takes its toll. Haven’t figured out how to get into running it’s either blazing hot or cold here. I tried to read last night and fell asleep before kindle turned on. So feel that one. Good luck!

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