At the start of 2018, I challenged myself to read 50 books over the year…

It’s now halfway through the year, and I’m currently on my 41st book. I’ve decided to extend my challenge and try and read 75 books, so we’ll see how that goes!

For those of you that don’t know, I work as an editor, I have a son who is nearly two (HOW did that happen?!) and I also blog and freelance. The question a lot of people have asked when I share my posts about what I’ve been reading, is: “How do you find the time?”

I thought I’d share a few of the ways I’ve been able to find time to read this year…

Always carry a book with you

Sounds obvious, but I never used to think about it because I had my phone, and my headphones with me, so I would just make do with those. Now I make sure I always have a book in my bag with me, whether a physical book, or my Kindle.

Read before bed

Rather than letting Love Island be the last thing you think of before you go to sleep, why not escape into a book before you close your eyes? Whether you choose to fall down the rabbit hole with Alice, defeat Voldemort with Harry, figure out how to survive on Mars with Mark or solve a crime with Sherlock, a few minutes of reading before bed can make such a difference to your sleep. As a Mum, I’m usually desperate to maximise my sleep, but since I’ve started reading before bed, instead of mindlessly scrolling through my phone, I’ve found it so much easier to fall asleep.

Reading in bed

Have a varied TBR list

I went through a phase of only reading crime books, and so when I started a book that was a contemporary romance, I struggled to get into it because I was just waiting for someone to go missing or be murdered! (Think: “Omg this woman has a child…he’s going to get kidnapped or they’ll be separ…oh wait, no, she’s a loving mum and is just going on a nice date with a perfectly lovely guy…”) If I struggle to get into a book, I’m much more likely to put it down and forget about it for a while, and once I stop, I find it harder to start reading again.

I definitely have favourite genres that I will always opt for, but I’ve started mixing them up, so after a psychological thriller, I’ll read a romance, then a classic. This way I never know what to expect, and I go into every story with an open mind. Similarly, I try and mix up the lengths of books – I read A Little Life earlier this year which is a HUGE book, and once I’d finished it, I couldn’t face reading another lengthy novel straight away. I chose a new book from my TBR (to be read) list and made sure it was a much lighter, much shorter book!

I also find having a TBR list has been amazing. I used to find a book, read it, and then that would be it for reading until I stumbled across something else I wanted to read. Now I have a ridiculously long TBR list, including recommendations from some of my favourite book bloggers, books I’ve seen advertised, books recommended on Goodreads or Amazon etc. This also means that once I’ve finished a book, I can dive straight into the next!

Read together

I spend my afternoons with my son, and I want to enjoy every second with him, but after running around in the park, or crawling around at soft play, we often need a bit of downtime. He loves reading, and so we sometimes have a few minutes where he sits with his book, intently studying the pictures, and I spend that time reading my book. I love reading to him, but sometimes he just wants to do it himself! I think he likes feeling like he’s doing the same ‘grown-up’ thing as me.

Both my parents are avid readers, and so when I was growing up, reading was second nature to us. Books are everywhere in their house! When I go home to visit them, I’ll spend afternoons sat in the garden with my Dad, both of us reading books, and they are both always full of suggestions and recommendations.

Grab every second

Whether you’re on your commute, waiting for a bus or train, your friend is running late or you’ve finally finished that to-do list, grab that book and use the time to read. I’ve figured out how to balance a book on top of Dougie’s buggy, so I can even read while I’m walking him around the park. I’m also guilty of being one of those annoying people who reads while I walk, but I do make sure it’s a fairly empty street before getting my book out! It also means I spend less time scrolling absentmindedly through social media, which I’m really pleased about.

What are your tips for finding time to read?