How do YOU read?

Or also WHEN do YOU read?

It/they is/are one of, the most often asked question(s) of book bloggers – well, at least by me.

I mean, I follow your blogs and your photos and stories on Instagram, and I see how busy you are with both work and family. Then I see a lot of reviews of books on your blogs and wonder when exactly do you have time to read?

Me? In the large scheme of things, or even in the small scheme, I don’t have that busy a schedule. My wife and I are childless, by choice, and I work at a library, but my hours never are over 35 hours. I usually work one Saturday a month and in the future might work a Sunday a month. Often when I work one Saturday month, I have the Friday before it off because our director doesn’t want any of us to work six days in a row or for most of us to go over 35 hours in a week. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I work early afternoons until 8 p.m. Thursday and Fridays, I work day shift.

Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com
A representation of my “weirdness.”

I still don’t devote that much time to reading each week because I am (by my own admission and my wife’s analysis) weird in that I prefer reading in longer chunks of time. For example, I’m drafting this Friday morning (working tomorrow) and I plan on reading for a few hours this afternoon as my wife, who works night shift, is sleeping. Tomorrow, since I’m working for the middle part of the day, I don’t plan on reading. Sunday, though, I have set aside for reading and commenting on blog posts in the morning and reading in the afternoon, again as my wife is asleep. This week’s selection: All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot.

Now that my wife and I deleted our Facebook accounts, I am finding that I have more time on weekday mornings, especially early in the week, to do other things – than mindlessly scroll through the news feed of mostly people to whom I never talked in real life. So far, I haven’t used the time to read, per se. I have read my morning devotions then; I use the Daily Devotions for Families and Individuals from The 1979 Anglican Book of Common Prayer: “In The Morning” each morning, then “At the Close of Day” each night. I also use the Forward Day by Day Meditation from Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church, each morning.

I already have been working on a nightly routine, for example, being off screens and trying to be in bed by a certain time each night. Now I think I need to focus a little more on my morning routine and add some reading time there, especially on the first three days of the week. That said, I am not a (good) polygamous reader so I’ll probably still be sticking to one book at a time, whatever catches my mood or inclination or sometimes what comes in from being on hold at the library.

Briefly, before I sign off, back to my weirdness of only reading in larger chunks of time: In short spurts, my attention is too split. I can’t focus. I feel rushed and I don’t like it. Sometimes I feel that at work and I don’t want to feel that at home too. I’d rather devote a longer stretch of time, preferably at least two hours, if not more, than try to catch reading in between things. I understand that for many of you with children or with other schedules that that reading on the fly is the way you have to read. For me, it just doesn’t work, or at least not very well, when I do try reading in short increments.

So…how about YOU? How or WHEN do YOU read? Please share in the comments or write your own blog post and share the link here. And visit The Sunday Salon either on Facebook or on Deb Nance’s blog Readerbuzz to participate with other book bloggers from around the U.S. and world.

38 thoughts on “How do YOU read?

  1. I get most of my reading done right before I fall asleep. It is the last thing I do each day; I can’t fall asleep without reading at least one page. I try to read during my lunch break if I can get one, and I am getting better about reading when I am waiting for anything. I don’t just sit and read anymore, which really sucks, but I find I don’t have the patience for it right now. There are too many things I can think of doing instead.

  2. I will read maybe 10-15 minutes here and there, a short story, a page before going to sleep, and then suddenly I’ll hit some sort of critical mass of interest and finish the last 25%-40% of a book in one sitting. Since I’m a slow reader, that can be the better part of a day.

    I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but my volunteer job uses it for community communication. About a year ago, I started writing morning pages first thing in the morning instead of logging in to social media. It’s amazing how much quieter the mornings feel now.

  3. My review posting has been sporadic. I am lucky to have one review a week but usually it’s one every two weeks.
    With my commute to and from work I am gone from 5am-5pm which takes up most of my day. I try to read for 30 minutes before work but that is also when I do my Bible study so it’s more like 15 min. On the weekend, I get about an hour to two hours of reading total. I read very fast when I actually sit down to do it though.

      1. I’ll take whatever I can get. Sometimes when work is slow I can sneak a page or two in but not often. I used to listen to audio books in the car but I listen to Bible studies now.

  4. I read (audio or print) pretty much every second I can. 🙂 But if I have a chance to spend time with friends or family, they always come first. As Mr. BFR is fond of saying to me, “God forbid you go one second without listening to your book.”

  5. My daughter is away at college. I work 8-4 on weekdays.
    I do read in small pieces, like when I’m waiting for someone at a restaurant. My husband watches a lot of sports on tv so I’ll sit with him and read. Also, I love audiobooks, I can get chores or work done while listening. I try to read right before bed, but usually fall asleep.
    I do tend to have two or three books going at once: one on audio, on in print, and one on my Kindle.

  6. “I don’t plan on reading.” Wow! That doesn’t compute in my world, even before retirement. I’m always reading something. I don’t read two novels at the same time, because my mind jumbles the characters together; but I always have one or two nonfiction books going, usually along with a novel. I read in snatches of time between commitments, or even DURING commitments, like while waiting for a neighbor I’ve taken for a doctor’s appointment. I am often interrupted, but that simply means I go back and re-read a paragraph or two to re-focus when I find another chance to get back to my book. I can’t imagine a day without reading part of at least one book, usually more than one. It probably helps that I gave away my television ten or fifteen years ago. Maybe it was closer to twenty years. I prefer to read and get my news on the computer and occasionally from listening to the radio.

    Composing this response to your question, I decided that I had my Sunday Salon post for today, even though I finally wrote it late on Sunday evening. Here’s the link, if you want to see the whole thing:
    https://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2019/04/sunday-salon-reading-of-course.html

    1. After being all day at work where I am straining my eyes on computers all day, that’s what I mean. And also in response to one of the bloggers who commented on your blog, alluding to my hating reading: I don’t. I love reading when I find the time to do it… And also use the time I already have more wisely to read. I do plan on reading…just not all of the time.

      1. Wait, Bryan, read it again. She didn’t say YOU hate reading, just that it “strikes [her] as odd when [she] hears people who say they hate reading or that they read one book last year.” She was expanding the conversation and had just mentioned a teacher in her school who said she hated to read. We know YOU like reading, but just enjoy reading when you have big chunks of time to do it.

        My point in that blog post was simply that I read anywhere, anytime, anyway, even in 5-minute or 10-minute increments. We’re all different.

        I once had someone smile and tell me she read a book. I waited for her to tell me about the book, but she could see my confusion and said, “No, I mean … I … READ … A … BOOK … a whole book!” She was excited because she never read and it was a big deal that she had read the whole thing. She was proud of herself, and she was a woman with grown children. That was an odd occasion for me.

        1. Yes. I took it personally and shouldn’t have with regards to the commentor. If I came across that way with you, I apologize. And yes, we all are different in how or often we read or if, like the woman you mentioned, we read at all.

  7. I am probably what is considered a fast reader (about 100pages an hour) so I’m not bothered if I only have a few minutes, or hours to indulge. I often read while my husband watches tv in the evening, and I don’t go anywhere without something to read in my bag. I’m still a SAHM too, though my youngest of four is now a teenager, so I have a lot of flexibility in my day, plus I don’t sleep much thanks to insomnia, so it’s not uncommon for me to start and finish a book in the early hours of the morning.

    Have a great reading week

  8. I read wherever/whenever I can. I prefer to read in larger chunks of time but that doesn’t always work. I listen to audio books in the car or when I walk by myself. They’ve been a lifesaver for me recently when I battled eye issues.

    1. Like I mentioned to another commentor, I wish audiobooks worked for me too. They just don’t, but I understand how beneficial they can be, and are, to those with eye issues, temporary or permanent.

  9. I read at night, mostly. After my kids are asleep or while I wait for the youngest to fall asleep. I don’t mind reading a little here and there when I can, but I find I don’t stop reading, so whatever I was supposed to be doing – like feeding the kids – gets forgotten. Very rarely I read in the morning, if I can get up before the kids, but normally that backfires because inevitably I get to a good part and someone decides they need breakfast. Needless to say – children eat too much and expect too much 😉

    1. Children, especially YOUR children. Sigh. 😉 I think that’s part of it for me too because I don’t like putting down a book just as it’s getting good or even within 50 pages of the end.

      1. I almost read through our family dinner last night. Oops. It’s a young adult book called The Green Ember by S.D. Smith that we are reading for the homeschooling group book discussion in May and it picked up in the middle and just flew along to the end. There are two more in the series, so I might try them, as well. Mom has already read all three. Needless to say, I should only read at night, when I can have a “good chunk of time” like you said, to read.

  10. I’m not a very fast reader, so audiobooks help me fit more books into my life… I listen while I walk in the morning, when I’m alone in the car, and sometimes while cooking, cleaning, or working outdoors. As far a sitting and reading a book, that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. Sometimes I’ll grab an hour in the late afternoon before dinner, but most of the time it’s in the evening instead of television – or after the news has upset me. Ideally, I like to work reading a physical book into my morning routine, too. Great discussion post!

    1. I’m not a fast reader either, but don’t “do” audiobooks. They just don’t work for me, and I have tried. That said, I understand how they work for others, including yourself. My wife and I want to read more in the evenings too instead of TV. What’s nice is that we don’t have “regular” shows since we are cordcutters so can watch whatever whenever we want.

  11. When do I read…well, let’s see…

    On my hour lunch if I don’t have any chores to be done or dinner to prep.

    At night, I’m usually done with work and chores by 8pm or 9pm so that gives me an hour or two if there’s nothing on TV I want to watch with Mom.

    We retire to our rooms at 10pm so technically I have another 2 or 3 hours in which to read, but that’s when I’m usually getting caught up on all my shows that Mom is not keen on.

    Some weekends I’ll read non stop except for a grocery run on Sunday, but other weekends, like this one, I get caught up in reading blogs and writing a book review and that sucks up most of my day. I never realized how time consuming a detailed book review can be!!!

    So I guess I’m in the category of fitting reading in whenever I can.

    1. I understand reading in whenever one can. It just hasn’t worked for me. I might be trying it a little bit more, at least an hour or two. I still don’t see myself reading five or 10 minutes at a time.

  12. I’m a fast reader, which obviously helps me to read more, and like Deb, it’s my preferred form of entertainment. Because I read quickly, I expect to finish a book in a few sittings. If I’m reading in the evening after work, it will take a few days, but on the weekends I usually get several hours in and can finish a shorter book in a day or a longer one over the course of the weekend. I teach reading and we begin each class period with 15-20 minutes of reading. It’s advised that teachers also read, to model what engaged reading looks like, but I am TERRIBLE at stopping after such a short time period, so I only read in class if I think the kids need and can handle a full period of reading!

    1. Interesting. Another commenter just said she’s a slow reader so prefers audiobooks while you and Deb are fast readers. I want to read more during the week, especially after work. My wife and I are “working” on that.

  13. One things I did (that most people don’t wish to do) is to stop watching (most) television. When I was a child, the television was on all the time; my mom said she liked the noise. When I married and returned home from work in the evening, one of the first things I would do is to turn on the tv and randomly browse through the channels. We stopped doing that when we had children; I would only turn on the occasional Mr. Rogers or something else on PBS. But as our kids grew older and left home, we found ourselves turning to tv again more and more. Finally, on New Year’s Day of 2003, I vowed to give up random tv. Now, instead of watching tv in the evenings, I pull out my book.

    I will say that I need to take on a similar resolution next year for computer use. Limiting FB time would be a good place to start.

    Thank you for starting the conversation. I have many, many people ask me how I read so many books, and the short answer is that reading is my preferred form of entertainment.

    Thank you also for sharing information about Sunday Salon on your blog.

    1. My wife and I don’t mind not watching TV. In fact, for us, it’s a little easier since we’re cordcutters and don’t have regular shows we watch. I remember when we did have cable, we’d browse too, but now it’s not as much and we’re aiming to make it a lot less, only on certain nights. Sometimes to be honest it’s hard to read at the end of the day when you’ve been on computer screens all day. I want to get to the point that reading is my preferred form of entertainment, but right now it’s not…and you’re welcome on sharing about the Sunday Salon. I like how it’s coming together. i’ve seen participation increase on all of our blogs. I’m not sure about Facebook since I’m not there, but I guess there too because I am seeing bloggers here that don’t put their links on your blog. I’m guessing they come from there.

  14. Lately, I read when I can find the time. This week, I didn’t have any time to read until Friday night. Work and school are kicking my butt lately. I’m taking an Art History course (Fine Arts requirement), and there is SO MUCH work involved. Sigh. So I’m not reading even close to how often I’d like to.

    Before this quarter, I used to read at least an hour before Eric and I sat down to watch tv together, then I would read for a few minutes before bed (helps me fall asleep). Lately, I’m reading for only that ten minutes before I fall asleep.

    1. I’m lucky if I read once a week myself. I had grand plans to read on Friday when I was off, but alas it didn’t happen. I’ve heard reading is good before bed (print). I might have to try that too.

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