I’m often asked, “how do you have/find time to read?’ Most people in my life know that I love being involved in 1,000 things at once. They also know I’m fiercely dedicated to everything I attempt to do. Ever since I was in high school I’ve loved being involved. I was involved in numerous clubs, I was the head of tech and assistant director for my high school plays, played volleyball, tutored, and took dance classes.
Once I hit college I knew I needed a bit of a break, I was burnt out. I decided to take a semester off of being involved and I just spent the time hanging with friends or doing schoolwork. I started getting the involvement bug again and started joining clubs, working two work-study jobs, as well as becoming an orientation leader.
I applied my sophomore year in college to become the orientation intern, helping run a program that shuttled in over 1,500 potential freshmen every summer for a weekend stay on our campus three weekends in a row. We also ran a 5 day program the 5 days before classes started in August. It was through being an orientation intern and everything I did in high school that taught me to make time for the things I really wanted.
As I graduated college and my schedule got considerably lighter, I moved in with my then boyfriend, now husband Todd. We both worked a 40-hr work week and were enjoying our new free time. We signed up to join our local alumni chapter for our alma mater and began taking part in the sporting events our college put on. I began to read heavily, finding it a pleasure to read again. Todd would always make fun of me because I would find a series of books that I’d never read before and want to read them all at once. One example is when my former roommate Ashley
told me about the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. She knew I enjoyed the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and said Kim you have to check them out. Well around the same time True Blood (the HBO series based on the Sookie books) was beginning its 2nd season. Me having the obsessive personality that I do went out and bought the first season on Blu-ray. I forced Todd and our good friend Adam to begin the first season with me. 12 hours, a lunch break, dinner break, multiple pee and drink breaks later we had completed the first season. We were in shock and awe. I looked at Todd and said Todd I HAVE to read these books. Adam (who really doesn’t read but gives it a shot for me anyway) proceeded to make a bet with me. (At this point in time there were 9 Sookie books available) Adam bet me that I couldn’t read the 9 books in 6 days. I bet him that he couldn’t finish them in 2 weeks. Adam lost his half of the bet and I won my half, finishing the 9 books in 5 days. Todd called it Bomb Shelter week because I literally refused to do anything but read. I came home from work and Todd made dinner and cleaned and took care of our two cats that week. Todd and Adam both still make fun of me and every once in a while tell me that bomb shelter week seems to be happening again.
I fully admit that I get caught up in books, sometimes allowing them to take over my daily life. I have gotten more of a routine and schedule down with books though. To jump back onto the subject of the post, how I find time, I answer – I don’t “find” time – I make time. I read every night without fail before I go to bed. The more you read the faster your reading pace will get, hence why I make myself read every night. I’m at a pace where I can read 100pgs an hour, which is another reason I go through books so fast. As things get busier in my life the time I spend before bed obviously diminishes, but when I get time I read.
I try to tell people who are interested in reading to split up every book they want to read. I’ll use Adam as an example. Under the Dome by Stephen King was selected as our book club book for September. (Our book club incredibly flexible, being completely done online) The book is over 1,000 pages and he didn’t get to it for September, and wasn’t able to fit it into his schedule for October. I told him to stop looking at it as this 1,000 page monster and break it down. Take the entire month of November if you want to and break it down by day. 1,000 pages over 30 days equal 33 pages a day. That’s not difficult at all. When you take books and make them have small attainable goals you can fit the time in anywhere. Don’t have time at home to read before bed? Bring a book to work with you and read 20 pages at your lunch break. As long as you try to read something everyday your reading pace will quicken over time. Thus this has been my secret all these years to reading so much. I find minutes here and there and everywhere through my day to keep my passion for reading alive.
Note: I’ve written a review for Sharon Lathan’s In the Arms of Mr. Darcy that is set to appear on http://www.austenprose.com I’ll post a connecting link once it’s gone up, but do keep your eye out for it!