Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Making more time for reading

Since I finished Scroll Free September I've definitely become more mindful about my phone use. A few bad habits have started to creep back, but I'm getting much better at putting my phone to one side. I definitely find that I am drawn to it far less when I can't physically see it, so I now try to leave the phone in another room or upstairs whenever I can.

Another really positive outcome from Scroll Free September was that it encouraged me to visit the library again, which has been great for both me and the children. They have so many books of their own that I thought we didn't need to visit the library, but since we've been going weekly they have definitely both increased the amount that they are reading. They can be a bit reluctant to try  new authors, but when they find one that they like they become obsessive and want to read every book - luckily our library offers a free book reservation service for children!

I've been reading a huge amount more. I don't tend to keep track of the books that I read, as I remember having to do that at school and hating it, and I don't want to put too much pressure on myself with a reading challenge. Sometimes a book will really resonate with me and I think about it long after it's finished (two recent favourites in this category have been A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall and One Hundred Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi). Sometimes it will just divert me for a few hours and I've forgotten the plot by the next week (a fast paced read like The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena). But if a book doesn't grab me within the first chapter then I'm not afraid to move on to the next - I don't have time to read all the books that I want to read let alone the ones that don't speak to me!

Most of my reading takes place in bed. I'll often retreat early with a book and a hot water bottle, as I find that I can't concentrate while there are other people around or when the television is on. I also read during the day at home - I multitask by walking around the house in circles while I read, to notch up the steps on my Fitbit! I really enjoy reading next to the children in the evening while they read to themselves, I love seeing them become lost in a book.

It's much easier to find the time for reading now that the children are older. Apart from while I was breastfeeding I hardly read at all when the children were small, so it's nice to be back in the habit again. I feel so much more satisfied after a half hour reading than a half hour mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I also find myself thinking about the book I'm currently reading while I'm away from it, which keeps my mind busy. I'm so glad that I've been making more time for reading!

Lots of books on a curving bookshelf
Photo credit - Susan Yin via Unsplash

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