Tuesday, February 18, 2020

When Do You Read?

People ask me that a lot.  I read about a book a week, which is not a lot compared to some people I know, but for a homeschooling mom of three who also writes books, blogs, co-leads a homeschool co-op, teaches Sunday school, etc... it feels like a goodly bit of reading.

So anyway, a bookstagram friend of mine, Beth Anne @bookworm_baggins (a fellow homeschooling mom) gets this question too.  In her stories on Instagram last week, she shared pictures of how she fits reading into her busy life.  Inspired by her, I did the same -- for four days in a row, I took a picture of every time and every place I read.  And now I'm sharing those pictures here too because... I can.


Two minutes reading a book while I re-braid my hair before breakfast.  Three minutes reading my devotions while I floss and brush my teeth.

Five minutes reading while I wait for my kids to be ready to eat breakfast.  Fifteen minutes reading while at the library, waiting for them to find books to check out.

Twenty minutes while doing cardio after supper.  Five minutes reading aloud to my kids.  

Twenty minutes while my kids Skype with their grandparents before bed.

Thursday total: 65 minutes


Three minutes reading devotions while I floss and brush my teeth, plus two minutes while I rebraid my hair.

Twenty minutes reading aloud to my daughter during school as part of her history class.  (The other two totally listen in most of the time.)

Friday total:  25 minutes


Three minutes of devotions while flossing and brushing teeth.  Fifty minutes reading aloud to my kids before supper.

Don't know why I took two pictures of reading The Hobbit.  Ten minutes reading after my shower.

Twenty minutes while the kids Skype their grandparents before bed.  Three minutes while I brush and rebraid my hair.

Saturday total: 86 minutes


Three minutes reading devotions while brushing and flossing teeth.  Thirty-five minutes reading in the car on the way to church.

Fifteen minutes reading in the car on the way home.  Would have been more, but my book ended too soon!  Twenty minutes reading while doing cardio.

Twenty minutes while my kids Skype with their grandparents.

Sunday total: 93 minutes

All of which is just here to tell you that, if you can handle reading in little dribs and drabs, you can squeeze at least thirty minutes of reading into even really busy days.  I know not everyone can do that, because I have friends who require more concentration to read.  But if you can read a little here and there, it adds up fast!

So now, tell me -- when do YOU read?


  1. Well, you have great patience and concentration bc I have to read in 20-30 minute chunks w/ the promise of no interruptions. Therefore, I can read when my son has his 1 hour piano lesson (I take 2-3 books to switch out every 20 minutes), or I read during my girls dance lessons, which are 1-3 hours in the evenings; I go to the gym first, and then if there is a 1/2 hour left before the girls are done, I will read. (I couldn't read at the gym bc it would be too distracting, but I do like to watch book reviews on Youtube while on the treadmill.) And I read before bed for 30 minutes, if I can keep my eyes open. The best time is when we finish school early enough, and it is warm outside...then I take my book outside and read for an hour.

    1. Ruth, great concentration, yes. Great patience? Not so sure. I think it's just that I hold stories in my head easily, so it doesn't bug me to have a story come in a paragraph or a page here and there. Which is probably related to how I can read multiple books at the same time and keep their stories straight, and be writing multiple books and stories at the same time too. I can compartmentalize, or something?

      I mean, sometimes I inhale a book in a day or two, if it demands all my thoughts. But that's rare, and I always mention it when I review it, that I couldn't help but inhale it.

      I don't think I'd feel safe reading at an actual gym. I disappear when I read, zero idea of what's going on around me. So I'm glad my hubby bought me a stationary bike and a book rack for it, so I can read and pedal in our basement in peace.

  2. Reading in small increments is hard for me, and can't read if there's too much noise, specifically talking, because words going in my ears distracts from words going in my eyes. I do my best reading at night, at bedtime when it's dark and quiet, but I also read in waiting rooms at doctor's offices, which I see a lot of with all my parents's appointments. It's annoying if the waiting room has a TV or radio blaring or people talking, but I can mostly drown it out with instrumental music on my iPod. I don't read as fast that way as in silence, but it's something. :) As for reading in the car, I have to take Dramamine to do that lest I get carsick, so I mostly only read in the car if we're going on a long trip.

    1. EFB, yeah, not being able to block out distractions would make this very hard. My parents used to joke that if I was reading, they could talk out loud about my birthday presents or Christmas presents while sitting right next to me, and I'd never hear a word.

      One of my daughters gets carsick easily and has to have Dramamine to read in the car too.

  3. Okay wow-this was really inspiring! I usually only read before bed, or in the car-but I have been wanting to fit it in other times throughout the day. It always makes a day brighter to have some reading in it, I think!

    1. MEM, yes! Reading brightens my days too. I can start to feel deflated and empty if I'm not consuming stories with regularity. Especially while I'm writing one myself. Got to keep refilling.

      Just having a book handy to grab and read a page or a paragraph of when time permits makes all the difference! I keep one I'm reading up in my bathroom and one or more on the main floor at all times.

  4. I have wondered about how you get so much reading in because you read War and Peace so quickly last summer! It seems like I read all the time, but it is not nearly as much as I want. How do you keep your books open while you do your hair?

    1. MC, I never read as much as I want, either. Or watch as many movies as I want. Real life keeps getting in the way. So pesky.

      War and Peace did make me read MORE than usual, but I was able to because it was summer and I wasn't quite so busy teaching and so on. It does help that I read pretty fast, and that I can read in little chunks. I concentrate well, lol.

      When I'm brushing and braiding my hair, I use either my hair brush or my phone to keep my book open, if it won't stay open by itself. I often read hardcovers upstairs because they stay open on their own a little better. I generally have at least 2 books going for myself, one upstairs and one on the main floor, plus something I'm reading aloud to my kids. And sometimes I'll have an extra going too, usually a nonfiction or a graphic novel tossed in for balance, lol.

  5. I read in the mornings, usually, after exercising, because if I don't sit down and stay still for a chunk of time after exercising, my body yells at me later ;-) I also read during the evenings, sometimes, although that's harder because my brain is usually too tired.

    1. Katie, I like that result from exercising!

    2. Yeah! It's kind of a win-win situation :D

  6. I saw your Instagram story about this and was fascinated! I don't usually read in small increments, or at least not purposeful reading. I do read something on my phone in small increments, be it an article or something, which is different than a book. However, I wonder if I might be able to do the same as you if I simply decided to. I don't require quiet or deep concentration usually, so I think I could do it. I'd love to try, so thanks for the inspiration! :) Perhaps I'll even attempt to document a few days of it, like you did, just for fun.

    Lately, when I do intentionally read a book, it's in the evening and before bed. Or on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon.

    1. Kara, yeah, this is kind of a lifestyle I've fallen into over the years. After college and before kids, I mostly only read on my lunch break at work and sometimes in the evenings. But the busier I get, the more I needed to fit snatches in here and there, and this is what it's evolved into. Though I do sometimes get to just sit down and read a book for an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon. But that's pretty rare.


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