{Time management} Why you and I are not reading more books

Make time for reading | www.OrganisingQueen.com

A few weeks ago I read something on a blog that blew my mind –

The average reader can read a book in about 4 and a half hours.


I’m a faster than average reader but I’ve never officially had my reading speed checked, so let’s just say I read a book in about 4 hours.

Technically, I should then get through many more books than I currently do (5 – 6 a month).

I took it a step further and asked myself why?

And the answer won’t surprise you – social media, blogs, messing on Instagram. I could easily read blogs for 2 hours a night and scroll instagram for another hour; why not use that time to move toward my goals instead of reading about people I don’t even know?

Make time for reading | www.OrganisingQueen.com

So that weekend I decided to do an experiment – after Sunday lunch, I parked myself on a chair and read a book for about 3 hours. Sure enough I had about 50 pages to go before the book was done.

That night I finished the book.

I did the same the next weekend.

And the next.

Obviously nothing else got done but that’s how I prefer to read a novel – completely immerse myself.

Make time for reading | www.OrganisingQueen.com

So if you’re thinking, “I don’t have enough time to read,” take an afternoon on a weekend, leave your phone and computer far away from you and just read.

My kids played outside, watched some sport with Dion and then did some craftsy things by themselves (I don’t know exactly what because I was reading :)).

By the way, I’ve found the Kindle app on the ipad even more amazing. When you start a book it says, “learning reading speed” and after a while it will tell you, “only 2 hours and 40 minutes to go”.

Tell me – how can any goal-oriented person ignore that? It is DIVINE and I love it!

(it’s also the reason I sometimes stay up too late “I’ll be done in 28 minutes” :))

How do you make time for reading?

PS The last time I wrote about making time for reading I also had a pic of a Sheila O’Flanagan book!

Make time for reading | www.OrganisingQueen.com

How I find time to read

It’s no secret that I read a lot.

Last year I set a goal of 60 books, reached it in November so I increased my goal to 70 and made it! Shew 🙂

This year my goal is 65 – I was ahead in Jan with 8 books but am nearly done with number 3 for Feb.

People ask me this question a lot – how do you find time to do all the reading you do? These are the things I do:


prioritise my reading

It’s very important to me to read and to read for pleasure, not just to learn something. I read every night before bed, at least 30 minutes, but I plan to read for about 45 – 60 minutes. This is usually when I read fiction. It’s easy for the time to pass when you’re reading something that sweeps you away.

use any time I can find to read – whether 5 or 55 minutes 🙂

If I have a 5-minute gap, I’ll grab a book. Even if I can just read a few pages, it’s worth it to me.

have a system – I mostly read non-fiction when I only have short gaps and fiction when I have more time available.

I really don’t like being interrupted when I’m reading fiction which is why that’s night-time reading for me. I find it’s more efficient to know my go-to book than to waste a few precious moments thinking, “ummm, what should I read?”

set reading goals

This sounds really boring to some people but it works for me. See, my personality is such that I’m not a natural relaxer. There is ALWAYS something else I could be doing – cleaning, organising, tidying, rearranging, etc.

So my reading goal is 5 books a month. I can get through 4 without any trouble just doing the nightly reading routine but having that 5th book on the list forces encourages me to set aside weekend time to also read. I even put my reading on my to-do list so I feel extra accomplished 🙂

involve the kids

It doesn’t always work but involve the kids as much as you can. I’ll tell mine to bring their books (real old-fashioned books) and come read with me on the bed.

That’s it.

No great secrets – just prioritise, have a system and be consistent with your goals.

How do you make the time to read?

PS I don’t watch TV but I do unpack, re-pack and choose clothes while the Bold and the Beautiful’s on in the evenings (20 minutes) 🙂

The pile of books you never get around to reading…


So I have this pile of books I never get around to reading because I’m not disciplined enough.

It could also be because they’re non-fiction.

You see, when I typically start reading a non-fiction book, I find I can’t get swept along by it as easily as I can by fiction. The act of reading feels like torture even though I’m learning and the subject matter is interesting.

This year I’ve decided to read just one of those non-fiction books every month. Just one.

These are the ones on my list for the year:

  1. Goals – Brian Tracey
  2. I thought it was just me – Brene Brown (I’ve also read The gifts of imperfection – fantastic!)
  3. The five love languages for children – Chapman and Campbell
  4. Do more great work – Michael Bungay Stanier
  5. Men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti – Bill and Pam Farrel
  6. It’s all too much – Peter Walsh
  7. Organizing magic – Sandra Felton
  8. The encore effect – Mark Sanborn (I loved the Fred book)
  9. Secrets to getting more done in less time – Donna Otto
  10. First-time mom – Kevin Leman
  11. Have a new you by Friday – Kevin Leman
  12. When your best is not good enough – Kevin Leman (might as well read 11 & 12 after each other – they came in a 3 in 1 and I read the Birth Order one years ago – yes, I thoroughly recommend it)

I just recently discovered something really cool that’s working well for me and so I thought I’d share it with you too.

Nothing earth-shattering, but a small change of habit.

I read just one chapter every day.

That’s it.

The Goals book has 21 chapters and I’m further with it this year than I was when I started reading it about 4 years ago. By the way, I started over so I could get a proper sense of the book.

Back to my old habits…

You see, before I’d think I need to only read one book at a time.

This time, I read my one non-fiction chapter in the morning or when the kids nap on the weekend days, and at night, I indulge in my fiction.

It’s working really, really well.

If I continue with this practice, I will complete those 12 much earlier than December and then I can tackle the rest of my bookshelf.

What is your reading style?

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

Which books are in your pile that you’re just not getting around to reading?Any of the ones on my list?

PS yes, that bookshelf needs to be decluttered in a major way 🙂

Do you set reading goals?

People often ask, “how do you do it all?”

They mean working full-time, cooking, cleaning (all but 1 glorious day every week when Nester comes to attack the mountain of ironing. Remember I hate laundry), blogging, running the business, being a wife and mother and going to gym.

Aside from being mostly organised and being extremely intentional about my time, I watch almost no TV (I’ve stopped watching Survivor this year!) and read almost nothing.

Okay, I’m being a bit melodramatic about the reading but compared to how much I used to read, I read practically nothing last year. LOL

When I was going through my reading book (yes, of course I have a reading book – don’t you?), for the early part of 2010 everything was about babies and sleep – I read 6 books on the same topic – how to get your babies to sleep through the night.

The answer?

It depends on the baby, how many you have and how much you like to hear crying.

he still sleeps like that 🙂

Turns out we had one who freaked out if left to cry, one who freaked out more and we didn’t like to hear them cry since they woke their twin and parents who had to function at work the next day, so we did things the old-fashioned way and waited for them to outgrow their night wakings at 10 months.

My goal was 7 books a month, 2 non-fiction, same as it’s been the last couple of years BUT when I had my birthday in August I realised I was being unrealistic so changed the goal to 5 books a month, 1 non-fiction.

I ended up reading 46 books in total for the year, 28 fiction and 18 non-fiction. If not for all those baby sleep books, I think I would have read more on the whole, as I take longer to get through non-fiction than I do fiction.

Are you the same?

Look – I tabulated all the reading for the last 5 years.

Year Fiction Non-fiction Total
2006 53 20 73
2007 80 14 94
2008 75 8 83
2009 59 11 70
2010 28 18 46

This year my goal is again 60 for the year – 5 books a month, of those 5, 1 non-fiction.

What are your reading goals for the year?

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